Well, This is Very Exciting:
Who knew, right? What if we were chatting casually over a fine glass of port on a mid-summer's eve, lauding the game of professional football and discussing our favorite collection of athletes to play for the team associated with our state. What if I had told you that, with one game left to play in the upcoming season, our team or Norseman would be holding a 9-6 record, guaranteed a winning record on the season, heading into the final match with our most hated cheese eating rivals, looking to go 10-6 with a guaranteed playoff spot on the horizon? Would you put your Cuban cigar out in my eye? Would you guffaw loudly from your leather chair while holding your stomach? Would you become prickly, kindly put your port on the teak wood side table, stand while whipping your ascot back over your shoulder, and say "I'VE HEARD ENOUGH OF YOUR LIES, SIR. GOOD DAY"? Because I probably would have if you were to tell me the Vikings would be in this situation months ago.
But here we are. The playoffs are coming. A Viking always pays his debts. Playing strong. Let's get crazy in this *****.
Thanks to ShowdownPokerGuy for another great game day preview graphic!
Burn Everything, Wisconsin:
The amount of times that the entire state of Wisconsin gets away with sporting perks is absolutely ridiculous. They're playing in a god damn Rose Bowl game this year because the Big Ten sucked so bad. The team going instead literally could have been anyone else. Purdue would have made just as much sense. And now they have the Packers as perennial playoff contenders all because Aaron Rodgers knows how to meat tug a ref in order to get the ******** calls he wants. It is the worst, and the state is the worst. I lined up spending a delayed family Christmas with in-laws form Wisconsin on Sunday during the game months ago, because I figured why not? The Vikings suck, the Packers will have a playoff spot wrapped up, it'll be a friendly game that doesn't matter. BUT NOW IT DOES AND I'VE MADE A HORRIBLE MISTAKE AND I WANT TO TAKE MY DECISION BACK. So that should be fun. I'm just not sure yet how I'm going to rub my dick in extended family's faces once we win, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.
But I Got a Bad Feeling About This:
A little bit, at least. Everyone is getting pretty jacked up for this game. On one hand, that can be great. As Chad Greenway has pointed out before, the drunker the fans are the more intense it is in Zygi's Hood. But there's also a pretty huge hill of expectations to climb now. Will the Vikings FUBAR it? Will Ponder be so nervous he throws up on the field? When the Packers eventually take a 14-0 lead on us will the team and fans become sober real quick? I don't know ... I don't quite know how the game is going to play out. I mean, this is essentially a playoff game for us, single elimination, so it should have a similar atmosphere, if not even better. How the team handles it will be pretty telling about how great of a coach Leslie Frazier actually is, which is also something else we need to figure out. I mean, he can't be that great though, because having Percy Harvin on the roster right now, even at 75%, would be pretty bonkers.
Oh, and There's Adrian Peterson's Thing Too:
Adrian Peterson is 208 yards away from breaking the all-time NFL single season rushing record. That's pretty impressive, regardless of what happens. He's only 102 yards away from hitting the 2,000 rushing yards in a season mark too, which is also pretty awesome. The last time he played the Packers earlier this season, in Lambeau, he ran for a cool 210, so we know meeting all of these goals is achievable. Even Peterson is sounding pretty confident that he can reach this goal. I don't know if he will, largely because the Pack will be so keyed in on him that ripping off 200+ seems like a stretch, but damn if he won't try. And damn if I won't be cheering him the entire way. Do I want him to break the record at the detriment of a team win? .... Maybe? Kind of? ... But a win and a playoff spot would be an awful nice consolation prize.
Dolan Comic of the Week:
I don't know why I chose this Dolan comic this week. I made the excuse in my head that Gooby is like the Packers, where they are coming into our home over the weekend, need a place to play, and so they have to play in our stadium. They want a nice a clean game though, no funny stuff, and we're all like, "Sure, guys, no problem, we're not going to Chloroform you and stick your butts, or have Brian Robison kick you in your penis or anything dirty like that!" Except we are, because we be trolling mother ******* all year long. Also, the fact that his couch is broken as indicated by a hanging "Borked" sign got me good.
Scotch of the Week:
I received a wonderful Christmas present this holiday season of a scotch review book from acclaimed alcoholic Michael Jackson, which is just an unfortunate name for a person. It's pretty good though, and covers pretty much every variation of every scotch you could ever think. Oh, random bottling of a Balvenie that only four people have ever actually laid their eyes on, let alone drank? Here's our review! Very thorough, to say the least. That will be for another day though, as I'm still pulling this last scotch, the Edradour 12 Year out of the vaults. I'm checking this one out because it's a Highland scotch which I got all the boners for, and because it reminds me of the city of Erebor from the Hobbit, which I just saw and thoroughly enjoyed, although not in High Frame Rate, so screw you haterz. Anyway, the Edradour has sherry notes, some dried fruit, isn't too peaty, and has a bite on the middle-lasting finish. It's 46% ABV but drinks heavier than that, so you know it's good. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Win and You're in Predictions:
HOLY ****. OK, let me get this out of the way first. I think we win. I don't know why or how, but I think we do. I haven't even dreamed of another world for the past week where we aren't playing again the following week in the playoffs. I've visualized these events occurring so god damn hard that I'll be concussed probably if it doesn't all come to fruition. I'm so sure the Vikings are firing at all cylinders that I haven't even really thought about this opponent as being the Packers, really, it just seems like another bunch of assholes that we're going to ram our Vikings' spears through and call it a day. Now THAT's confidence!
That's also of course when the Vikings like to let us down the most. There's obviously no promise they win, and I think we've been lulled into a false sense of security after smoking the Texans. I mean, it's not like Christian Ponder had a great game against them that should make us all think he can hold his own against the Packers now. They've gotten better too, with a lot of guys coming back from injury, and recently dropping a billion points against the Titans. Why do I think we're going to hold this team in check?
I don't know, but I do. I always assume we're going to split season series against division rivals, and I still think that can happen. I mean, we HAVE to, or I'll probably weep into my collection of mason jars. I think Little Big Leg is good for at least four field goals, Peterson is solid for a touchdown, and a Ponder-to-Rudolph TD seems inevitable. So the question is, are 26 points enough to win against the Packers? ... Dammit, I had 27 as the point where I felt comfortable at before writing this, so I'm not sure. I think we pull it out thanks to Mason Crosby being a huge **** sucker, but it's going to be a hell of a nail biter, that's for sure. Just pray to Purple Jesus and everything will be OK.
Enjoy the game folks. We'll have a game thread for the day to share your thoughts/dreams/tears, and a game recap on Monday. See you all then.