Hey look, a dead Viking, or at least a nerd pretending to be a dead Viking. Whatever.
There is no reason why the Lions can’t beat the Vikings on Sunday. Well aside from the fact that the Metrodome has become a despicable place for the Lions, full of the dull-eyed stupidity that runs rampant in that hinterland of the soul known as Minnesota, bovine beasts lowing while the stadium pipes in false noise to match their false hearts and Jared Allen dances around like a fake methhead, abusing poor Jeff Backus who just sits there and takes it and oh the horror, the horror . . .
Right. There’s that. But honestly, these are two teams heading in opposite directions right now and in a league in which momentum is everything that could – and I think should – make all the difference in the world. The Lions have won two in a row and they looked better last week then they did the week before when they looked better than the week before that and, well . . . you get the point. Meanwhile, the Vikings have lost two in a row, first to the perpetually mediocre Buccaneers and then to the Seahawks, a week after the Lions beat them, so . . . yeah. A month ago the Vikings were a good team, headed up and the Lions were a shitty team, mired in the sort of demon swampland that we’ve called home for the better part of the last sixty years. But now the Vikings aren’t any good, they’re headed for the oblivion that’s become increasingly familiar for them the last few years and the Lions are looking like the team we all thought they could and should be. The NFL, like many things in life, is capricious and strange and these things just happen.
I don’t want to spend this whole post shitting all over the Vikings though – well, actually I do want to do that but I don’t feel like I should, because here’s the thing – it doesn’t do us any good as a people to constantly denigrate our foes, to pretend that they are all shit while we’re the kings of turd town. We do that way too much and frankly it’s kind of annoying. Look, the NFC North is the best division in football. It just is. The Bears are a really good team – don’t argue with me because you’ll only reveal yourself to be a slave to your own prejudices – the Vikings aren’t nearly as shitty as we all thought they would be and the Packers are still the Packers, even if they’ve struggled a bit this season. It’s one thing to hate your enemy and to wish a pox on his house and pray to the old gods and the new for his destruction and the shame of his family. That is the natural way of things and it is good. But it is quite another thing to disrespect his abilities because then you just look like a fool and you end up getting your throat slit because you refuse to acknowledge Truth and the gods, both the old and the new, have no time for that shit.
I’m just saying, it does us no good to pretend that everyone else is awful and that we should never, ever lose because then when we do beat them, so what? There is no honor in abusing a cripple. And if we lose, we descend into either apocalyptic death spirals or we start making absurd excuses and slandering the fans of teams that are actually good. Frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing and I wish it would just stop.
I say all this because I want you all to understand that there is a very real chance that the Lions could lose to the Vikings. It would be absolutely insane and hubristic to the point of nauseating dementia to try to insist otherwise. Yes, the Viking appear to be falling apart and their 5-4 record doesn’t exactly paint them as a powerhouse but shit, the Lions are 4-4 and have already lost to the Vikings once at home so . . . yeah.
Look, I know that contradicts everything I wrote only a few paragraphs ago but that’s only because I want everyone to understand that we need to live in reality, and not in some wizard’s fantasy because that way is the path to madness. I think the Lions can and should win but the idea that they will definitely win is just dumb, okay?
Like I said, the Metrodome has been a hell house for the Lions and the Vikings defensive line has spent the better part of the Schwartz era hideously abusing the Lions offensive line in a way that would make the most degenerate Catholic priest blush. This will not be easy.
To make matters worse, the Lions aren’t exactly the picture of pristine health. Louis Delmas was apparently the inspiration for Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable, St. Calvin is dealing with fucking nerve damage, and the defensive backfield continues to be a revolving door of madness and despair. This is not a perfect team marching in lockstep with blessed destiny. It is a team trying to fight its way through a jungle of poisoned vines and broken limbs and goddammit, we need to understand that and start paying that its proper respect. Again, pretending isn’t gonna help anyone.
Every time I think about this game I picture Jared Allen flying by Jeff Backus, who’s flat on his ass, while Matthew Stafford turtles and some Nordic looking motherfucker blows a horn and fat ladies cling to their husbands who all look like Dauber from Coach and scream and it’s terrible and disgusting and then I have to lie down for a while. But fuck that and fuck the Vikings. Really, that’s what it comes down to. Fuck the Vikings. Fuck ‘em. This is a game the Lions need to win because the Vikings are our enemy and they’re in our way and sometimes it is as simple as that.
Again, it doesn’t mean that we should piss all over their name and pretend they are the joke of all jokes, for that is the way of the fool. We should respect them, fear them even, because the wise warrior understands that fear is good, fear is healthy, and fear properly channeled turns into victory and the death of your enemy. There are many different types of fear. I am not talking about fear of oneself or its master The Fear, both of which are paralyzing monolithic monstrosities that enslave us with chains made of our own pathetic nightmares and insecurities. I am talking about the wary sort of fear that the good hunter carries with him, the fear of the beast. The Fear is a hunter and when we run from it we become little more than mindless beasts. But the good hunter harnesses fear and uses it to remain ever vigilant, ever wary, even as he stalks, and then when he finally corners his prey he can do so knowing that he triumphed because he faced reality with bravery and an open heart. The hunter who just staggers noisily through the forest, like a besotted fool, drunk on his own bravado and stupid hubris will alert his prey and then his prey will turn on him, corner him and eat his heart. We must hunt the Vikings with wary intent, careful, patient, measuring them, stalking them, until they are at the edge of a cliff and then we destroy them. That is the way of the wise hunter, and that is the way to glory.
I have descended into utter gibberish again but that is what happens when you sit down to write with no plan. Okay, give me a second and I will get back on track.
Alright . . . so yeah, the Lions can beat the Vikings and we should understand this and cherish this, but we should also understand that the Lions might lose this game. We must find balance in our own hearts and our own souls so we can stop crashing through the forest like drunken idiots, celebrating like fools whenever we manage to skewer a starving squirrel and collapsing in a heap of shameful tears every time our prey eludes us. We must look to the example set by our own blessed football team, the balance with which they destroyed the hapless Jaguars last week. That is the pathway to righteous enlightenment and we must embrace it and become acolytes of its Truth.
Clearly, I have become trapped in some sort of strange gibberish labyrinth and any moment now I expect to be set on by a Minotaur, and I have probably confused you all with my dueling sensibilities, in one paragraph defaming the Vikings and promising a noble and glorious victory and then in the next gibbering about respect and fear and hunting squirrels or some such shit and warning against overconfidence and I would apologize but that would make me look weak, weak like Jared Allen’s sense of dignity, and I won’t have that. No sir. So, instead, I will embrace the notion of simplicity and I will say, in unambiguous terms for a change, that I think that the Lions will beat the Vikings. Because, really all it comes down to is that the Lions have to win this game. They just do. And if they are any kind of team at all, a team worthy of our love and a team worthy of their and our playoff dreams, then goddammit, they will win this game. So I’ll say it again . . .