MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Fans react after Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings scored a 61 yard touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Because We’re Minnesotans, We’ll Pick Up the Pieces and….

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 14: Fans react after Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings scored a 61 yard touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)


Today is weird. It still feels like the Vikings should be playing in the big game in two weeks. Everything just played out so perfectly, leading up to the disaster, and it’s even bled over into today. I’m talking about my own life of course. Because my life dictates the outcomes of Vikings’ games/seasons.

It started with the day-job I still have. I hit my sales quota 2 weeks early, leaving me with A LOT of time leading up to the Vikings Super Bowl. I had articles, Super Bowl festivities, podcasts, and hype videos already playing in my mind. Right before the game started, I even sat down with some of my friends and family for face-to-face interviews about our depressing past and what it would mean to see the Vikings go to a Super Bowl. I wanted to capture the real-time nerves and passion.

And then, just as the game is coming to an excruciating end, I get a notification from the school district that all schools are closed on Monday, due to the incoming snownamie (which is now bearing down on us). On top of not having to stress about work and being able to burn up some time-off for Super Bowl activities, you’re going to give me a day off immediately after the victory? 

I could see the highlight videos, articles, likes, follows, and clicks ROLLING IN….

But then, the game happened. And it was nothing like any of us at MSF thought would be. It wasn’t what any of the “experts” picked either. There were so many outcomes in my mind that replayed over and over. But, this is Minnesota and just when you think you have things figured out…. you don’t. It was a Philadelphia beatdown.

So here I sit, without as much feeling as I expected. I’m not exactly sure why. Am I still in shock? Am I maturing? Or is this just a numbness I’ve developed over the years of Minnesota fandom? Is it the blowout fashion in which our favorite team bit the dust? Honestly, I’m not sure.

But, I think my tweet sums things up. The injuries. Case Keenum. This season. The confidence. And then, the Minneapolis Miracle…. It was all leading up to either a cinderella story or a classic Minnesota letdown. Some were confident. Brandon definitely was. And so were others. But many also discussed the Minnesota shoe that was almost expected to drop. Heartbreak usually finds a way to hit us a little harder than it does other cities/states. So, what was it going to be this time? Missed field goal? Made field goal? Hail Mary?

Well, in classic Minnesota fashion, the Football Gods pointed and laughed as they orchestrated a shocking upset that resembled the 2001 NFC Championship way more than the heartbreak Minnesotans remember most in 1998-’99 and 2009-’10. Instead of Kerry Collins, it was backup Nick Foles who grew angel wings, or put on his Superman cape… whatever analogy you prefer. He had an out-of-body experience. That’s what he had.

Now that I think about it, I definitely owe that guy an apology. Maybe we’ll do a video and/or podcast segment to apologize as a site, because my co-host of NSJS, Brandon, along with my MSF Partner, Johnny Minnesota, looked past Nick Foles much like most of the country. We shouldn’t have. Obviously. The guy was brilliant.

But, here’s the thing Vikings fans. We’re fine.

This is Minnesota people. We are used to this by now. And, unlike 2009 the Vikings have a bright future. They have a bunch of cap space and most of their big time defense (other than Sunday night) are already signed going forward. Spielman and Zimmer will figure out the QB situation and make a couple more improvements in the offensive line. Also, Dalvin Cook comes back. Hopefully, he will be the same explosive finisher we remember from his short stint to start 2017.

As Minnesotans, we’ll vent our frustrations and be pissed off for the week, but eventually we’ll look to the Wolves or the Wild, depending on what fits your fancy. Spring Training is even coming upon on us faster than we realize, as my house currently gets buried by snow.

No matter what, we will eventually move on. We don’t have a choice. We have jobs, school, and life to get back to. We still have family and friends who love us. We still live in a state that is better than all of the others (It also helps if you ignore all media outlets for the next 2-6 weeks).

What I’m trying to say is that we are resilient.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

And think about it this way: When you look back and remember the great letdowns in our state’s professional sports history, I bet there is one letdown that usually DOESN’T come to mind. That ’00-01 41-donut to the Giants. For some reason, it seems a little bit easier to digest these huge losses when the game is essentially over before you have a chance to really get into it. Honestly, I’d rather have the big letdown moment. At least it’s memorable then.

Hopefully this also leads to an even hungrier squad in 2018-19. One that has made some improvements and gained valuable playoff experience.

So, to finish the title to this article:

“Because we’re Minnesotans, we’ll pick up the pieces and…. be back for blood next year. And every year after.”

#SKOL

Eric Strack (Founder/President)
Minnesota Sports Fan
MinnesotaSportsFan.com @RealMNSportsFan

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