I'm not from Minnesota. Actually, I've never even been to Minnesota...to date. But, I've been a Viking fan since the days when Fran Tarkenton was calling the signals for the Super Bowl-losing Purple People Eaters. I know...some of you youngsters are going...who? Well, Fran the Man is all over the NFL record books. The University of Georgia product was an NFL MVP and 6 time All-Pro. Yep, since the days of Tarkenton, Alan Page (the first defensive player to win MVP and current Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court), Chuck Foreman, Jim Marshall and Paul Krause, the Vikings have been my team win or lose...and we've done a lot of the latter.
My purple mania runs deep too. Aside from the given 'ceremonial headpiece' adorned for each game by any true Vikes fan, I have something even more cogent to my case as Viking Fan #1. That's right. History in the form of paper...a photograph. But not just one, oh no, I have two!
When it came time in my fifth grade year for class pictures, my mother took painstaking measures to ensure a quality family heirloom by carefully selecting my photo attire...or so she thought. You see, we played tackle football each and every day during outside recess at Church Hill Elementary, and yours truly wouldn't be caught dead playing in any shirt that wasn't purple and yellow. Picture day was no exception! But to keep peace in our household and hopefully avoid the beating of a lifetime, on this picture day, I packed THE shirt, the Coup de Grace of yard-ball apparel...the purple #10 mesh, home colors Viking jersey...a real beaut. My team never lost when I had it on while playing...never. Surely my mom would appreciate the effort to at least wear my very best purple. Besides, only first and second graders wear bow ties.
So there I am...forever canonized on the family tree of circa 1974... grinning ear to ear, hair a mess (Peter Brady style, remember), chipped front tooth, and wearing the very proof of my die hard love of all things Viking. And unlike today's age of instant digital photograph proofing, it was a full 2 months before I got that beating...but apparently not enough to deter a repeat performance... for my SIXTH grade pictures! I challenge any Minnesotan to top that for fan loyalty.
So today I mourn...but not just because the Vikings lost to the Eagles yesterday 26-14...no, I grieve for the people of Minnesota who were so obtuse to do this...
Senator Al Franken. Wasn't Governor Jessee 'the Body' Venture enough?
Come on Minnesota. The Vikings will eventually win a Super Bowl...but how can you make this clown a U.S. Senator?
The heartbreak continues...