The Green Bay Packers are trying to do something this year that only one other team in history has ever done: Go 16-0 in an NFL regular season. If they succeed in this, they will have a chance to join the vaunted 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only two teams to ever run the table all the way through the Super Bowl. Needless to say, if this horrendous perfect championship season indeed comes to pass for the Packers, it will be the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world.
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating. The asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs? That was maybe worse. All the wars and famines and genocides? Also probably farther up on the Major Bummer Scale. Kim Kardashian’s marriage? Another disaster possibly worthy of more weeping and lamentation than the Packers going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl.
If I did exaggerate it was only to make a point: The Packers running the table would be awful, especially for Viking fans who not only are still waiting for their own first taste of championship glory but, even worse, are currently facing the very real prospect of the team being moved altogether. I can’t really imagine a more horrific convergence of circumstances than the Packers putting up the most historic season of all while the Vikings are simultaneously preparing to pack up the moving vans and ship everything to Los Angeles. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Okay I grant, the chances of the Vikings actually moving after this season are slim to none. But the future beyond next year remains cloudy indeed. The stadium issue seems to be poisoning everything right now, tainting even the joy of a solid road win over the Panthers. But I can think of something that would, at least momentarily, dispel all the vile bitterness and bring the sweet taste of triumph back to Viking fans’ mouths:
Knocking those damn Packers off on Monday night and completely destroying their dream of a perfect season.
Let’s face it kids: We don’t have much else to root for. Oh sure, you could go the super-smarmy route and root for the team to lose on purpose for the sake of a higher draft pick. But you know what? I’d rather abandon the team entirely and start cheering for the Lions. To me there is nothing more cynical and frankly vomit-inducing than the Suck for Whoever approach. Any cause that requires me to actively wish ill-fortune upon my team is not one I will ever support. I didn’t root for bad things last year just to get rid of Childress, and I won’t root for bad things this year just for the chance to land some beefy offensive tackle or speedy wide receiver I’ve never heard of.
I’m going to root for the team no matter what. But even I have to admit, sometimes it gets hard to find motivation. In a year like this, with the playoffs a laughably distant dream and even .500 looking about as likely as Chris Berman getting a new routine, there’s not much to get your blood up. Sure, you can root for Jared Allen to break the sack record or Adrian Peterson to accumulate some sick stats, but those are individual achievements. Team-wise, sniffing out worthwhile goals to strive for is more difficult than finding accountability at Penn State.
This is where the old spoiler role comes in. If the Vikings can’t win anything for themselves, they can darn sure ruin things for somebody else. And Monday they will have maybe the greatest spoiler opportunity any fan could ask for. They have a chance to make sure the Packers don’t go 16-0. They have a shot at derailing history.
Imagine how delicious it would be. Countless Packer fans all geeked about the thought of their team not only winning another Lombardi but putting together the greatest season arguably in the history of team sports. And then the Vikings roll into Lambeau Field, all miserable at 2-6, and stick it right to Green Bay, crushing those perfect season dreams like an old beer can under a pick-up tire. Sure, the Vikings would still be way out of everything at 3-6, but who would care? Even if they lost out the rest of the season, finishing a horrid 3-13, at least they could say they stopped the Packers’ streak.
I was actually rooting for the Packers to beat San Diego on Sunday, just so they could carry their perfect record into Monday night. I want this chance at ruining history. I want to see Christian Ponder tear up that cruddy Packers secondary. I want to see Jared Allen torch Chad Clifton or Marshall Newhouse or Marshall Crenshaw or whatever poor dope the Packers put at left tackle and chase down Aaron Rodgers and drag him shrieking to the turf. I want to see Adrian Peterson truck A.J. Hawk or Clay Matthews or whatever other filthy long-haired Packer linebackers are silly enough to get in his way. I want carnage. I want devastation. I want a stadium filled with drunk, weeping Packer fans who realize they will now have to settle for 15-1.
I realize how pitiful this probably sounds, hoping to get satisfaction from the misery of others simply because my team stinks, but I don’t care. As I said before, there isn’t a whole lot left. And anyway, it’s not like I’m wishing for human beings to suffer here. These are Packer fans. Scientifically speaking, they are not human. I should know: I live among them. The smell alone should be proof enough that evolution left these folks behind. And the foam cheeseheads. I mean seriously. You’re a grown man and you wear that on your head?
Oh yes. Cheesehead tears. They will flow after Monday night, flow like sweet nectar, and I will drink them down, and I will not apologize. Of course I will understand that things aren’t really any better for my team in spite of the win, but I won’t care, because at least the Packers won’t be able to go 16-0 and thereby achieve a truly cosmic level of insufferableness. I will be content with that.