I can’t imagine that Bill Simmons spends a lot of time watching the Minnesota Vikings. If he is, he’s probably gambling on them while visions of Justin Jefferson or Eric Kendricks wearing a New England Patriots jersey dance in his head.
Last week he had the Vikings covering. In the middle of a rant about how they should have kicked the field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1, he dropped this nugget on his Monday podcast:
“I still feel like the math doesn’t take into account situations, and here there are two specific situations.
“One is Russell Wilson is the on the other side. And if I don’t get it now, I’m up five. And Russell Wilson is absolutely going to go down the field and score. That’s how I felt betting on the Vikings, watching it.
“The second thing was, I know this is stupid, but it’s the fucking Vikings. My best friend Jeff is a Vikings fan.”
Hold on. This is a big revelation for us here: His best friend is a dude named Jeff who is a Vikings fan. Maybe he’s some guy from Weymouth or Brockton who’s dad grew up in Richfield — a displaced fan. Or maybe there’s a Jeff in Blaine or Brooklyn Park or Brainerd who has suffered as David Ortiz, Randy Moss and Kevin Garnett have helped make Boston Titletown, USA.
Regardless, he’s One of Us! Someone help that poor man.
Anyways, I digress.
Go on, Bill:
“We’re texting during the game about how this is the greatest hits of all the dumb Vikings losses. Like they do this every year, five times a year. And this was like the quintessential terrible Vikings thing.
“So it’s like it’s almost like whatever they were going to do in that situation, they’re probably going to have fucked with. But I would rather be up eight. I’d rather make him go the field than I’d want to make him get the two-point [conversion] when they don’t really have a good running game.”
That’s not what I’m getting at here, though. It doesn’t matter anymore. The Vikings lost, they are 1-4 and they’re probably headed for 6-10 football purgatory.
The point isn’t that Simmons has a friend in Minnesota. No, the bigger deal here is that he acknowledged what seems like a local phenomenon: The Vikings are cursed.
Look, there are teams that are perpetually bad like the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that’s a product of poor management rather than bad luck. They bring losing upon themselves.
The Buffalo Bills might be cursed, given their poor Super Bowl luck. But Nathan Peterman, Derek Andrson, LeSean McCoy and Matt Barkley all made starts for them last year. They used first-round picks on EJ Manuel and J.P. Losman. Maybe the quarterback is the problem, or at least was until they drafted Josh Allen.
The Cleveland Browns maybe would have fit this category years ago, but Cleveland has a championship now. And just look at the Browns: Not only have they had a revolving door of quarterbacks, their head coaches before Kevin Stefanski were Freddie Kitchens, Gregg Williams, Hue Jackson, Mike Pettine and Rob Chudzinski.
Safe to say none of those guys are in the running for the Atlanta Falcons job right now.
Those days are in the past, though. The Vikings have owners that spend and don’t meddle, stability in the front office and a tenured coach. If you’re out on Kirk Cousins, fine, but he’s here because Teddy Bridgewater suffered a potentially life threatening non-contact injury in practice.
Maybe curse is too strong of a word. Maybe it doesn’t acknowledge that they could have beat the Falcons in overtime after Gary Anderson missed the kick. Or that Brett Favre threw across his body. Or that the Vikings played poorly for most of the second half in New Orleans before the Minneapolis Miracle.
That’s fair. But something is up with the Vikings, and it was just acknowledged by a guy from Boston who has no emotional investment in this team.