Brian Matuszak column: Fall, Winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas: Does anyone really know what time it is?So do you ever forget what season it is? It’s easy to get confused here at the end of the year with the sun acting like an impatient teenager at the zoo (“Cool bear, dude, but I gotta go ...”) as fall quickly transforms into winter.
So do you ever forget what season it is? It’s easy to get confused here at the end of the year with the sun acting like an impatient teenager at the zoo (“Cool bear, dude, but I gotta go ...”) as fall quickly transforms into winter.
It’s even harder to keep track during the holiday season as Thanksgiving gets steamrolled and tossed into the harbor while Bentleyville’s bright lights burn the arrival of Christmas into our corneas, even though
the calendar still reads “November.”
But this is also the time of year when we find ourselves in the middle of another long, cold, arduous season that tests the limits of our patience and stretches our humanity to the breaking point. I’m talking, of course, about Minnesota Vikings season.
Every year, from September through December, we Vikings fans get our hopes crushed like ants beneath the feet of the football gods. Some years start out with a couple of quick wins, and we’re smiling in September, perhaps a feeling of fun will even carry us over into the first couple of weeks of October.
But usually come November, certainly by the bitter cold of December, that fun explodes in our faces and leaves us emotionally scarred for the rest of the winter. Rarely — VERY rarely— the season is fantastic (1998, 2009) and the soul crushing doesn’t happen until the playoffs.
And then there are years like the one we are currently experiencing ....
The Vikings tripped over themselves running out of the locker room and face-planted from Day One. A good time has been had by no one except our weekly opponents and their fans.
The Purple turned putrid so pronto, my Fall Sundays were suddenly open and I had no excuse that enabled me to get out of visiting fabric stores or giving opinions on blouses at Old Navy.
Thank you for that, Christian Ponder & Company. Thanks very much.
But even if the Vikings stink like lukewarm smelt appetizers, Twin Ports fans still get geeked up for those two times a year we have a border battle against the Green Bay Packers. That was apparent last week when Sue and I found ourselves killing some time at the Miller Hill Mall.
The big game was playing on a TV in one of those kiosks out in the hallway. The Vikings had a big lead the first time we walked by, and a couple of men were standing around the perimeter, idly watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Later, when I heard the Packers had their inevitable fourth quarter rally going, we stopped back to see what was happening.
The crowd had grown and was much more energetic; a community of Vikings fans, both young and old, who were certain in the knowledge that doom was about to descend upon Lambeau Field.
Cheers would erupt on Minnesota positive plays, quickly followed by disparaging remarks and harsh groans during Minnesota miscues. Near the end of the game, as Green Bay picked up a crucial first down, two previously hidden Packer fans who couldn’t contain themselves any longer let loose with a loud WHOO HOO!
We all turned to look at them, but no one was angry. Who could blame them? You feel giddy when your team does well. I know I did, for most of 2009.
And even though the Vikings were about to commit their next implosion of 2013, it was exciting to be a part of a group and sharing the pain, and the pleasure, of this particular Sunday matchup.
Of course, the game ended in a tie and we were even more discombobulated than before, but what are you gonna do?
It’s that time of the year.
Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and invites you to follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater or “like” him on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater. He has no doubt he will watch the Vikings again next year, spending the year muttering his favorite football phrase: “Just one before I die.”