As I write this, the calendar sits on July 11. That really didn’t leave me a whole lot of options for this space.
Sure, I could write about some things that actually involve the current incarnation of the Green Bay Packers. But now doesn’t seem like the best time to write such posts – better to save those for the days leading up to the start of training camp (20 days away!). After all, we’re all sort of thinking about football, but not quite yet, you know?
We had some great suggestions from you guys, the faithful OBOD readers, on some possible series ideas. But, honestly, we haven’t been able to flesh them out fully yet. Maybe soon.
That being the case, I’ve decided to give you guys and gals a glimpse into my daily life. See, I’m a Packers fan living in the dark heart of Minnesota Vikings country – Minneapolis, to be exact.
I’ve lived here, off and on, for almost five years. I graduated from college here (University of Minnesota). Some of the best experiences of my life have happened here. All in all, I love it.
But, being the extremely proud Packers fan that I am, there’s a flipside to that: I have to deal with a lot of crap from Vikings fans. If you don’t deal with these people on a daily basis, you have no idea how ridiculous they truly are.
I do, though, and I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts/experiences with you now. Think of this as a companion piece to Gene’s “How to deal with Steelers fans” post from last summer.
Consider the following:
- They think their history is right on par with ours. Seriously.
Ask almost any Vikings fan to compare the respective histories of the two franchises and they’ll tell you they are pretty much equal.
An actual recent exchange between myself and a female Vikings fan (who claimed that “Brett Favre rocks”):
Woman: “The Packers suck.”
Me: “Yeah, all those world championships are really the earmarks of an awful organization. Wait, how many have we won? 12?”
Woman: “And how many of those were won before we had automobiles or television?”
Me: “Okay, even if I give you that and take away all those early titles, my squad’s still got three. Yours has none.”
A co-worker of mine (a Vikings fan) to the woman: “Just stop. He’s got us there.”
He understands. Believe me, he’s in the minority out here. It’s like these people live in an alternate reality, one where going 0-for-4 in Super Bowls is just as good as going 3-for-4. It’s baffling.
- They believe their level of passion and support for their team is equal with ours. Dead serious.
The Packers? A team with a 30-plus year wait for season tickets, a team that has sold out each of its past 285 home games. Good times and bad, Lambeau Field is packed to the brim. We care.
The Vikings? A franchise that has had trouble selling out games, including a home playoff game, as recently as 2008 (often relying on their sponsors/television station of choice to buy up the remaining seats). They care…if their team is good. Wait – scratch that. That’s not even true.
Should I write more? Naaaaah, that kind of says it all.
- Almost universally, they all claim that they never hated Brett Favre. No, I’m not kidding.
Ever since last August, I’ve heard some variation of the following quote roughly seven million times: “I never liked Brett Favre. But I always respected him.”
That respect was shown in a myriad of ways to us Twin Cities Packers fans during Favre’s time in Titletown. And by “respect” I mean calling him a booze-swilling, pill-popping, overrated, interception-prone loser (he was no Brad Johnson, I guess). By “respect” I mean getting flipped off by passing motorists for wearing his jersey. By “respect” I mean having some lard ass in a Randy Moss jersey yell “(expletive deleted) you!” at you in a bar for wearing his jersey.
In other words, a really healthy respect, to be sure.
What’s been really funny is to see all these people jump into Favre’s backpocket so quickly. After spending years accusing us of covering for him at every turn (guilty), it took less than six months for them to do the exact same thing. All of them – every single one – still blame Adrian Peterson for the loss to the Saints. Nevermind the fact that Favre threw yet another backbreaking pick. Nope – it was Peterson’s fault. Hilarious.
- They can’t understand why you don’t switch allegiances, even though you’re not from there. Not making that up.
Another one I hear a lot: “But you live in Minnesota. You should be a Vikings fan.”
You try explaining it to them: “Well, I’m not originally from here. I’ve been a Packers fan my whole life. I would never switch. Ever.”
They don’t get it. They really think you should switch.
I’ve gone so far as to turn the tables: “Say you moved to San Diego. You’re telling me you’d become a Chargers fan? Or if you moved to New York, you’d all of a sudden root for the Giants or Jets?”
One guy actually told me that he would, in fact, switch. My response: “No you wouldn’t. Shut the hell up.”
Yeah, it gets that tense sometimes. They really leave you no other choice.
In honor of Vikings fans’ newfound love of Judas – again, they never liked him, but always respected him – I’ve decided to stop at four points and move to my conclusion.
You might be asking yourself: How do you do it, Chris? How do you put up with such seemingly awful people?
Well, actually, it’s rather easy for people like myself (and Adam, who also lives out here). See, we know the truth.
We know that, in no way, shape or form, do the Vikings (or their fans) stack up with the Packers and their fans.
We have history. They don’t. We care. They only care during the good times.
And we know why they hate us so much: Jealousy. Pure, uncut jealousy.
Minneapolis very much looks at itself as the New York City of the upper midwest. It’s a great place, for the most part, but there’s an obvious undercurrent of arrogance here, too. And it drives them nuts – absolutely nuts – that they just can not hang with the football team from the tiny paper-mill town of 100,000 people five hours east of here.
Knowing that makes it really easy to brush Vikings fans off when they yell curse words at you or kick a chunk off your Packers tailgate cover (which actually happened to Adam awhile back).
And this last fact makes it really easy: In two years from now – at most – Judas will be done. Peterson will be nearing empty. The defense will be much older and completely past its prime. A Tarvaris Jackson-Toby Gerhart backfield will be led by head coach Brad Childress.
Meanwhile, we’ll have a 28-year old star quarterback, an extremely talented group of skill position players under 30, a franchise left tackle and a defense full of players hovering around their primes. All of this will be led by head coach Mike McCarthy.
Yeah, that’ll be a fun rivalry – even if the Vikings are in Los Angeles.