I'm dating, in a way…

but not in that way because it’s about football. The Vikings, specifically, our local NFL team.

After living here for decades I decided to give the Vikings a one year trial as a fan. In my life I’ve rooted for the Packers, the Dolphins, the Lions, and for some reason teams with interesting uniforms. I even have a jersey for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. I’ve just never quite gelled with the Vikings.

Actually its the Vikings’ fans that seemed to bother me the most. They seem so mercurial, hot and cold, on and off the bandwagon. Win one and they’re up. Lose and the whole thing is going to hell. Don’t even talk to me about the whole Favre thing. Vikings’ fans are so hungry for that Super Bowl that no one wants to hold on for the day-to-day for fear of being heartbroken when it doesn’t happen, or even looks like it couldn’t happen.

And something changed, as well, when they moved down town. The old Met Stadium had its flaws but what a parking lot, what tailgating. The games were more than four quarters, they were an event. Who can forget the pictures of the Purple People Eaters, cold winter Sunday, steam coming from everywhere, waiting for the shivering victims from LA, Dallas, or Tampa Bay? How different it is playing in a sterilized dome, parking in the same lot you use for work, and not even having room for a decent sized grill.

Still, I would like to give them a chance. The new coach is a Tony Dungy style man of character. I’ve lived here for most of my life. They finally took steps to get rid of some people who forgot that playing professional football is a privilege. I’m a sucker for strays, cats, dogs, people, and football teams (hence last year’s rooting for the Lions).

Who knows? I might get lucky and back a winner. I’ve got a jersey, on sale of course and I vetted the player. The games will be on TV. It would be good to see a decent man like Leslie Frazier have success. But we’re just dating, the Vikings and I, nothing permanent, no commitments, not even fans with benefits. Come January we’ll see.

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