I’m ready to get hurt again

Connor Van Hulzen—Staff Writer

The Minnesota Vikings simply do not know how to operate as a functional, normal team. Every week, they subject their fans to roughly three hours of torture.

It’s gotten to the point where I am not even able to enjoy Vikings games anymore. If they’re losing, I’m upset, and if they’re winning, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

As they head into their week seven bye, the Vikings record sits at a perfectly mediocre 3-3.

Every one of their three losses was decided by one score, two by last-second missed field goals from kicker Greg Joseph. While one of their victories—a thorough dispatching of the Seattle Seahawks—involved little to no stress, their other two victories were won on last-second field goals by that same kicker, Joseph.

Simply put, the heartache and stress the Vikings choose to inflict on their fans is making me begin to reconsider watching their games at all.

Unfortunately for myself, the outlook on the rest of the Vikings’ season after their bye week doesn’t look any better.

Coming into the season, the Vikings’ opponents ranked fifth in strength of schedule. 

Now, as the team has a week of rest to prepare for the remainder of the NFL’s first-ever 17-game season, the Vikings sit at the top of the strength of schedule rankings.

The opponents the Vikings will face through their final eleven games currently own a cumulative 40-25 record. Their schedule is a murderer’s row of teams that no reasonable organization would ever want to think about playing.

The Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and two meetings with the dreaded Green Bay Packers currently await a Vikings team that had to kick a last-second field goal to beat the 0-6 Detroit Lions.

If the Vikings have any hope of making the playoffs, they need to get back to avoiding the classic Vikings blunders of turnovers at the worst possible time and missed field goals.

The Vikings’ ineptitude has gotten so bad that fans are now able to predict their self-destruction. 

With just over ten minutes left in the fourth quarter on Sunday, Oct. 17, the Vikings took an 11-point lead over the Carolina Panthers. Carolina had struggled all day to sustain any kind of serious offensive success, and the outlook was grim for the Panthers.

Despite this, my roommate—a Vikings fan—preemptively called the Vikings blundering the game away. And what do you know? Two Vikings missed field goals later, the Panthers had crawled their way back into the game and sent the contest to overtime.

The predictability of the Vikings’ catastrophic failures on a week-to-week basis has gone from an annoying occurrence that made me upset to something that, while still upsetting, has a special brand of comedy attached to it.

I’m not exactly sure what it would take for me to stop being a Vikings fan, but if I haven’t already reached that point, I cannot anticipate any other possible on-field performance would ever top what the Vikings have already done.

As far as the rest of the Vikings’ season goes, I’m sure that I will continue to begrudgingly watch them throw away three hours of my Sunday afternoons with alarming efficiency.

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