From time to time on here I have a commentary on stuff other than Fishing. Though Fishing is an undying passion of mine, there are a few others as well:
family, hunting, football…
I went in to last nights Vikings playoff game telling myself that I had zero expectations; however, in reality I had unlimited expectations. I really thought that this might be the year. I tried to eliminate those feelings. Have had to live through the disappointment of ’98, 41-donut, and 2009, I tried to squash those expectations of a victory and a playoff run.
Two years ago, vs Seattle, I was on a Perch bite and they were just firing up, they were just starting to go into Vexilar Christmas tree, frenzy mode, when I had to leave. Had to go watch that playoff game. Had to watch my Vikings. I left the ice with 13 Perch that day and sacrificed a perch limit only to witness Blair Walsh, Blair flipping Walsh miss a chip shot.
There is nothing that takes precedent when the Vikings are in the playoffs.
However having been through too many Vikings playoff letdowns, I was attempting to prepare myself for the epic disappointment.
It wasn’t working.
Add to that the simply dominating first half of the game last night, I failed in not letting myself getting worked up and my expectations were rising.
Then it happened…
The little mistakes that always seem like they plague the Vikings in the playoffs:
- missed field goal
- bad penalty on a screen play for a first down
- blocked punt
Everything, as has happened so many times before, started to go against the Vikings.
I know for a fact I threw my hat against the wall 3 times for sure. I didn’t break anything like I did in 2009. I had to go downstairs to watch the end. I couldn’t be around others and they didn’t want to be around me.
I take the Vikings losses very hard, they ruin my entire week. I have the hope that one day, one day, we will reach the promised land. One day we will get there.
Then we scored a field goal to get up two and there was a glimmer of hope. We had ’em! But we also had to stop Drew Brees, and we couldn’t. And, once again, another season down the tubes. I almost turned it off, but I couldn’t.
I had to watch the clock hit zero. I had to take it in to add to the misery of being an avid supporter of my lovable losers.
No one comes back in the final 10 seconds from 61 yards away with no timeouts. It just doesn’t happen. NFL defenses are just too good, too fast. They have practiced that scenario too many times.
It just doesn’t happen.
I was praying for a miracle, a Vikings Miracle. Just once, I wanted this one so bad.
This team seemed so different. All season they had overcome and I wanted them so badly to overcome one more time.
And then it happened, one final play to epitomize the last two seasons. An unlikely MVP-candidate QB makes one final MVP worthy throw to a 5th round draft pick. An unbelievable hand in the dirt to get his feet and an unbelievable dash into the end zone.
I had a friend at the game who called me shortly after to just let me hear the crowd, Jason, thank you for that, it was pure bliss!!
After Diggs reached the end zone I was in disbelief, I had already accepted what I had feared all week, another playoff letdown. Another meltdown in the playoffs.
I was struck with very strong emotion and was moved to tears. Tears because that last play was so unexpected. Tears because I put way too much emotional investment in my Vikings.
Tears: because my father was a huge Vikings fan and I wished, 3 days before the anniversary of his passing, that he could have seen it!
Tears because I wanted it so bad for this Vikings team.
I don’t know how the rest of the playoffs will transpire. I don’t know what will occur next week in Philly. I don’t know if destiny exists. What I do know, is there is no pushing down my expectations now. There is no tempering of this hope. There is no more doubting this team.
Bring It Home!!