Viking fans don’t have to worry about finding themselves a Valentine on Valentine’s Day. We already have a Valentine. His name is Mike Zimmer.
Viking fans are hopelessly in love with Mike Zimmer. We have been in love with Mike Zimmer since before the Vikings even hired him.
Mike Zimmer had us at “You better quit bull sh****ng around. I’m not having this bull s**t.”
After three years of bland, non-confrontational, soft-spoken Leslie Frazier, Zimmer’s colorful Hard Knocks language was like sweet poetry shouted in our ear.
That ringing? That is the sound of love.
After the cold and distant Frazier, here comes Zimmer to warm our hearts, with verbal abuse. And fieryness
We love him we love him we love him. We can’t even count the ways.
The cynic will argue that this is all a little premature. Shouldn’t Zimmer at least win a game or two before the fans hand him their hearts on a silver platter?
Aren’t fans worried they are giving their hearts away a little too easily, setting themselves up to be crushed all over again?
If this is what you’re thinking, then you just don’t understand Viking fans.
We don’t worry about the pain that might come later. All that matters is the joy. The ecstasy of expectation.
So what if Mike Zimmer has never won a game as a head coach or even been a head coach? So what if he’s proven absolutely nothing?
So what if the team he’s taking over has no quarterback, a decimated defense and no stadium of its own for the next two years?
Since when has love ever had anything to do with reality? Love is all about wanting. We want Mike Zimmer to be great. We love the way he talks. We love his demeanor. His reputation as a fiery leader who brooks no nonsense and takes no prisoners. And swears a lot.
We love that he is not boring like Leslie Frazier or Brad Childress.
Waiting to see what he does and then making up our minds would not be true to the spirit of fandom. It would certainly not be true to the spirit of Valentine’s Day, which is all about building something up in your mind without worrying that it might get torn down later.
So we’ve made up our minds. Mike Zimmer is dreamy. Mike Zimmer is cool. Mike Zimmer is going to take our hands, swear in our faces and lead us to the promised land.
And if things go wrong and Zimmer doesn’t live up to his promise and we end up heartbroken and devastated all over again?
We’ll just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and find someone new to crush on (Jim Harbaugh won’t want to stay in San Francisco forever, will he?).
That’s how it works. That’s how it has always worked. It has never made sense. It’s not supposed to make sense.