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Do you know exactly what it feels like when your team finally wins a
championship? You know what I'm talking about ... Don't you? Well I
don't! I own it! In my book, there is only one team. This was
a group that performed for stoic eyes. Eyes that still haunt me to this
day that had no room for mediocrity. An assemblage of players and plays
throughout an era that truly defies description. They are now ghosts of
the past that now play into my future.
Recently the NFL network ran a program named, "The 10 Most Snake Bitten
Franchises". As this program unfolded, we all awaited the slow
and painful announcement of the franchise named the Minnesota Vikings as if
awaiting a casualty list ingrained in my memory by the odor of mimeograph purple
ink. It became a test of who and what I am! This is no new subject
as it has been pondered time and again for decades. You see ... we all
know exactly where the Minnesota Vikings now rank historically. I own that
fact like a badge of honor.
For some, they might find solace in that the Minnesota Vikings where not listed
at number one on this list. To be direct, naming the Cleveland Browns as
today's most snake bitten franchise is the most egregious insult of revisionist
history ever perpetrated upon any NFL fan. If you think about it, trashing
any part of the NFL's history opens a dark and dank doorway that includes
every NFL fan regardless of the franchise.
Why do I say revisionist? The Cleveland Browns made appearances six (6)
NFL championships from 1950 to 55. The Cleveland Browns were NFL champions
in 1950, 54, 55 & 64. The Cleveland Bulldogs were NFL champions in
1924 and the Cleveland Rams were champions in 1945. In short, the city of
Cleveland has witnessed six NFL championships. Let's not forget that the
2000 Baltimore Ravens also won a Super Bowl championship. An
unthinkable and unimaginable mistake that the Minnesota Vikings franchise is now
teetering upon. People tend to forget that this was the Cleveland
Brown franchise that won it all in Baltimore. Allow me to be direct ...
the history follows the franchise not the city. This NFL network
gaff is the greatest bit of folly ever perpetrated upon NFL fans ... ever. One
could say that this gaff ranks right up there with the Hershel Walker
trade. As new franchises go, the Cleveland Browns have very very little
when considering paying dues within the league. This pronouncement of the
Cleveland Browns as being the most snake bitten franchise is so far from reality
that NFL fans throughout the land should be crying foul as it insults the intelligence
of every fan of every franchise.
So one could argue that the 1969 Vikings Franchise won an NFL championship
however it was sullen by the loss in in Super Bowl IV. That's right, the
Jet's Super Bowl III and the Chief's Super Bowl IV are not NFL
championships. However, history has found a way of being rewritten for all
time. To put this all in perspective one could argue that since that 1969
season, including that particular championship, which directly resulted in the
most beneficial league merger ever, now involves teams that are forever cursed
that include the Jet's, Browns, Vikings & Chiefs. A ghostly forever
... that is until the Vikings are first to reach their destiny. Go ahead
Jets, Browns & Chiefs ... test that theory once again ... the gods once
again await that pending folly.
In the modern era, what defines a franchise toward payment of dues is unequivocally
measured in playoff losses, most notably Super Bowl losses. So one could
say that the Buffalo Bill's should top the list as they were the first to lose
four (4) consecutive Super Bowls. Since our eyes are clearly open, on
December 28th, 1975 there was an awarded out of bounds 4th and 22 pass that led
to a Drew Pearson illegal push-off that prevented the possibility toward a 4th
consecutive Super Bowl appearances, so one could take issue with that Bill's
franchise argument. Let us never forget that the Vikings were the first to
lose 4 Super Bowl Championships. At the time, no franchise was even close
to that Super Bowl loss record. Also, let's not forget that the Bills won
the AFL championship in 64 & 65 and in comparison were not sullen in any
way. These were outright championships. Own
One could point to 2009 & 1998 but that would be like looking as the summit
of an immense ice berg. Own it!
When I thought of this years draft class, there was a looming message for every
one of these draftees. Over the years there have been numerous free agents that
tucked their tails between their legs and fled us like cowards. Other's
that have brainlessly milked our organization as if no one could detect the
stench upon their soul. Their only focus ... to be apart of a
winner, as if that mattered, rather than to entrench themselves into the
individual that makes a winners. All of this conflicting upon a
battlefield of men of dedicated spirit ... that left everything they had upon
that grid. A never ending quest to achieve what cannot be achieved.
You have been drafted into what is now the most unique franchise in the NFL.
Unquestioned pride battling a never ending tale of despair. We own
it. We own it all. We wear it all proudly for all to see.
Speak against it, reason against it and you risk having your lungs ripped
When Favre tossed that interception for the leagues victims of Katrina,
rocketing him into Packer lore, not to mention a hefty paycheck of pain, it did
much much more. It ripped the hearts out of an entire league of fans that
go well beyond the ones that wear purple, gold & white. Yeah, tell me
again how much New Orleans deserved that Super Bowl victory.
The Viking Ghost
Date: June 27, 2011