Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 9th, 1977

Yes, January 9th, 1977 was a long, long, time ago. However, I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing on that day like it happened last week. Guess that is a sign of becoming an old fart, when you start saying you remember shit like it was yesterday. Oh well, I am old, so might as well starting acting like it, rather than acting like I am 19 so people are shocked when they find out my real age. On that particular day in 1977 I had just passed being 7 and a half years old, and I was watching my heroes the Minnesota Vikings play in Super Bowl XI against the John Madden coached Oakland Raiders. Now I have never, to my knowledge, stepped foot in the state of Minnesota. I have no relatives from there, no real connections at all with the state that explain why I am a Vikings fan. However, I do know the reason for my fandom. It would appear that sometime before that fateful day in January, 1977, I, with all the innocence and ignorance of youth, picked out a Vikings jersey from the Sears catalog (another sign of how fucking old I am). Here is where the story goes to hell in a hand basket. My mother decided that it would be a good idea to buy me this jersey as a present. Now most people will think this is cute, it IS NOT cute, it is what I consider to this day child abuse. If only my mother would have had the great good sense to say "No son that team will cause you decades of untold misery, here pick out a 49ers jersey or a Cowboys jersey, or a fucking Steelers jersey." Alas, she did not do that, and here we are almost thirty-two years later, and I have watched the Vikings fail again to make the Super Bowl. It is a sad fact of my life that I can clearly remember Fran Tarkenton, the Vikings QB toss that critical, game losing, interception to Willie Brown to run back 75 yards for a Raiders' touchdown, and nail the coffin lid of Minnesota's chances firmly shut. It is one of the clearest childhood memories that I have, and that is probably a line sad enough to make you cry. I am pretty sure my seven year old self shed a few tears that day. Actually, I am almost positive that I cried like a Frenchman at the fall of Paris, and had to be put to bed without any dinner. This trauma has probably helped to make me the angry, miserable, bastard that I am today. I still call my mother every year when the Vikings' hopes have been dashed, to blame her for her unpardonable sin. She, like most guilty people, denies her crime. Claiming that it is not "her fault the Vikings lost." Actually, she is correct it is not her fault they LOST. However, it is, and always will be her fault that I am still crushed when they do. At least I have progressed from the tearful 7 year old from 1977, now I am the foul mouthed, get me a fucking drink, and leave me the hell alone 39 year old that really wants to break something. It is a sad commentary on my life, and a clear indication of my misplaced priorities when I am able to say that my longest standing relationship of any kind is with the Minnesota Vikings. People have found out to their cost that it is not a wise thing to come between us. Perhaps every year on the 9th of January I should go out and get raging drunk (not that I need any more reasons to get raging drunk). After all, that day some thirty-two years ago was the last time the Vikings played in the Super Bowl, and from the looks of it they may never get there again (if you doubt me look up their 1998 season, I am still unable to discuss it rationally). Upon calm reflection maybe January 9th, 1977 is the day where it all started to go horribly wrong, maybe the Minnesota Vikings helped my childhood end a little quicker than it needed to, and not on a high note. Maybe they taught me a valuable life lesson about how we can't win all the time, and get used to being disappointed a majority of the time. Maybe we deserve each other, the Vikings and I, underachievers both, annual disappointments followed by a spring time rekindling of hope, and then a season of ups and downs that usually end in tears. Of course these things do usually end in tears, but even now only an hour or so after watching them fail for another year all I can think is we will get them next year. I guess hope does spring eternal.

1 comment:

Cynnie said...

I even made tea in my viking mug in hopes they'd do better..

but they didnt ..
stupid vikings