My mother raised me right…honestly she did. She taught me that football was a rough game and better left to men to play and watch. For many years, I never had a problem. My father watched the Vikings through thick and through thin, but I always managed to maintain an aloof attitude against the players in purple.
Then I married a man who was an even bigger Vikings nut than my father. It matters little or nothing how the game goes, Roy sets up a row that can be heard through windows and down the block. If they are winning, he is cheering and crowing and if they are losing, he screams so loud that his hunting dogs run for cover.
Needless to say, Sundays in the fall are not designated for a peaceful afternoon nap. Nor is it possible to do any housework which requires noise. My only option, then, is to sit in a chair and wait for the football deluge to be over. On the good days, when they win, it becomes a cheerful evening.
But there are not enough of the winning days. The Vikings, while a tough team, of course, have a tendency to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. When they do that, life is sad at our house. We discuss and review and rant about every play. We go over and over the points where they messed up the most and any other topic is not interesting enough to divert the mood.
So, over the years, gradually, I have found myself watching the game, hoping against hope that Bridgewater connects with Peterson and the blocking is good and they make the scores. Walsh has been having a sketchy year with those field goals and extra points and several players, whose names I can’t keep straight, have the following issues, “butter fingers, blind eyes, and numb brains.” Sacking the quarterback is good when the Vikings do it and not when the Vikings have it done to them.
I now know far more about football than I ever intended to. I don’t laugh at the jokes any more, “I’m having the Vikings as my pallbearers so they can let me down one more time,” or “Why do the Vikings wear purple? You’d be purple too if you always choked.” I know the names of many of the players and I even know the coach is Mike Zimmer.
All of this was still on the fringe of my consciousness until today. Today, the Vikings were head to head with the Chicago team (I believe they are the Bears) when a pass from Bridgewater hit a player far down field right at the close of the game.
I jumped up and shouted, “They got it! It’s close enough for a field goal to win the game. Now Walsh had better hit it!” I immediately slapped a hand over my mouth and looked around. Roy, who can yell pretty loud, had been outshouted and was a little stunned. The dog was hiding behind the chairs. My book and my sewing, both of which I had been trying to do, went skittering from my lap across the floor when I jumped up.
So I guess there’s no more hiding it. Apparently, I have fallen into or been sucked into the trap of cheering for a football team and of all the teams, I had to cheer for the Vikings. I thought friends didn’t let friends become Vikings fans. Is there a support group for this?
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