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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

A Generational Thing
February 5th, 2091 at 10:08 ... he draws his final breath ... 97.  Sitting in a dark & still room, watching his wife struggle to caress him in her arms for the last time.  Sitting in the stillness of a dark room ... she finally give up under the weight.  At that moment ... the ball was not fumbled ... it was passed on ... a generational thing.

The Warren Commission announced that all the records would be sealed for 50 years ... National Security.  There was only one entity ... that goes on and on and on ... that would prevent the exposing of its hand.  To man ... it could only be the hand of a corrupt government.  It began the era beyond JFK.  Still the records lie in those same vaults ... held in place by National Security ... as too disturbing to be released to the public ... and still the world sits idle.  To this day there still is no general understanding that both the present and the past have always been linked.  Acceptance ... and the ugliness of contempt.  It began the era of generational things ... which brings us to today.  "It's funny now to think that the events of November 22, 1963 would be forever linked ... generationally ...  with this franchise".  

That extinguished light  ... the one that fought the good fight ... was my grand pap.  My memories flooded back my earliest recollections.  He used bounce me upon his knee saying, "Way back in ought-nine, we had em.  Favre had the world at his feet.  He had his hands around the throats of the organization that spurned him ... but he couldn't do it.  Knowing one day he'd walk the podium in Canton ... he couldn't turn his back and sully the faithful ... the dreaded "Fudge Packers".  With Favre's legacy in peril, his chose instead to sink this mighty Viking ship."  It was a generational thing when his dad would recount tales of 87, 98, 75, 69 and on ... and on ... and on.  There ... and the ghost ... as it's witness.  

The Vikings and the once proud Nation, dating back to 61, have long ago abandoned the twin cities but in the NFL, the franchise goes on ... and on ... and on.  Back in the 20th century, the Cleveland Browns sued the NFL, for the rights to their name and their records, when their franchise uprooted from Cleveland to Baltimore, but it did not change the fact that when the Browns re-entered the league ... The New Cleveland Browns were a new franchise ... where the original franchise ... continues on and on and on.  In 2000 and 2012, Cleveland's franchise ... the franchise of Jim Brown and Otto Graham, and all those 50's championships ... is the franchise that won those two (2) Super Bowls.  A bitter pill to swallow.  There are no special rules in place for just one franchise ... or any new entrant ... as they must earn their keep.  The rest is just talk.  No matter what might be said ... The new Cleveland Browns were an expansion into the NFL ... just like the Houston Texans.  That is how that life force is measured ... law suit be dammed.  A franchise isn't about buying records.  Purchasing a franchise give you the right to create that franchises history.  

"Pap ... How could you put such an investment ... over the years ... into something so futile?  Even the Cubbies finally won it all as was predicted in "Back to the Future".  Man ... the bookies took a beating on that one.  On the other hand, this franchise never won anything ever.  Even your dad ... the one that started this nightmare ... has been dead for years never seeing that Lombardi collecting dust over at Winter Park.  Sure they got close ... but ...?"  With his hand outstretched, as if directing all traffic to stop in its tracks, he spoke with measured words.  "Well over a century ago, this franchise of modest means launched upon the seas ... known as the NFL.  As the story goes, this unique and special cast of characters began to infect this nation with something it had never seen before.  In its wake, it ultimately created Supreme Court Justices, business owners, all combined with an with exemplary list of leaders that is still unmatched to this day.  Individuals, throughout the world found closure ... in pinning their ears back ... and found solace in the statement, "This ain't your fathers Packers".  The effect was somewhat similar to the government attaching a never ending blood sucking leech to your body at birth where we now each carry with us ... each and every day ... a 120 pound parasite upon our backs.  Some like to pretend its not even there ... like putting a curtain over their humped back.  It wasn't something that you could just overlook.  It wasn't attitude ... it wasn't money ... it wasn't all the common dribble ... it was an approach to life.  Now its a generational thing."         

"So why didn't you abandon this franchise when it was ripped away from the twin cities?  You would think after all that futility that you'd find some other outlet for your passion.  You would think that if the twin city would abandoned them ... then why wouldn't you?  Then he uttered, "From my perspective ... that's a funny way to talk ... as if there was some possible way that you could separate yourself from this franchise.  Like you could just detach the governments 120 pound leech.  Wouldn't it just be easier to say, why did God allow this to happen to me?  I'm here to say that every moment of every day I walk with God.  So how anyone ask such a question ... in any capacity???  Your approach to life is always the same.  The franchise could die ... but it could never be abandoned.  Sure it moved from the twin cities ... maybe as just punishment for acceptance ... but it could never move away from the region, let alone the nation.  From its very inception, this franchise was the first to envelope a region ... not just a city ... and that region eventually touched every corner of the globe.  It was destined to be so."     

Then I blurted out, "But it's Futility?"  And then, he stopped me once again and said," This franchise was numero uno, in regard to futility, well before my birth.  It began in the very decade of this franchises birth.  The first to lose four (4) Super Bowl titles, numerous championship games, etc. etc. etc.  There wasn't a more snake bitten franchise that could utter a word.  The only cover for years was Boston Red Sox and the Cubbies.  Then it all became the Supreme Badge of Honor ... Us versus them.  There was no one that could reason or compare their futility ... which left the entire "Nation" standing alone.

"What about the sordid history of the Cardinals?  Wouldn't you say that that was far in away was well beyond this franchise's futility, especially in the early part of the 21st century."  For a moment he caught himself, thinking back, then he said, "Back in the day, my hats were off to those cats, as at the time I could empathies with their pain, but it wasn't the same.  During my dad's era, rarely were the Cardinals ever in the hunt, and when they were ... of course it was special ... but it was just different.  Now we stand alone.  This franchise has always been a class organization ... it seemed like they were always in the hunt.  It's just a different kind of pain.  Year after year ... so close to piercing the veil ... only to come up short.  For many, it was too much causing them to handle it badly.  Drugs, alcohol, anger and abuse was no way to cope with what should have been a very valuable learning experience just like my father experiencing loss after loss on the chess board to his father and uncle until he finally pierced the veil.  Earned ... is always the taste of life.  Nothing in life, worth achieving ... should come easy.  For too many in the NFL ... that easy ride to the ring resulted in very unfortunate outcomes.  To be direct, I'd rather be right where I am, wallowing in the memories of what might have been."  

"Well Pap ... What went wrong?  As they say, even the sun shines on a dogs ass, from time to time."  He then just smiled at me and recalled some words spoken by some Hall of Fame wide receiver that played for this franchise, while standing in front of the crowd, many years after his retirement.  He recounted that his regret was in not bringing back a championship to the twin cities, back in the day.  Clearly, it was something that haunted him probably till the day of his final breath but he also understood that this was a team sport.  You're only as strong as this franchises weakest link.  In some cases, many cheated ... some took the low road ... you know, "Bounty Gate" ... but all of that wasn't worth it.  It was more important to carry the stigma with your head held high.  Not to say that everything that this wide receiver did in his life was kosher, but there was a line which no one should cross because once there ... there is no going back.  He was just fortunate ... to find the light and it ended up leading to the hall of fame. 

"So that's it?"  "No!  Hardly!  Sure you could blame a host a factors ... bad drafts ... pilfering by other teams ... bad coaching when it counted most ... bad karma ... the external factors can go on for an eternity, but there was one key that was obviously missing.  Early on, maybe they were just facing talent that they couldn't overcome ... you know, they were playing well over their heads and ended up in territory that left them with little more than a chance ... but then it changed.  It was an ugly change and it sickened me, but I held out hope, and entities like this franchise are measured like a life force.  You can measure the force from the moment of its birth to the exact moment of its death.  It is linear and exact.  The original ties, from its very first draft choice, bind generation to generation, as if to say ... don't cross this boundary, for it you do, I'll have you up against the wall by your throat.  Problem was ... the links were not infallible ... too many agendas ... too many weak links ... too many pretenders sucking this franchises life blood.  Not enough to walk the wall."

"What do you mean, Walk the Wall?".  "In the day they called them "The Band of Brothers."  They came from America's greatest generation.  This franchises earliest group were sons of the greatest generation, where they spawned a new age.  There was nothing distinguishable about the Band of Brothers.  They weren't special in any way but they did understand that they had an obligation that was linear like that life force.  Every day that linear force starred at them right in the eye ... problem was, for most, their personal link may have been short ... and they knew it.  Their bond rooted in not screwing up ... so that they could live ... or their brother that they had been to hell and back with, could make it home, just in case their number was up.  Of course there was randomness to it all but regardless of whether they lived or died ... they would carry the standard for the ones that didn't make it.  That's a far cry from the devil constantly blowing in your ear."

What?  What devil?  What are you talking about?  Then he said, "Sometimes we forget that in each and every minute of each and every day we walk through the valley of death.  More importantly we forget that we are beset on all sides by evil ... again, each and every moment of every day.  The NFL evolved.  Players used to be people ... work-a-day rats ... just like us.  Here and there would be a grocery store clerk that ended up hoisting that Lombardi but, for the bulk of them ... they lost focus.  Free agency, for example, made it easier for player's agents to make money in ever more powerful ways.  Evil never stands still ... it progresses diligently ... in ever more evil ways ... spewing well thought out and ever more genius plans ... to achieve a specific goal ... always maintaining it's public benevolence to fool the masses.  Evil or pestilence, depends upon the weak and unsuspecting minds of its prey.  Most of these kids coming up were normal hard working stiffs ... looking for a chance in life ... grounded with great things in their hearts and imaginations but these virtues had little chance of survival having to face greed combined with video propaganda 24/7.  If it bleeds it leads.  The propaganda painted an enticing picture of who they should be ... how they should act ... and most important of all ... how to execute a covert & unseen plan.  For many, the survival of the foundation of their soul was inversely proportional to the amount of money inked on that contract.  In other words, when you have pure evil blowing words and ideas into your head 24/7 laced with video propaganda ... your soul has little chance of survival intact.  Of course the strongest in character survived, but this is a team sport and the devil always has the deck stacked in his favor.  All he had to do was manipulate one or two links ... and the whole house of cards imploded ... sort of like when the old Metrodome collapsed way back in twenty-ten.  Maybe a higher power was trying to send this franchise a message ... metaphorically, you might say.

"Pap ... I still don't understand ... what has linked, now this families fourth generation, so indelible to this franchise?"  He looked down at his feet, not knowing if he should reveal what he has always known, and was almost afraid to admit.  It was something his father once uttered, where in time he learned to carry it like a badge of honor.  Then he said, "A long time ago, before progressive, socialism and communism put a death lock upon the constitution, there existed countries like the Soviet Union.  The oppressed has absolutely nothing ... no rights toward property and the rule of law, like it is now in this country.  To a man, there was only one thing that could not be taken away.  It was someone's personal misery, which one could hold onto and caress without having to share with anyone else or any other entity.  This life long misery brings us to today.  This combined with truth brings us hope."

"Hope?"  "Yes hope, because we were all born with free will.  A man, any man, can choose his destiny.  There have been many times when this franchise has been blessed with great leaders but for one reason or another they never fully bonded the brotherhood.  Somehow their own personal gain became more important ... again evil is a tempting mistress and the Succubus Lilith can turns tricks like a French Quarter full of whores.  On one side, it was ... "We can't afford to pay you".  On the other, it was ... "I'd like to stay but ...".  Then of course there were egos ... that just couldn't be messaged.  Then we all find ourselves asking the same question.  When did it all change?  When did the mindset change from, "You don't understand ... you'll have to cut me to get me off this field ... I have unfinished business that I need to take care of".  "I refuse to just walk away from my legacy ... which has a value to me far beyond money, greed or just about anything else. My soul is just not for sale".  Inspired trumps Greed and both are on a two way street."

"So we wait."

The Viking Ghost Writer
February 5, 2091