There are a few reasons that the NFL is still the king of sports. Other sports are creeping up in popularity and the NFL does plenty of things that make you want to hate it (IE ignoring concussions, making dumb rule changes, having almost exclusively old racist owners with a puppet Commissioner), but they definitely do a few things right.
First, the NFL will always benefit from having a reliable 17 week season. The NBA, NHL and most certainly MLB seasons will always be far too long to keep a casual fan’s interest.
Second, and what I want to focus on, the nature of the game is polarity. There are 7 (out of 12) new playoff teams this year from last year and you might notice that your Minnesota Vikings didn’t make the cut.
Now, let’s flashback to the summer of 2018. Ahhh what a time to be alive. The Vikings were coming off a 13-3 season where everything seemed to somehow work out perfectly. We had a backup quarterback, a backup running back, a makeshift offensive line and a great defense. We had the Minneapolis Miracle.
Add onto that historic Viking season a franchise quarterback, a potential star running back, a stout defensive tackle, a new exciting and innovative offensive coordinator, and that same great defense… Man everyone’s heads were way up in the clouds.
Conversations usually were focused on “NFC Title game or bust” among fans. Coaches and players were thinking Super Bowl. Sports Books had the Vikings tied for 2nd in Super Bowl odds. It was considered blasphemous to even consider that the Vikings could have a drop off this season.
The reality, like I referenced earlier, is that nothing is promised in the NFL year over year. You might have the best coach, the best players and the best fans and things don’t pan out the way you think they are going to.
Minnesota made a lot of moves on paper that made sense. Signing the best option on the market at QB in Kirk Cousins, extending key defensive players, signing DT Sheldon Richardson, hiring John DeFilippo as the Offensive Coordinator; these were good decisions. They might even prove to be fruitful in the 2019 season.
Unfortunately, things just didn’t work at all and unless you’re the New England Patriots, that is just the way it goes. Thankfully, even at my young age I understand this and can accept the bad with the good. “The Cardinals knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs!” “He missed it. Blair Walsh missed it wide left.” “Brett Favre throws across his body and it’s been intercepted.”
Better luck next year Vikings, but who are we kidding?