January 27, 2010
Something happened in 1961
|Sandy Stephens, the only Gophers|
Rose Bowl MVP
If you are anything like me, you are still recovering from the latest testament to football futility in Minnesota: the Vikings loss to the Saints last Sunday. Even days after, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with a huge, hollow pit in my stomach or screaming, "Just run it Favre!" much to my wife's unhappiness (she's a light sleeper).
As we all know, this is only the latest episode in how much it sucks to be a fan of the Minnesota Vikings. And when you think about it, it really is the latest episode in how much it sucks to be a fan of Minnesota football in general. I mean, what is more difficult? Being a Vikings fan or a Gophers fan? I can't decide. For every Vikings debacle there is a Gophers football catastrophe. I need only mention the 2003 Michigan game to put any Gophers fan into a spiral of anger and self-pity.
This has gotten me to thinking: when was the last time Minnesota won any game of importance in the game of football? Since the Vikings have never won anything of significance we have to travel back to the 1961 Gophers who were the last Minnesota team to win an important football game. They, of course, won the Rose Bowl.
So, 1961 was the last time a Minnesota football team was good enough to win a championship. It could make a person wonder what in the world happened in 1961 that made the football gods so upset.
Quite frankly, the football gods are very upset at Minnesota. Just look at the history of the Vikings, and the Gophers since 1961, and it will become clear we did something really, really bad to tick them off. Being a football fan in this state has sucked since then. What could we have done to make the football gods so angry? Let's take a look at a little Minnesota history for the year 1961 and see if we can't deduce the reason:
- The Minnesota Legislature named the Common Loon the state bird -- Enough to tick off the football gods? Probably not, although the name "loon" is somewhat humorous and may have caused other states to snicker.
- Elmer Andersen became governor -- Gov. Andersen was a pretty good guy and has donated a lot of money and resources to the University of Minnesota. He is also described as a "liberal Republican" which may have made the football gods scratch their heads, but not enough to ban winning in Minnesota forever.
- Bob Dylan releases his first album -- Surely this made the football gods smile (who doesn't like early Dylan?) but rumors persist that Dylan sold his soul to the devil to attain his good fortune. As Pat Robertson has already made clear, don't make a deal with the devil if you want to succeed! If true, the football gods could not have been happy about this, and therefore may have punished Minnesota football teams forever as a result. Hmmmm ... this might be a stretch.
- The Minnesota Vikings are born -- Yes, the Minnesota Vikings played their first season in 1961. In fact, the Vikings won their very first NFL game against the Chicago Bears in a huge upset. Could this have upset the football gods? Could they have said, "Well, Minnesota has already won something so that will be quite enough for a while." Or maybe the football gods thought Minnesota was getting greedy. The could have said, "The Gophers have won six national championships and now they want an NFL team? A pox on their houses!" I think we are getting a little warmer, but also in 1961 ...
- The Minnesota Twins are born -- The Minnesota Twins played their first season of baseball in Minnesota in 1961. This could be the real reason the football gods are upset with Minnesota. Baseball and football have always been at odds concerning the attention and love of the average sports fan, and the football gods could be punishing us for our dalliances with "America's game." To top it off the Twins are the only Minnesota team to have won a championship which ticks the football gods off even more. Really, is there any doubt that the football gods are punishing us for the success of the Minnesota Twins?
The evidence is in and I think it is clear: the day the Twins were born is the day that football in Minnesota died. A lot of Gopher fans blame the Vikings for the Gophers' troubles since 1961, and maybe vice versa, but I think both teams need to consider a common enemy. Truly, if we ever want to have winning football in Minnesota again ... it is hard to say it but ... we must abolish the Minnesota Twins.
That is, unless someone can think of something else that happened in 1961 to tick the football gods off so much ...
Posted by snackeru at January 27, 2010 7:06 AM
Now that is funny! :-)
Posted by: John at February 16, 2010 10:30 PM