Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear the Vikings

Dear the Minnesota Vikings,

Last night, you broke my heart. Not only did you lose in the NFC Championship for the 5th straight time, you guys did it in the most painful way possible. Playing on the road, as underdogs, you dominated the game from start to finish. Five turnovers later, and the season suddenly came down to nothing more than a coin flip. It wasn't just that you guys lost, it was that you proved you were the better team, yet in true Vikings fashion you did JUST enough to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Today, I am sad. I believe last night showed that you guys were the best team in the league, and were finally poised to take home the franchise's first Super Bowl title, but mistake after mistake ultimately cost you the game. To the defense: you guys played sensational. This was the best game you've played all season. In spite of five turnovers and a few poor special teams coverage plays, you guys managed to hold the league's most prolific offense to less than 300 total yards. That is exceptional, and it is a shame that it wasn't enough to carry this team to the Super Bowl. The offense simply made too many mistakes.

There isn't anyone in particular that is to blame for the loss. Anyone blaming Adrian Peterson must not have been watching the same game. Yes, he put the ball on the ground far too many times, but the Vikings ultimately lost only one of those fumbles. (Which was charged to Favre anyways.) He had 3 of the Vikings 4 TDs, and accounted for 136 total yards. Favre made two big mistakes, both of which resulted in interceptions. The last INT was a very poor decision, but mistakes happen and had the Vikings taken care of business earlier in the game, the last drive would not have meant anything. Berrian played the best game of his season, but his fumble was very costly, as was Harvin's.

For you guys to manage to take the game into OT despite 5 turnovers was great, but to lose was simply unfair to your fans. I spent all week bracing myself for heartbreak, going through every possible scenario, and yet still couldn't have imagined a worse way to lose that game. I would have preferred a 51-3 blowout loss to that kind of loss, because now I believe you guys were the best team this season and you managed to choke again.

I can only imagine how the fans felt in '98, because as bad as this loss was, '98 was worse. Thinking about a more gut-wrenching loss than this one seems ridiculous, but for those a few years older than me and above, they've now gone through two of the most heartbreaking NFC Championship losses in NFL history. In fact, those two losses may be THE two most heartbreaking losses in Championship Round history.

My solution? Find any way possible to draft Tim Tebow. Yes, I've heard all of the scouts talk about how weak his arm is, how poorly he'll translate to the NFL, etc. but guess what? I don't care. Tebow has a certain aura about him, and while I can't believe I'm about to write this, Tebow could be the answer to lifting the Vikings curse. If the team can convince Favre to return for one more season, giving Tebow a year to learn the system and watch one of the all-time greats, I think Tebow could prove to be a very good NFL quarterback.

Regardless, I can't take this heartbreak much longer. I love you, Vikes, and I always will. But at some point it's simply easier to say goodbye and move on, then to sit through years and years of heartache for very little in return. Last night will linger in Vikings fans minds forever, and for some fans it's simply another bad memory in a lifetime that is simply lacking a good one. There's always next year, but unfortunately for Vikings fans, that's always the case. Until you guys move to Los Angeles.