Jamsco asked me to consider presenting an argument for supporting Tebow and the Broncos versus an argument for supporting the Vikings. I rejected that because there is absolutely no chance I would ever support any team against the Vikings. I find The Miracle of Tebow to be even more entertaining than the Tarvaris Jackson Experiment, and I wish the young man well in general, but against the Vikings?
Never. The only circumstance in which I might consider supporting another team against the Vikings is if one of my children was playing against them. And even then, I’d probably hope for an excellent individual performance in defeat.
However, I can say that seeing the Vikings lose to Tebow and the Broncos on Sunday would be less painful than most historical Vikings defeats. I rank Vikings defeats on the following 10-point pain scale:
10- Dallas Hail-Mary game. Pearson absolutely committed offensive pass interference.
9 – Oakland. Super Bowl XI.
8 – Atlanta. 38 in 98. This was dreadful, but unlike the other two games, I didn’t actually cry. One of the guys at the bar in Florida did, however.
7 – New Orleans. NFC Championship aka The Greased Pig Game. This probably would have been an 8 if I was younger and was still capable of feeling normal human emotion. Also, New York 41-0. People tend to forget the Vikes were actually favored. Total disaster from the get-go.
6 – New England. The 28-27 game. How do you lose when you’re winning 27-0? Pittsburgh. Super Bowl IX. I didn’t expect the Vikings to win, but I still hoped. Washington. The Darren Nelson drop in the 1987 NFC championship. We would have crushed Denver too.
5 – Any loss to the Packers when the Vikings are favored. And pretty much any loss to the Lions. Not that the Lions are a rival, it’s just that it’s so unexpected.
4 – Arizona. 18-17 in 2003 to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs. Or any playoff loss in a year when the Vikes clearly aren’t good enough to compete.
3 – Any loss to the Packers when the Packers are the better team. Losing then isn’t surprising, it’s just annoying. As are the Packer fans. Or losing after leading by 10 or more in the third quarter. Or any loss in the second half of the season after starting 6-2 or better.
2 – A regular season loss.
1 – A preseason loss.
I would say that a loss to the Broncos would probably be about a 1.5, not because I’m cheering for Tebow, but because the season is shot anyhow and I’d just as soon see Frazier go. I see no reason to have any confidence in him. The Vikings run defense isn’t as epic as it was a few years ago, but it is still a top-10 run defense giving up only 99.6 YPG, which should slow down the top-ranked Denver running attack. The Vikings should win, even without Adrian Peterson, since their weak and wounded pass defense, (missing both starting corners and ranked 29th), should be capable of rising to the challenge posed by Tebow’s arm, and because the Denver defense simply isn’t as good as many casual observers imagine.
By the way, I always support the NFC North team in the playoffs. Bears, then Packers. I hate the NFC West. I don’t hate the NFC East, but I hate the way the media spends half their coverage on the NFC East and the other half on the rest of the league. And the NFC South still strikes me as a nonentity, the Saints one Super Bowl notwithstanding.
Anyhow, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game. You can always judge a player better when you see him play against a team you know well. I do wish Winfield wasn’t on IR; it would be fascinating to see if Denver could run his way or not… I’m betting not, but we won’t be able to find out.