Sunday, October 24, 2010


Under what conditions would it be acceptable to file for divorce from your lifelong "favourite" sports team. I became a Minnesota Vikings fan at the age 8. It was 1975 and I wandered down stairs to find a playoff game on the television between the Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys all but over. Looking at the score and the time remaining in the contest I quickly pointed out that the Vikings had won the game and would inevitably be advancing to the Championship. My father in a glib matter of fact manner countered by saying that "his" Cowboys still had a chance. Five seconds later the Cowboys aided by an egregious missed call from a seemingly crooked official pulled off a miraculous comeback. The smug look on my father's face was too much to bear and from that day forward I swore allegiance to the purple people eaters with the funny horns on their head.

It has now been 35 years since that fateful day and the Vikings have not won the Super Bowl. With apologies to my brother and sister it has been the longest relationship of my life. I have lived and died every Sunday on the hopes that they will come through. They often get close but they always fail. I suppose there is something comforting in consistency.

I write this blog because I have the Vikings / Packers game taped at home and I don't want to surf the web on the off chance that I might hit a site that spoils the score for me. It is a sickness.

Every friend of mine and I'm sure every acquaintance too knows that I am a hard core Vikings supporter. I'm sure that all across the Globe when the Vikings scores are posted people that are nothing more than casual fans look at the telly and picture my mood based on the outcome of the contest. That is what makes it so hard; I think I could summon the courage to embark on the 12 step program required to rid myself of this strange addiction, but how could I tell my friends! "We are what we repeatedly do" as Aristotle once said. Geesh I am sick.

I guess the real value in obsessing over these trivialities in life is that it helps mark the time. It provides me with so many stories of times gone by, of watching games at home with my brother and now with my son. Thankfully the sickness is not hereditary - Malcolm runs with Patriots and the only.

My dream is that the franchise folds, that the team moves to another city and the name is changed. It's really my only way out, even given the abuse I have been subjected to over the years, it can't come from me I just can't quit. I can't be "that" guy.

So it's off to home to scan the Foxtel, which I pay hundreds of dollars for here in Australia, in order to wade through a mountain of rugby and cricket games just to catch a glimpse of my team. So no calls tonight - the game is on - I will not answer and when we loose I'll be miserable tomorrow. Unless......ah the cruel temptress.


  1. Hi Jack,

    It's Dawn! It's been a while since we've talked and I hope everything is going well. I've read your blog and I completely understand. After all, I am a Leaf fan too.
    I've often wondered how long you would continue to support the Vikings with Farve calling the shots but you've shown your loyalty by sticking with them. Good job! However, if you want to feel what it would be like to be on the side of a winning team, you could always join me in Indianapolis with one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game. We would welcome you with open arms.

    Hope you are having a great time down under and at least you are still able to watch the games.
    Talk to you soon.
    Go Colts!

  2. At some point sports became entertainment and the fanbase was monetized. Your allegiance to the purple people eaters is misplaced - it's merely a figment of your imagination and it has been aggregated into next year's forecast.

    I renounced the Dallas Cowboys this year. I have no interest in Dallas, I've been there many times and feel no kinship for its people, I've sat on the grass at Dealey Plaza and wondered why I've exalted at the disposable youth that fed little more that a marketing strategy.

    The glory, honour and triumph you have thought to enjoy through some vicarious affiliation is utterly nonsensical. Professional sports, in it's current form, serves only the shareholders and has nothing to do with a pursuit of beauty.

    We've been fooled into caring; the predictability of man's habitual-ism is simply the grist for the mill of yet another pre-season roster projection.

    Gather up all the feelings of loyalty you own and value them against your ownership in the Viking brand.

    Find those doing it for nothing; not for money nor national glory but for the art of the game, the thrill of the moment. Share and respect their ecstasy and never diminished it a copyrighted telecast in whole or in part.

  3. Well said. I'll do just that - unless we beat the Bears this weekend, then I'm back on board. I might remind you that you had the benefit on 5 Super Bowl Victories and 8 appearances to celebrate prior to your divorce, I'm still waiting for the wedding night.