Tonight, the MN Vikings go up against the Chicago Bears. This rough and tumble rivalry spans many decades. Theoretically, the Vikes should win without breaking a sweat. Theoretically.
My family has rooted for the Vikings since day one. My mother was a charter season ticket holder. Ended up with seats in the seventh row at the 35-yardline. Sweet! I rarely attend games, and yes, the tickets are always spoken for so just don’t ask. My shallow pockets and tendency to take all Vikings screw-ups personally do not make me a good spectator in a crowd. The fact is, I’m a lousy loser. Makes my blood-pressure soar and also makes me cranky. Been especially cranky the past few weeks.
Over time, I’ve developed my own approach to surviving the less-than-lovely Vikings games, with special additions in this Year of Favre. I share this with you in the hopes that it might help if you need a means to fend off Vikings football heartbreak.
1.) Game day: I scramble around, searching for playing time and channel. Sometimes this produces surprises. Take yesterday (Sunday), for instance. Brother G and I were decked out in our new Vikings jerseys, ready to rumble. Discovered the game is tonight. Vikes’ games have been all over the map this year, in relatively prime time, given what started as a stunningly stellar season. Things change.
2.) I renew my relationship with my teevee, relearning each week how to turn it on, how to find the high def channel (see? I am trainable!), how to adjust the volume.
3.) Sometimes I make popcorn (from scratch) and hunker down in a comfy place (usually vertical) to cheer on the home team.
4.) When the Vikes receive, I say to Percy Harvin, “It’s so mean that they won’t kick off to you!”
5.) Favre trots onto the field, and I say softly to no one in particular, “Please don’t hurt him!”
6.) Handoff to Adrian Peterson, who attempts a run up the middle for between two and minus two yards. I fidget. PTSD. Read on.
7.) Defense plunges around/through our impenetrable line, breathing down Favre’s shoulder pads. “Don’t you dare hurt him!”
8.) Fourth and three. Punt. “Do not hurt our little punter guy!”
9.) Back and forth. Sometimes no score. Cheer enthusiastically for the manic and usually effective Jared Allen. Love his wild eyes and the mullet.
10.) Someone screws up in a major way. Fumble. Failure to receive sweet pass. Missed tackle. Whatever.
11.) Punish them by muting the teevee. (I know, I know. But it’s an emotional situation, remember.)
12.) Things appear to be improving.
13.) Turn on sound.
14.) Scary stuff on the field. Losing ground. Opponent having best game of season. We seem to bring that out in some of them.
15.) Mute teevee.
16.) Begin multi-tasking. Knitting. Writing thank-you notes. Gazing at ceiling, and occasionally at teevee.
17.) Sidney Rice drops a perfectly thrown pass. Sidney Rice, for crying out loud!!
18.) Turn off the teevee. Knit eleven, purl two. Sigh. Knit two, skip purl. Bigger sigh.
19.) Turn on teevee. Two minutes to halftime.
20.) Favre orchestrating two minute drill. “Please don’t hurt him!”
21.) Favre knocked down by defensive bully. “If you hurt him, you savage….!”
22.) Halftime. Clothes in washer moved to dryer. Wash another load. Fetch more popcorn. Attempt attitude adjustment.
23.) Opposing team returns kickoff to mid-field. Jared Allen explodes onto field. Life is good.
24.) Opposing team scores with long pass to wide-open receiver strolling around in the end zone.
25.) Mute teevee.
26.) Purl three, purl three, purl three. Count stitches. Damn! Something’s wrong. Have to rip ‘em out and start over. Metaphor moment.
27.) Avert eyes from silent screen. Turn on sound in time to see opponents recover Peterson’s fumble.
28.) Turn off teevee. (Yes, I am a fickle fan. And I’m really, really crabby at this point!)
29.) Return to step 18 and repeat as needed.
30.) Read game summary online and in next day’s newspaper, because I am a total glutton for punishment.
And there you have it. Hope it’s helpful. Heading out to buy popcorn and yarn.
UPDATE: I just peeked at the Strib online and discovered regulation play ended in a 30-30 tie. They are now playing in overtime. I cannot bear to watch. I cannot knit. I cannot go to sleep. They are totally messing with my mind, and yes, it is all about me!