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 Yankees...winners 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.