I'm sick of the Green Bay Packers. I'm sick of Aaron Rodgers torching the Vikings like the defensive backs aren't there. I'm sick of Clay Matthews being Clay Matthews. I'm sick of their perennial success. Call me bitter, call me jealous, I don't care. I am bitter, and as a fan who has never seen my favorite team even reach the Super Bowl, I am jealous of every team that has won the damn thing. Every year they are there, contending for a championship, with a deep and balanced roster, playing right across the border. Every year we're here, disappointed.
I'm sick of watching the Vikings try to compete in the 21st century NFL without anything resembling a competent passing attack. I'm sick of watching quarterbacks play so bad that I clamor to see what the backup can do, and I'm sick of seeing that backup get in the game and muttering to myself "Oh. Yeah."
There are always going to be teams that can pass, and if the Vikings are going to ever compete in the playoffs, they're going to need a quarterback armed with wide receivers that can hang with quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers. A team with a good quarterback is often going to get 24 points--and another team with another good quarterback isn't going to sweat that because it knows that it can keep up. You can compete with running, defense, and special teams--but you go far with a passing game, and you can knock off other good offensive teams if you've got a good passing game. You know what a good quarterback can do? Come back. 21 point leads aren't safe from Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. When the game has gone badly and those quarterbacks go to all-throwing mode, they start to make things happen and they get their teams in the game. We've rarely seen a team that has that comeback ability: 10 point leads are often safe against the Vikings.
I'm sick of waiting for a wide receiver (coming soon: weekly posts about how the Vikings should stop worrying and pay Mike Wallace 55 million dollars). A playmaking WR can open up everything for an offense: getting downfield, leaping and fighting for a ball, gaining yards after the catch, making the defense account for him.
I'm sick of the Vikings losing in the playoffs. That's 27 playoff appearances now, and 27 playoff losses. When's our turn? I thought it was our turn in '98, and I thought it was our turn in '09. Will it never actually be our turn? Well it isn't our turn now. After 52 seasons of it not being our turn, it's hard to feel like it ever will be.
It's time for a bitter tradition: reading A.E. Housman's "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now." Another season has passed without the Vikings winning the Super Bowl. Who knows how many more seasons any of us get to watch, but one more chance to see them win it all is gone.