It’s not you, it’s me.
I have trust issues. I see you working so hard, winning seven of eight games this year, and I’m so proud of you. I want to believe you’ll beat the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, that you’ll storm through the playoffs, that you’ll get back to the Super Bowl, that you’ll finally deliver the Lombardi Trophy to us all here in Minneapolis.
I try every day to ignore the facts. That it’s been 46 years since your last Super Bowl appearance. That you’re 0-4 in the Big Game. That you’ve never once given me flowers or told me how nice my purple and gold fan jersey looks. I want to believe in you, I really do.
I want to believe that Kirk Cousins has become a new, fun-loving, chain-wearing leader who will satisfy even the most ardent Kirk-haters out there, for the rest of the season and beyond. I want to believe our offensive line is officially “fixed”.
I want to believe that the young members of our defensive secondary are talented enough, and deep enough, to weather injuries and somehow prevent Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and the rest of the Bills’ all-world passing attack from imploding our hopes and dreams.
Maybe it’s just a character flaw. Maybe I’m incapable of truly trusting. But when I look at you, look beneath the purple helmets, and deeply into your Pro-Football-Reference.com web page, I just can’t make myself believe in you.
Oh, sure, I have believed in you recently, watching you win six games in a row. It’s been days of wine and roses, it’s so romantic how each game is so tense and yet so satisfying when you win in the end. It’s been fun to spend time with you, and watch you bravely come back over again.
But deep down I think I’ve known that you were miraculously pulling rabbits out of your hat against the Bears and the Commanders, the Lions and the Cardinals. Six teams with a collective 21-32 record.
I thought maybe the Miami game would give you an opportunity to prove your worthiness, but when they showed up with their second-string quarterback at the helm, I knew it was going to be an empty gesture to post the win. I would still love every minute of it, but I would not suddenly think everything had changed. In my heart I would still doubt you. The Philadelphia game was still on my mind. And, the upcoming Bills-Vikings game too.
Again, it’s not you, it’s me. I expect too much. I see you valiantly coming back to seal your victories against those subpar opponents, and all I can think is, “shouldn’t they have won more easily?”. Your average yardage/game is ranked 16th in the NFL, and you allow the 7th most yards/game in the league.
I see you giving up 350+ yards of offense in four out of your eight games and think, “can a Super Bowl contender beat first class teams with a ‘bend but don’t break’ defensive approach?”. How can I trust a team that has been mired in mediocrity for years, then goes 7-1 but continues to show the same mediocre team statistics underneath?
I feel like you’re not showing me the real you. You’re showing a version of who you want me to think you are, and I’ve come very close to falling for that before. I’ve seen you lose four Super Bowls, and then lose six consecutive NFC Championship Games. I’ve seen Gary Anderson miss wide right; I’ve seen 41-0. I’ve seen Randy Moss and Brett Favre and Herschel Walker and Case Keenum all tease me into believing, only to be disappointed time and time again.
You know what, Minnesota Vikings? It’s not me. It’s not me at all. IT’S YOU! IT’S ALL YOU!
You can’t win a half-dozen games in a row and expect me to believe in you! I’ve made that mistake too many times before. You want me to believe in you? You want me to love you? Then prove to me you’re worthy of my love. Win the Vikings-Bills showdown! If you can’t do that, then I’ll know you’re just a poser, posing once again, building me up only to let me down. I can’t do it again! I won’t do it again!
Or, will I? Trust isn’t my only issue. There’s also my longstanding addiction to purple.