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Thursday, January 1, 2004

Happy gnu year
Here we are. 2 double-ought 4 already. And what'll it be? The beginning of the next big thing? Or the continuation of the same old thing? Time will tell, I guess, although my money's on the latter.
Hope you all had a delightful New Years Eve. And, despite my seeming pessimism, I wish you all the very best in the coming year.
10:51 pm cst

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Oh, the pain we have suffered
A trip down Vikings' misery lane  (from the Star-Tribune)
Here are 13 unlucky, dark moments in Vikings history:
Jan. 11, 1970: Super Bowl IV: After the Vikings cut the Chiefs' lead to 16-7 in the third quarter and capture momentum, Otis Taylor takes a short pass, breaks a couple of tackles and runs 46 yards for a score in a 23-7 victory.
Jan. 13, 1974: Super Bowl VIII: Trailing 17-0 in the first half, the Vikings move 74 yards to the Miami 6. On fourth-and-1 from the 6, Oscar Reed fumbles, and the Vikings never threaten again in a 24-7 loss.
Jan. 12, 1975: Super Bowl IX: With the Vikings trailing 2-0 at halftime, Bill Brown fumbles the second-half kickoff, the Steelers recover and end up scoring what turned out to be the clinching touchdown in a 16-7 victory.
Dec. 28, 1975: NFC divisional playoff game: The Cowboys defeat the Vikings 17-14 on a last-second, 50-yard Hail Mary pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson, who appears to push Nate Wright to the ground before making the catch and jogging into the end zone.
Jan. 9, 1977: Super Bowl XI: In the first quarter, the Vikings' Fred McNeill blocks a punt by Ray Guy -- the first punt Guy ever had blocked -- and the Vikings take over at the Raiders' 3-yard line. But two plays later, Brent McClanahan fumbles, the Raiders recover and drive for the first score of the game and the momentum in a 32-14 victory.
Jan. 27, 1984: Bud Grant resigns after 12 playoff appearances in 17 years, including four Super Bowls, and Les Steckel replaces him. Steckel goes 3-13 in his only turbulent season.
Jan. 17, 1988: NFC Championship Game: Darrin Nelson drops a pass at the goal line on fourth-and-4 from the Redskins' 6-yard-line with 52 seconds to play in a 17-10 loss to Washington.
Oct. 12, 1989: The Herschel Walker trade: The Vikings trade Issiac Holt, David Howard, Darrin Nelson, Jesse Solomon, Alex Stewart and what ends up to be three first-round picks, three second-rounds picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick to Dallas. The Cowboys use the picks to select Emmitt Smith and others to help them win three Super Bowls.
Jan. 1, 1995: First-round playoff game: The Vikings lose to the Bears 35-18 at home despite beating them twice in the regular season. The Vikings were inside the Bears' 50-yard line 10 times, but 11 penalties and two interceptions hurt them. Kevin Miniefield returns an Amp Lee fumble 48 yards for a touchdown with 3:05 left to seal the victory.
Jan. 17, 1999: NFC Championship Game: With the Vikings leading 27-20, Gary Anderson misses a 37-yard field-goal attempt with 6:07 remaining against Atlanta -- his first miss of the season. The Falcons go on to score the tying touchdown and beat the Vikings 30-27 in overtime.
Jan. 16, 2000: NFC divisional playoff game: Trailing 17-14, the Rams return the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and score 35 consecutive points before the Vikings even get a first down en route to a 49-37 victory.
Jan. 14, 2001: NFC Championship Game: The heavily favored Vikings commit five turnovers and are outgained 518 yards to 114 and outscored 34-0 in the first half of a stunning 41-0 loss to the New York Giants.
Dec. 28, 2003: On fourth-and-25 from the Vikings' 28, Arizona's Josh McCown hits Nate Poole for a touchdown as time expires to prevent the Vikings from advancing to the playoffs.
Aaargh!!!! It's painful to review the carnage, isn't it? Clearly, Job had nothing on we Vikings fans...
3:48 pm cst

Good night...
...and don't forget to brush your teeth.
12:05 am cst

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Why do we care?
Just finished watching the Vikings' final game of the regular season. And, as it turns out, the final game of their 2003 season. It sucked. It just totally sucked.
There's no two ways about it. This was a black day for the state of Minnesota.
But why, you might ask? And on further examination (and despite my general gloom), I've got to wonder why, too. Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better, but when you reduce it to the the fundamentals, these teams don't really represent us. Professional sports are an artificial construct. The players feel no loyalty (except to the highest bidder). And the fans really have no reason to cheer for them (except that they happen to wear a uniform summoning up some kind of civic pride).
Sour grapes, no doubt. (And my, they are indeed sour just about now.) But, it has occurred to me in the past that until pro sports teams truly represent the cities or states they purport to represent (and by this I mean, are limited to players born and raised, or residing in the cities/states they represent), professional sports is a sham.
That a city or state should feel pride based on the achievements of a random collection of players  whose primary objective is the largest paycheck  is absurd. Think about it.
There, I feel (a little) better now. Hey! Who wants a grape?!
7:28 pm cst

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The dated links above are to previous week's posts. Take a look if you haven't been following along. And just for the record, all words and pictures, except as noted, are mine and mine alone. I take full responsibility for them (unless, of course, legal action is threatened).
Willie, here, is both the mascot and the arbiter of good taste for this site... So, as you might expect, people will be offended. My apologies.

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