Thursday, April 13, 2006

The End is Near

Hola, amigos. I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but an issue keeps cropping up that I just can't ignore any longer. I was made aware of it almost a month ago, and, to my surprise, was able to put it out of my mind.

Then, today, I'm reading Paul Lukas's superb and sublimely link-heavy Uni Watch column over at, and I was reminded of it again.

My football team, the Minnesota Vikings, are getting new uniforms.

The last year or so has provided several reasons why I should stop being a Vikings fan. I no longer live in Minnesota, and haven't for years. The team was coached by a big fat caveman who had been around for years despite undoubtedly getting the job in the exact same way that Homer was hired by Lyle Lanley to be the conductor of the Springfield Monorail. The team's most recognizable players have, for a good decade, been asses, burnouts and simpletons, making them by far the nation's easiest professional sports team to root against (east of Portland and west of the Bronx, anyway). They've never won a Super Bowl, and probably never will. They play in a ridiculous stadium that has a swastika on the roof. The sex cruise. Ragar.

(sorry; got on a roll there. A actually love Ragnar)

Anyway. The point is, I grew up a Vikings fan, and I assumed I'd always stay a Vikings fan. They're the team of my youth, and they'll be my team whether I like it or not. And, in recent years, I haven't. Long story short: Minnesota Vikings, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Well, maybe this will do it. I've made no secret of my passion for critiquing NFL uniforms, and I could always do so with the moral superiority of someone whose team wears among the best duds in the league. Not the best, mind you, but among the best, and up a few places lately due to the horrendous changes made by a couple of teams in just the last little while.

I mean, really. Who decided that teams would look better playing football in novelty pajamas than in actual football uniforms? Who does this appeal to? The obvious answer, of course, is: stupid people. And I, for one, am surprised. Not that there are a lot of stupid people, but that there are enough to buy into something this stupid. Something this dumb, even the stupid people you'd think would say, "um... no." It's happened before. Remember in the late '90s, when the music industry decided that electronica would be the next big thing after grunge? And then people heard Prodigy, and they sucked, and electronica went nowhere? Wasn't that great? Or when Old Navy tried to get the nautical vests going a couple years ago, and people just wouldn't go for it? It's happening right now, in fact, where, even in L.A., it looks to my eyes like the popped collar idiots are fighting an inevitably and blessedly losing battle despite the fact that it must be cool because a guy who hates Bush does it.

So why the new horrible uniform trend in football? Even if stupid people do get behind it, why would team owners allow this to happen? Team owners don't eat at Arby's four times a week and die penniless and obese; that's what stupid people do. So why would a guy like Vikings owner Zygi Wilf decide he needs to mess with a classic design? And indications suggest that, though the purple and the concept of the horns on the helmet will remain, it will otherwise be a wholesale change. Though it would be sad to see, I could live with a subtle update of the uniforms, something like what the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins have done of late. But no, I think we'll be talking more like going from this to this.

And where would that leave me as a Vikings fan? Well, to me, the Vikings would now be a perennially underachieving team to which I have no geographical affiliation and who just switched from top five to bottom five in the NFL in terms of uniform awesomeness. I'm not ready to give up the ship just yet, but, we'll see how the uniforms turn out. If current speculation is any guide, 2005 could well have been my last as a Minnesota Vikings fan.

Quite interesting ..

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