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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Rodgers vs. Stalin!
Surprise, I'm a Viking fan. So one might say that I'm not overly disappointed that the cheese-heads were eliminated from the playoffs.  My problem, and what is so disturbing to me is this haunting image, which is now the final play of a historic overtime playoff contest.  What this says to me is that I'm not so sure that the best team is moving on to face the Saints.  Said another way, this packer team overtook a two (2) touchdown spot, to tie it in regulation and clearly had the momentum on their side.  Then this final play hits the canvas.

This image is overwhelming on two accounts.  Throughout the year, if you even touched a quarterbacks head, the laundry soon followed.  To add insult to injury, the facemask is clearly being yanked and it wasn't just touched for a moment either ... it, and Rodger's head, was held downward for a period of time.   It could be said that the fumble occurred prior to both of these infractions but saying so would be inconsistent on two accounts.  The first is that throughout the year, the timing of the infraction when contact with a quarterbacks head never came into play throughout the year.  Before or after, the penalty was applied.  The second is that Rodgers was directly involved in the play.  Not only did the ball come out of his hand, it was also tipped by the foot, so the infractions against him did affect the result of the play.  To add insult to injury, Rodger's eyes are affixed upon the ball (obscured from view) that is hanging in the air.    

It's not as if there is only one official on that field.  The inconsistencies of the NFL, and its officiating is more than just apparent.  The question that comes to mind is, "Why is this acceptable?"  Why hasn't the NFL evolved beyond the Immaculate Reception or the Hail Mary.

The answer to that question is both ugly and beautiful at the same time.  All that matters is perspective, or better said, from which side you are viewing the answers.

Not so long ago, I sat in a history class while in high school.  At the time, I clearly admit that I hated having to study history and I've spent a lifetime paying for that mistake.  It wasn't about memorizing dates it was about understanding the illusion of time.  The discussion in that class revolved around Stalin.  The Soviet Union, prior to being formed was a collection of small countries like Lithuania.  What Stalin did was to take a portion of your countries land and seed it to another country (your neighbor).  The next few words have stuck with me my entire life.  What this did was to give each country, or each neighbor, the ability to hold onto a never ending seething hatred for that neighboring country.  Stalin was a tyrant, a murderer, an evil man but no one could claim that he was a stupid man.  Like the shell game, it took the focus of the pea (Stalin).

The NFL is an immense business.  What does it sell?  If you were a Packer fan, looking at the above picture, wouldn't you wish that a portable wheat-like brewable ale was produced in mass quantities somewhere in the state of Wisconsin.

The point here is in reflection to what is and what is not acceptable to the consumers of this form of entertainment.  The problem is that there is no collective in regard to what to ask for ... it's just one guy complaining about something that really doesn't matter.  Well that couldn't be further from the truth.  We are all complaining about the very same things ... its call being short changed!   

There is a distinct difference between the Bill's historic overtime playoff victory over the Oiler's and the Music City Miracle.   In one case, you get to hold your head high.  In the later case, it becomes nothing more than the Stalin-effect.  What sticks in my craw is that the NFL's profit machine has a vested interest in the imperfections of the game which go well beyond how that ball bounces.  The questions is, as consumers, will we continue to stand for it.

There is one absolute.  An entire generation of Packer fans have been forged within the above image.  Isn't it time that we get back within the purity of the game.  To be direct, I'd rather fail in excellence than to carry a burden throughout my life.  

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: January 12, 2010

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