Have you ever met someone, and within the first 2 and a half minutes of talking, they're bragging to you about any and all aspects of his life?
"Yeah, I think by 30, they will make me partner."
"Dude, if I showed you the commission slip, you would lose your mind."
"You've never been Taiwan? It's amazing man."
Meanwhile, this guy is in the exact same bar you are. He's drinking the exact same thing you are. He wants you to think that he is the next Zuckerberg meanwhile, he's trying to scam people into buying true coats and plotting to ransom his own wife in order to get the cash for a parking lot.
This is the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings like to brag about their Norse roots and tough, rugged team culture all while they play indoors.
Their best season in the last 10 years was in 2009, otherwise known as Brett Favre's farewell tour. In one of the most poetic instances of karma I have ever seen, Minnesota missed out on yet another Lombardi Trophy thanks to their settling for Green Bay's sloppy seconds.
Since then, they have had four 10-win seasons: 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2019 all of them culminating in a playoff run that ended more hilariously than the last:
2012: After finishing 2nd in the NFC North, Minnesota travels to Green Bay for a wild card matchup. They start Joe Webb, and get dismantled 24-10 by their big brother.
2015: Minnesota actually wins the division and gets to host a playoff game. Then this happens:
(My favorite is all the Viking fans prematurely celebrating in the crowd)
2017: The Vikings pull out an incredible win against the Saints in the Divisional Round. The game is dubbed the "Minneapolis Miracle." The elation lasts a week...until they get destroyed 38-7 by the Nick Foles-led Eagles.
2019: The Vikings actually put together a solid win on the road against the favored Saints. They follow up the impressive performance with a stinker in Santa Clara against the Niners, getting run out of the building. (Note: the Packers didn't do any better)
Outside of those four seasons, the past decade has been a big ol' shit sandwich for the Vikings.
Their Quarterback situation has been abysmal. After their 2009 run, Minnesota's QBs have gone a pedestrian 77-80-2. Their prized 2018 free-agent acquisition, Kirk Cousins, has gone a mediocre 18-12-1, and the rest of their QB stable has been comprised of Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, one pro bowl season of Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Ponder (lol), Tavaris Jackson God rest his soul, Joe Webb, and the husk of what used to be Brett Favre.
Their rushing attack over that period of time, to be fair, was pretty good. They ranked in the top ten win rushing yards 6 of the last 10 years, mostly due to having a generational talent at running back and having to start a converted wide receiver at quarterback.
My personal favorite Vikings season was 2016, a year that started off 5-0, including a more-decisive-than-it-seems 17-14 win over Green Bay in week 2.
Then, the wheels came off. The NFL realized that Sam Bradford was the Quarterback. They went on to drop 8 of their next 11 and tear each other apart in the media.
Behind the "powerhouse" combination of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, they finished DEAD LAST in Rushing Yards, and they were summarily executed at the hands of the Packers during the run-the-table winning streak of 2016.
For a team whose greatest accomplishments include a defense named after a 1959 novelty song, breaking Aaron Rodgers' collarbone, and draining whatever was left of Brett Favre's career, they sure do act like their shit doesn't stink.
And that's the thing, when you talk as much shit as the Vikings do, you have to back it up with something. You can't simultaneously tout your team culture and then miss a 27-yard game-winning field goal in the playoffs. You can't brag about being this rugged, rough and tumble football team that mirrors your Norse namesake while playing indoors in a cold-weather city.
That doesn't make you the class of the NFL, it makes you Jerry Lundergard. You're the football equivalent of the guy who makes employee of the month every five years but also gets pushed around by his Father-In-Law.
How 'bout we just focus on filling up that empty trophy case first.