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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

12th Man
Was it the crowd noise, or the traveling fan base making noise, or was it Pete Carroll having the choice of the best available players as coach of USC, throughout the United States, that brought Seattle it's first Super Bowl Championship.  Well ... if you're part of the Viking faithful ... the answer is clear.  Seattle's 12th man is nothing more than a myth because as we all can attest that when things are going well, the din is substantial, however when things aren't going well, you can hear a cricket scratch his hind quarters.  Poor Percy Harvin, who had to give up his precious #12 for nothing more than a myth.  If you look back into the Ghost's commentary, you'll see that #11 would be nothing but bad luck for Percy.  Sure he had a Super Bowl return touchdown, and a return touchdown versus the Vikings, but he also had one tumult of a season to go along with it.  What did the Ghost's past commentary say about Mr. Rodgers?

There once was a 12th man.  As a child I would hope and dream of snow or the calling card of the icy winds of the north.  In anticipation of that first image, prior to kickoff ... showing the elements of the day ... relief would come with that calling card.  You see as kids into our young adulthood we played in the snow and ice as football was made to be played.  The images of these days were seared into our memories.  Sure we had fun in the late summer and fall but nothing compared to playing on a ice and snow ... man versus man.  My first teeth were cut knowing that real men play outdoors where the first site of the Metro Dome brought on the absolute emptiness of a sterility.  Sure, old Burnsie (our offensive coordinator) was chomping at the bit, knowing that on a fast carpet, with a controlled environment that the game stats would explode ... but at what cost.  It short, it made great stats for personal stats and to protect offensive coordinators however we haven't made a Super Bowl appearance since that 76 season.  With this in mind, fans should have ripped off that dome with their bare hands.  

From the beginning, I absolutely hated that Teflon ceiling.  For over 30 years I can't think of a time where I wasn't figuratively shaking my hands at the heavens in disgust.  By moving from my beloved Met, you had taken something that could never be replaced by playing in any dome.  In time, the aberration of the 12th man returned in the form of dome noise but the effect was fickle ... and all the old salts were left wanting .  The false 12th man came and left like a petulant child not wanting to see the ugliness of truths.  On more than one occasion, many of all had hoped beyond all hope that that ceiling would be ripped off by a Viking storm ... never to return ... but by the time that day had come, we were so far from our Viking past, as to be foreign upon its soil.

You see, when the true 12th man comes calling ... his calling card is unmistakable.  Once he arrives, he is your constant companion and tormentor.  He affects all 6 senses simultaneously and tests your endurance with every step.  He just doesn't pick up and leave based upon momentum or some fickle fleet footed child.  When the Inquisitor of the North finally arrives, this is when the character of true men reveal themselves and is why the men that I emulated in my life, in play, where neither black, white, yellow or green ... they were Vikings of a past era.  To be direct ... I still emulate them every day of my life as I know no other or better way.  Sure ... the 12th man also found its way to Green Bay ... and every year ... regardless of record ... we'd played even-up year after year as the almost identical overall records indicated, however the true 12th man originated only on one field ... at the Met ... as the Lombardi years had long since past.  Since going indoors, the overall record has not only reversed ... it has compounded.

Now I think of players like Jared Allen and Kevin Williams and what could have been had they chosen to become apart of this ... but I fear their heads are now turned in different directions.  Sure, it's not going to be thick solid frozen icy turf as it once was due to the below surface piping but you'd be as close to the 12th man as could be possible ... under the NFL's meddling.  No, playing outdoors in Kansas City is not the same as playing outdoors in Minnesota.  It's funny how the propaganda ... the fallacies (mis-truths) ... of the 12th man will repel athletes from Minnesota where they should be welcoming it.  There is no greater ally to a defense ... as the bite causes mishaps ... on a grand scale.  The good news is that my son will no longer be disgraced by the team that they have become but can no look forward to a team that he can firmly identify with ... a team he can bounce his son on his knee and recant the glory years.   

Maybe what was most comical of all about the 12th man is that it somehow found a way to traveled with us.  We were once road warriors ... and even if we lost a close one ... there was one unmistakable fact ... they felt our prescence.  How the middle aged now fondly remember the memories of the playoff contest versus the Ram's on their home court in the Mud Bowl (Hey chuckles ... that ain't mud!).  Also, in our January visit to Rice Stadium that just might have been different if it were played on natural grass rather than on Steeler carpet. One just never knows.

The plan is to play the next 2 years outdoors using the University of Minnesota's stadium.  The key question is what if we win an NFL championship in either of those seasons?  What if we become the warriors that we once were?  Will there be some sort of revolt coming back indoors playing INSIDE the SHIP?  Maybe, in time, we'll consider lashing players to the deck {the new roof}, just to get that old time feeling in our bones again to understand what it meant to play outdoors again ... with the gods.   

The Viking Ghost Writer
February 19, 2014