These Are Not the Same Old Vikings

If you are a Minnesota sports fan, you have no doubt dealt with the unending anguish that is poor coaching, lackluster seasons and promising-players turned bust.

These teams have been disappointing to say the least. However, for one specific Minnesota team, it is time to have a little faith.

As someone who has been hyperactively following the Minnesota Vikings for some time now (since I began my college education), my hopes have risen and fallen with each draft class and season that comes our way.

Christian Ponder, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tarvaris Jackson, Joe Webb – the list of painful memories stretches back far in the MN Vikings history books. (Need I bring up the Herschel Walker trade?)

I understand your pain and your frustration. Why would anyone want to unconditionally cheer for a team that has made so many blunders in the last 30 years? Well, this is why.

Since Mike Zimmer took over as the head coach of the Vikings before the 2014 season, he has been building this team up for a chance at greatness, and he has been doing it the old-fashioned way. He preaches humility, toughness and constant self-improvement.

He has drafted dynamic defensive playmakers, built the game-plan around freak-of-nature RB Adrian Peterson, and brought in a smart, tough, and exciting young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. Zimmer has built a brotherhood of gritty, hard-working and devoted players the likes of which the Minnesota fans have not seen in a long time.

As I’m writing this, at 8-3, the Vikings currently sit atop the NFC North, a feat that many football analysts deemed nearly impossible this year. However, boasting the most rushing yards per game in the league, the 4th best passing defense, and the 2nd least amount of points given up per game, the Vikings have pounded their way into relevance not only in the NFC North, but in the NFL playoff picture. Analysts around the league have been touting this MN team as the real deal, as a team that has all the pieces to build a long-lasting and great football team.

Yet still, there are oodles of MN fans who scoff at the Vikings, having seen promising seasons fade away to nothing the next year, or exciting young players turn into busts that could not live up to expectations.

These are not those same Vikings. It’s time to put some faith into Mike Zimmer as the head coach, and believe in this team. These guys have been playing their butts off, working hard, and grinding out wins this season.

As a fan, you may not support every choice made by the organization. But, if you are indeed a fan, you don your purple garb on Sundays, root for the Vikes all game long, and have some damn pride in your team. The rise of the Vikings is upon us, and they need the faith of the fans to push them to greatness.

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