Dear Vikings fans:
Let us not grind our teeth about the two brutal calls in overtime by Peter Morelli's officiating crew (the Ben Leber pass interference call/upholding the ruling that Robert Meachem, indeed, made that second-and-14 catch) in Sunday's devastating 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
And let us not stew over the last three plays calls as the Vikings were driving for a game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter, or the offence's mistake-prone ways, which contributed plenty to yet another Vikings loss in an NFC Championship game.
Instead, let me throw out this hypothetical situation to all of you.
Let's say the god of professional football came to you tonight and offered you two choices regarding your favorite NFL franchise.
The choices were:
1. A guarantee that from now until as long as the Vikings exist, they will always be competitive, make regular playoff appearances, regularly win divisional titles and they will occasionally be one of the elite teams in the NFL.
However, in exchange for being regularly good, this god will not guarantee the Vikings will ever win a league championship.
2. No guarantee that the Vikings will be regularly competitive. No guarantee they will not make regular playoff appearances and they may even go through long stretches where they are among the dregs of the league and have no hope of making the playoffs (like the Detroit Lions.)
However, to make up for all the potential suffering and empty Sunday's cheering for the Vikings, this god will guarantee the Vikings will win at least one league championship in your lifetime.
What option would you choose?
After the Vikings lost another NFC Championship game Sunday evening in gut-wrenching fashion, I'm leaning – heavily – towards option #2.
With a winning percentage of .555 – sixth best among NFL franchises – and having made the playoffs in 26 different seasons, the Vikings are often a good, sometimes great, football franchise.
During their history, they have generally been well run and only rarely have they fielded teams that sucked on the magnitude of the 2008-2009 Detroit Lions.
This kind of consistent competitiveness is what fills every Viking fan every August with hope that this year could actually be the year.
But we also know how each year since 1961 has ended – with no Super Bowl or league championship. And so we get to hear from Packer fans, Cowboy fans, Raider fans, Steeler fans, geez, even Buccaneer and Rams fans say, "Well, what has your team ever won?
The Vikings have done it all in the NFL, except the one thing that really matters – winning a Super Bowl – and that drought continues. After today's events, I'm staring to really doubt if they will ever win it.
And that's why, right now, I'd be ready to accept option #2 even if it meant the Vikings went 0-16 every season for the next decade. At least I'd know at some point, despite all that ugliness, I'd finally witness the Vikings winning a Super Bowl.
That's better than what I'm experiencing now.
How about you?