Becoming a Minnesota Vikings fan was inevitable. It all started with my father who is a die hard Vikings fan. If you wonder how die hard of a fan, well picture owning up to about 8 seasons worth of recorded VHS tapes of just Minnesota Vikings games.  So it was clear my fate had already been chosen, but little did I know what a roller coaster of a ride it would be. 

     This is a blur of a memory as I was only eight years old, but this should have waved as a caution flag for me as I was entering into Viking "fandom." It was 1998, the Minnesota Vikings were 15 and 1. They were unlike anything the NFL had ever seen up to that time, the highest scoring offense to ever step on the field under the electrifying rookie Randy Moss, the hall of fame great Cris Carter, Randall Cunningham, and Robert Smith as the core group. They also had a guy by the name of Gary Anderson, one of the greatest kickers of all time. "Anderson hasn't missed in two years." Those were the words of the late Pat Summerall. The Vikings were up by 7 with Gary Anderson looking to put the game away and send arguably the greatest team of all time into the Super Bowl. "Anderson hasn't missed in two years." I cant even put into words what the atmosphere was like in my living room after that game had come to a conclusion. To sum up the ending, for you all who aren't aware, Anderson would miss a chip shot field goal for the first time in two years and the Falcons would drive down the field and tie the game up as time expired. In overtime the Falcons would eventually eliminate the Vikings from the playoffs. My father and his friends who were also Vikings fans didn't even say a word to one another. I swear to you the man was speechless for a week and didn't even watch the Super Bowl. I remember thinking how does just a "game" affect someone so harshly. Well, I would soon find out. 

   It is the year 2000. This was the first year I can say I remember watching every single second of every Minnesota Viking game. I thought well being a Viking fan is easy, we were just in the NFC Championship game two years ago and here we are again with another chance to play in the Super Bowl. I remember the day just like it was yesterday.Falling asleep in my Daunte Culpepper jersey, waking up throughout the night excited to watch the game, getting up early to go to my fathers friends house to watch the Conference Championships. 41-0. 41-0. 41-0. How does a team competing for a Super Bowl birth lose 41-0. My memory of that game was actually comical. The game was over by halftime. It was the most pitiful performance I have seen from an NFL football team to this day. The next two years would be filled with losing and more disappointment.


   One of the most daunting memories I have as a Viking fan came in the 2003 season. The Vikings looked to be unstoppable blowing out everybody in their path to start off 6-0. Then of course in typical fashion they would lose the next four and by the final week of the season they were 9-6 and needed one more win to solidify their birth in the playoffs.  It all came down to the Vikings having to beat the Cardinals to get into the promise land. The Vikings were up 17 to 6 with under 2:00 to play in the game. I remember singing this ridiculously dumb phrase "We are going to the playoffs", behind the couch in which my father was sitting. I will never forget the stare down I received from him after that game had ended. The Cardinals would score a TD to bring the score to 17-12 and then they would recover an onside kick to get the ball back and..... well just watch the video up top for the rest. This was the first loss that I remember that actually lingered for months, it was after this game I realized I have become a die hard Minnesota Vikings fan. The next season would be followed by yet another great start this time 5-1 and losing the next 7 out of 10 to fall to an 8-8 record and not make the playoffs. 

  

 2005 through 2008 were rough years as well. Only making the playoffs once in this span and being knocked out in the first round. Of course these were my high school years so I never had to much to brag about. Mike Tice and Brad Childress were some of the worst head coaches I have ever seen in my life time. This time period can be summed up in one name really. Tarvaris Jackson. Is there even a word that justifies how bad he was? Gus Ferrotte was our best QB in this time period. Yeah, times were tough. If only I knew how long it would take for us to find this thing called a franchise QB. 


  The game that I will never truly get over. 2009 season. Vikings vs Saints in the NFC Championship. There is no doubt in my mind the Minnesota Vikings were by far the best team in the NFL that season and there was only one team who could out right beat the Vikings, and that was the Vikings, and with four turnovers that they did. I will never forget watching Chester Taylor run for about a 10 or 11 yard gain as we inched deeper into Saints territory. All I could think in my head was that is it, we are going to the Super Bowl. This time though I had learn from my previous mistakes and I kept my thoughts to myself. It was around this time my Step Mother had stepped into the living room and said these words to my father and I, "I have to watch you guys get into the Super Bowl." After that statement was made this happened.....


  My Step Mother quickly and quietly went back into her room as we were in utter shock. That play to this day lives in my head, but the game wasn't over yet. We still had an overtime session to be played. It was the most sickening quarter of football I ever watched. The failed fourth down conversion by the Saints that they incorrectly called a first down that should have given the Vikings the ball at half field, the phantom pass interference calls,  and then this happened. As I stood in the kitchen of my fathers house not wanting to watch and as my father was literally on his knees in front of the TV


By far the toughest loss to fathom. There were no words after this loss, I remember shutting my phone off due to the great friends I have as my phone was exploding with lovely text messages and voice messages. This is a loss that I am still not over today and I doubt I will ever get over this loss until the Vikings finally do what may be the impossible....win the Super Bowl. 



 The Minnesota Vikings have yet to have a franchise quarter back in my life time as a fan, the longest tendered quarter back we have had was Daunte Culpepper, an average QB who threw deep bombs to the most talented athlete of my generation Randy Moss. The Vikings have had countless of failures at this position, if you are a football fan then you know the names, no need for me to list them. In an era where we have been spoiled by great QBs my team cant seem to get it right. To win a Super Bowl and be competitive in this league you need a franchise QB. Teddy Bridgewater can you cure this curse that has plagued this franchise since its existence?



Here is some more fun memories, some before I was born.

 


2014-2015 AFC Predictions


AFC North


Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6 

Ryan Shazier will bring much needed speed to an aging LB core. Big Ben and Antonio Brown lit it up at the end of the season last year and they were one of the hottest teams to close out the season.The only thing holding this team back from playoff success could be that secondary. 

Cincinnati Bengals: 9-7

This team should be competing for a Super Bowl every year instead they will continue to fall with Andy Dalton. They lost Mike Zimmer to the Vikings which will be a huge blow to that defense, I can see them even going a 7-9 honestly. 

Baltimore Ravens: 7-9

Raven fans got their Super Bowl ring a couple of years ago but at what cost? They singed Joe Flacco to one of the most outrageous deals of all time for a..well bad QB. The team will continue to decline with Flacco as their guy and Ray Rice had a terrible year mainly due to a very bad O-line that wasn't addressed at all in the off season.


Cleveland Browns: 6-10

Oh man what did Cleveland do in that draft. Passing up on the best offensive rookie in Sammy Watkins to only find out they may lose Gordon for the whole year and still not draft a WR. That defense will be one of the best in the league but if Gordon doesnt play Manziel will have a tough time in his first year. I had this team winning this division before the draft. I had them taking Watkins and Bridgewater and obviously I didnt think Gordon would be facing a year ban. This team is loaded with talent, if Gordon plays and Manziel does well, they can still compete in this division which inst very strong.


AFC South


Indianapolis Colts: 12-4

I like the pick up of Nicks for Andrew Luck if he can stay healthy he will be a great red zone target. The division is weak and there really isn't much to say here, its hard to see any other AFC South team dethroning the Colts this year. 


Houston Texans: 8-8

They need to just start Tom Savage on day one and begin to groom him as an NFL QB. They have created one of the scariest D-lines with Watt, Clowney and Nix. I believe this team will make a vast improvement and Savage will be a decent QB in the future. 


Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-9

The Jaguars have finally found their man. Blake Bortles will change this franchise. He was by far the best talent in the draft for QB's and I believe that after this season the Jags will start to become a PLAYOFF CONTENDER. That was hard to write. 


Tennessee Titans: 3-13

Is it going to be Jake Locker or Zach Mettenberger? It wont matter for this season, this will be a long year for Titan fans. They will be adjusting to a new defensive scheme and trying to find out who will be their QB for the future.


AFC East


New England Patriots: 14-2

Revis is an upgrade to Talib,  who always bails out in big games due to some injury. The Patriots to me are the best team in the AFC and maybe the entire NFL if one man can stay healthy. Rob the Super Bowl is on you. 


Miami Dolphins: 8-8

 This season will be all about continuing to grow Tannehill into a franchise QB. Their schedule will be very rough and I really don't see how they win anymore than 8 games here. They are in the right direction and had a solid draft but expect about the same season as last year. 


Buffalo Bills: 6-10

Sammy Watkins will be a star in this league, the only question is EJ the man here. If he is this team will be competitive in the years to come. They needed that offensive play maker and they definitely got him with Watkins. This team could surprise a lot of teams this year.  


New York Jets: 4-12

Pick your poison Vick or Smith? Ryan will be gone after this year and go back to being a D-Coach where he has always belonged. I just don't see where the offense will come from, the defense will always be a solid group due to Ryan but the lack of offense will hold this team down to the bottom of the league. 


AFC West


Denver Broncos: 13-3

The division is relatively weak so they will roll to another division title. I feel like this team will be a little like the Heat, they will glide through the season waiting to get back to the playoffs. This time they will not get by the Patriots, and I wouldn't be shocked if they were knocked out in their first playoff game this year. Manning just cant be trusted in the post season, there isn't much more to say.


San Diego Chargers: 10-6

I like this team a lot. Keenan Allen is going to be a star and Ive said it since day one. Rivers had an amazing year last year and I think for once we finally see something he has been lacking. Consistency. The defense is average at best but if they can get Ryan Matthews around 300 carries this year they will be shaped for success. 


Kansas City Chiefs: 7-9

A lot of luck contributed to that fast and exciting start for the Chiefs last season. They didn't do anything to help them out on the offense and that was clearly their biggest issue. The only way they can compete for the playoffs is if they have a repeat of that fortuitous defense they had last season. I just don't see it. The true question they will need to answer this season is if Alex Smith is worth giving a big deal to.


                                                                                                                                                Oakland Raiders: 4-12

They had a very good draft and picked up some good veterans in the off season but they also have one of the hardest schedules in the NFL. It will be a tough rebuilding season but they have brought in some really good pieces for the future. Raider fans can only hope Carr is their man. 

2014-2015 NFC Predictions


NFC North


Green Bay Packers : 12-4

  • If Aaron stays healthy they are the best team in this division, just imagine what Lacy will be able to do when the best QB in the game is playing for a full season.


Chicago Bears : 11- 5

  • If the O-line can keep up and open holes for Forte this could possibly be a top 3 offense in the NFL. Its clear they are the best WR duo who should continue to light it up next year. The defense is a liability but this team will go as far Cutler can take them. 


Detroit Lions : 7-9

  • Sorry Lion fans, Stafford isnt the answer. Bush is fragile and wont play a full season and that defense will get shredded. Its sad to watch one of the all time greats Calvin not getting a chance to perform in the playoffs.


Minnesota Vikings : 4-12

  • Only way the Vikings make the post season is by a herculean performance from Peterson.  There wasn't much of an improvement in the off season in our secondary. Unless Bridgewater starts and highly exceeds expectations the Vikings will be in for another great season to watch, yay. 

NFC South


New Orleans Saints: 13-3

  • The Saints were top 10 on both sides of the ball last year, they will miss Sproles but it shouldnt hurt this high powered offense to much. They are the clear favorites in this division.


Atlanta Falcons : 9-7

  • Everything that could go wrong for this team went wrong last year, injures, injuries, and more injuries. They will be fine this year, Julio is a top 5 WR when healthy and they had a great draft helping out their O-line. 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers : 8-8

  • This team has a lot of talent, they have done a great job the last couple of off seasons and drafts. If this young team can get on the same page they may push for a wild care spot. We find out if Glennon is the man this year.

Carolina Panthers : 7-9

  • Goodbye Carolina, at least you were relevant for a year. Cam Newton isnt a guy who makes receivers better and he isnt a guy who can lead you to the playoffs a lone. They have no receivers, they drafted Kelvin Benjamin in the 1st round..... with 4 WR left who were miles ahead of him. Lets just say they failed hard in the draft and lost all of their WR's who were already mediocre to start with. The defense is great but cant carry this offense with a QB who will try to do to much and just turn the ball over in the process.

NFC East  


Dallas Cowboys : 10-6

  • Well, 10-6. I may be a bit crazy but I think this is the year they finally avoid the last season collapse and the 8-8 trap. Dez and Tony will light it up and win a weak division, I dont see them making much noise in the post season probably losing their first game but hey a division title is better than nothing right?


Philadelphia Eagles : 9-7

  • I like Nick Foles and think he can be a very good QB for years to come but Im not sold that he can repeat his last years performance. Losing Jackson will be a huge loss,but they did very well in the draft to try and replace him and they can definitely win this division. If Sproles and McCoy can find a way to be effective together than this team can be dangerous on the offensive side of the ball.


Washington Redskins : 6-10

  • This team was terrible last season and I almost feel as if 6 wins is a little to much. RG3 could possibly be the next Vince Young, if you dont remember Young won rookie of the year only to disappear and fall off the map. The defense was just so bad there is no way I see it all changing in a year. 


New York Giants : 5-11

  • Crazy knowing Eli Manning has two rings. May go down as one of the worst Qb's to win multiple rings. Dont be surprised when he leads the league in INTS again and Tom may finally retire.

NFC West


Seattle Seahawks : 14-2

  • What is there to say about this team, they dominated the AFC's best team, they haven't lost anybody to big and they get a full season of Harvin. I dont see them slowing down. 


San Francisco 49ers : 13-3

  • The 49ers have loaded up at receiver and were a finger tip away from the Super Bowl last year. I still think this is the most dangerous team in the NFL, they need Aldon Smith but he cant seem to stay out of trouble. Colin has to improve or they will never top the Seahawks. 


St. Louis Rams : 10- 6

  • Sam Bradford was on fire last season before going down. If he stays healthy watch out for this team. They had the best draft this year and could have possibly created the deadliest D-Line in the NFL. Zac Stacy could be a star, this team will be fun to watch.


Arizona Cardinals : 7-9

  • I dont trust Carson Palmer, he did well last year but not enough to win in the toughest division in the NFL. I like the Logan Thomas pick in the 5th round but they had so many chances to grab some better options. Dont be surprised when Palmers is battling with Eli Manning for the most picks next season. 

1 . Houston Texans-  Jadevon Clowney DE

  • You cant pass up on a talent like this, Clowney and Watt on the edges will be lethal. D-Line wins rings. 


2. St Louis Rams-  Greg Robinson OT

  • Tough choice here between Robinson and Jake Matthews the Rams cant go wrong with either one, they need to polish up their O-line.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Johnny Manziel QB

  • I believe Johnny is the best QB in this draft, now do I think he can turn around this franchise.......


4. Cleveland Browns - Sammy Watkins WR

  • Watkins, Gordon and Cameron. Imagine having to defend against that receiving corp. I actually expect the Browns to fight for the playoffs next year and Watkins will have it easy adjusting to the NFL next year with Josh Gordon needing so much attention after the year he had.


5. Oakland Raiders - Blake Bortles QB

  • I am hoping Bortles falls to 8 to become a Viking but he wont make it that far down. He will be able to sit behind Schaub for a year or two which will be good for him but his best fit would have been with the Vikings.


6. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews OT

  • The O-Line was one of the many reasons the Falcons were terrible last year, Matt Ryan lived on the ground.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans WR

  • Pretty clear after getting rid of Williams they will be in the hunt for a WR with their first pick here. 


8. Minnesota Vikings - Khalil Mack OLB

  • The second best player in this draft. The Vikings are in desperate need of LB's, with Greenway their only decent LB and even his play has been iffy. I think the Vikings pass on a QB in the 1st round and shoot for a Zach Mettenberger in the second round unless of course Manziel or Bortles falls to 8.


9. Buffalo Bills- Eric Ebron TE

  • Ebron will be able to take the pressure of those young WR in Buffalo and EJ. Could see them going LB here as well. 


10. Detroit Lions- Justin Gilbert CB

  • The best corner back in this draft. Playing in a division with great WR's this is a must for the Lions who are very suspect in the secondary. 


11.  Tennessee Titans - Anthony Barr OLB

  • They need a SAM LB/edge rusher. I believe this will be their guy, could be a risky pick up though


12.  New York Giants - Taylor Lewan OT

  • They need to be able to protect Manning and run the ball a lot better in this upcoming year, this pick up will help. 


13. St Louis Rams - Hasean Clinton Dix FS

  • This guy has incredible wing span and good speed. He is a plug in safety and will be a great starter for a team that needs help on the back end.


14. Chicago Bears - Aaron Donald DT

  • The perfect fit for the Bears Tampa 2 Scheme. They need to strengthen that D-Line


15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Darqueze Dennard CB

  • Ike Taylor's days as a number 1 corner are almost numbered, the Steelers who desperately need some help at the corner position may find their guy to take over here at 15.


16. Dallas Cowboys - Timmy Jernigan DT

  • Their D-Line is a wreck, they need a lot of help on the defensive side but I believe they need to start on the inside. Jernigan will step in and start from day one.


17. Baltimore Ravens - Zack Martin OT

  • Obviously if you watched the Ravens last season its is clear they need help on the O-line. They will pick the best OT left at 17.


18. New York Jets- Odell Beckham

  • They need some explosion on the outside. Smith needs all the help he can get, this will be a nice addition to a team that lacks offensive power.


19. Miami Dolphins-  CJ Mosley ILB

  • They need help at the LB position, they want an OT but with the better tackles already gone they will fill another need with CJ.


20. Arizona Cardinals - Kony Ealy DE

  • This guy can play on the outside and inside, he will be able to learn from Docket and be a great add to one of the better defenses in the NFL. 


21. Green Bay Packers- Ryan Shazier OLB

  • They need some speed on that D and Shazier will be able to blitz off the edge which as we all know Capers loves to do, he will be a good add to a defense that needs a lot of help.


22. Philadelphia Eagles - Brandon Cooks WR

  • He has a game similar to Desean Jackson. The guy had over 120 receptions last year so he is a reliable target. I could see them going for a CB as well. 


23. Kansas City Chiefs - Marqise Lee WR

  • A very dynamic WR on a team who outside of Charles doesnt have any play makers. This will help take some pressure of Bowe.


24. Cincinnati Bengals - Kyle Fuller CB

  • Age is starting to catch up with this position for the Bengals, they need some youth here.


25. San Diego Chargers- Louis Nix DT

  • Pretty clear they will go for the best DT and this seems to be that guy as of now. 


26. Cleveland Browns - Teddy Bridgewater QB

  • Brdigewater or Carr should fall to this spot and the Browns know this. They drafted the best WR in the Draft and now they find their QB here at 26. Im not sure about Bridgewater as there are many questions that need to be answered but at 26 how can you pass up a guy who before his pro day was a lock to go in the top 10.


27. New Orleans Saints - Dee Ford DE

  • The Saints rush could use a nice complement to Cameron Jordan, Dee Ford was amazing to watch at the Senior bowl, he was so dominate and the Rob Ryan would love to have him here at 27.


28. Carolina Panthers- Cyrus Kouandjio OT

  • They lost their blind side protector and need to find a replacement. They really need a WR but unfortunatly for them by the time they get on the clock their guys wont be available so its better to go with the safe pick. 


29. New England Patriots- Ra' Shede Hageman DT

  • Bill loves drafting DT in the 1st round and with Wilfork getting older and banged up they need a solid young guy to step in there.


30.  San Francisco 49ers - Jason Verret CB

  • I have them taking Verret but with all the Aldon Smith drama they may need to look at a LB. 


31. Denver Broncos - Xavier Su'a Filo OG

  • I dont see how you can ignore that O-line after it got demolished by Seattle. They need help and he is a big body.


32.  Seattle Seahawks - Kelvin Benjamin WR

  • I went back and forth between Morgan Mosses and Kelvin. The loss of Tate will need to be addressed so adding this red zone threat should help but I would not be surprised if they went O-line here.