Monday, September 26, 2011

About that bandwagon invitation

For those who know me (or may have read this blog for any extended period), you know I am a long-suffering fan of the Minnesota Vikings. My earliest recollection of Vikings football was Fran Tarkenton's final season in 1978, which would mean I've endured 33 (soon to be 34) full seasons of my favorite NFL squad not winning a Super Bowl.

Add to that the fact my father and his three siblings were all born and raised in Wisconsin. As one can imagine, I receive an incessant amount of ribbing from Dad's side of the family because of their allegiance to the Green Bay Packers. Plus, my paternal grandmother is one of fifteen kids, most of whom still live in the same small town in Northwest Wisconsin. That means I have literally scores of relatives who are Wisconsin natives and thus still love their Pack. So whenever there is a family function, I am the proverbial whipping boy. I mean, seriously, what defense do I have against a team who is the reigning Super Bowl champion? I'm pretty much left to grin and bear it.

Even though my Vikings have a rather bleak product on the football field right now, the issue is further compounded by the fact they may not even be in Minnesota much longer, given the uncertainty surrounding a new stadium. Armed with that knowledge, Packer fan friends and relatives are constantly reminding me that there is room on the Packers bandwagon. While I certainly respect the Packers' rich history as well as the present day version that has the potential to be a dynasty, could I actually make such a drastic change as a sports fan?

Not. A. Chance.

Think about it. Does that really seem like a bold move, to hop on the bandwagon of a team at the height of its success? Does that really show any conviction of character? Even if the Vikings do relocate to Los Angeles, I just don't see myself ever donning a block of cheese on my head. Sure, I'll still be an NFL fan without a pro team in Minnesota just like I was an avid NBA rube before there was ever a franchise in the Twin Cities (Some would argue there still isn't one, but that's another story).

I am genuinely happy for my Packer fan peeps who experience the sheer joy of a model NFL franchise. You can also count on me to remain a loyal friend or a loving relative to you. But I will never root for your club.



Mr. D said...

I take your point, Brad.

I suspect that, if the Vikings do decamp for El Lay or elsewhere, some Vikings fans will start to root for the Packers. The Packers had a history in Minnesota; they played preseason games in Minneapolis for most of the 1950s and there are still some old timers, especially in St. Paul, who never went over the Vikings. And as you well know, there are a lot of Vikings fans who have Packer gear stuffed into the backs of their closets. That's not you, though, which is to your credit.

As for me, I'm just trying to enjoy the success the team has now. I saw a lot of very bad football growing up and it's been fun to see them play so well in recent years.

Brad Carlson said...

I saw a good number of my Wisconsin relatives a few weeks ago at my cousin's b-day party. My Aunt mentioned how you all endured that tough stretch in the 70s and 80s, and also pointed out how the Packers went nearly 30 years (1968-1995) without a Super Bowl title.

I didn't give her any sympathy.

Mr. D said...

I didn't give her any sympathy.

I imagine not! The good news is that better days are coming for the Vikings. I do think your patience will be rewarded.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Better days are coming? At this stage, that would mean winning a game. So yes, better days are coming. :)

PS: The fairweather, team-hopping fan is pretty putrid, so you are right to remain loyal to the Vikings, even if they are a terrible disappointment, year after year after year...

Gino said...

there is room for you in Bear Nation.
come join us. and we beat up on the pack often enough as it is (just not lately).