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August 19 – Tortured

Hello Readers –

According to Bill Simmons, I’m tortured. Well, second most tortured. Why?

Hi. I’m Josh, and I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan.

Mr. Simmons says only Cubs fans are more tortured. Honestly, I didn’t need him to tell me. Now, to be fair, I only started being a fan in the early 80’s, and I missed out on the 4 Super Bowl losses. But let me tell you, these past 26 or so years have been hellish enough.

1987 was the first letdown – sort of. We finished 8-7 (8-4 if you take out the strike games). Clinched a wild-card, and then pummeled the Saints. Everyone then expected us to lose to the mighty Niners, but we pulled out the huge upset and made it to the Championship against the Redskins. After the shocker. it’s hard to call the next game a letdown – but Darrin Nelson dropped a pass from Wade Wilson in the end zone and the Redskins went on to win 17-10, and then crush Denver in the Super Bowl.

It was a while before the Vikings were really good again – in 1987 I was 8th grade. The next tortured season was 98, and I had just gotten married that summer. The Vikes and the Cunningham-Moss connection were 15-1, and no one could outscore them.  Robert Smith – who was my favorite player on that team, broke so many big runs.  Gary Anderson didn’t miss a kick all year. They beat Arizona in the playoffs, and looked like they would beat Atlanta handily in the Championship game at home. A FG in the 4th quarter would put them up 10 and wed be heading for the clash with Denver we missed last time. But he missed the kick. It went to OT. Game over. I’m pretty sure my wife second-guessed her decision that summer after she saw my mood for the next several weeks.

1990 we made it to the Championship again vs. the Giants. I watched with my brother who is a Giants fan. He ran out to get pizza and came back 10 minutes into the game. It was already 14-0 Giants. I had to sit and watch a 41-0 drubbing. Fun. Especially living around a bunch of Giant fans about 15 minutes from the Meadowlands.

Fast forward to this past year. Probably the question I got asked most the past couple of years was “ How can you cheer for Favre now?” Honestly, at first I was peeved, but we had a very good team minus a QB. Now we had the QB, and after a nice season, I got over it. Until the Saints game – and another pick to end the season. You know he was wearing a Packer tee under his purple #4 that day. Torture.

If you’re tired of my complaining – wait until my post-86 Mets post.

Think you’re more tortured? Have a tortured moment you want to share? Comment away…….

I’ll continue the NFL Re-Previews next week with the NFC South. Till next time —

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