Vikings Fans Should Be Jealous Of Kansas City

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

For the 48th year in a row, the Minnesota Vikings will not be playing in the Super Bowl. As such, Vikings fans will be forced to root for one of the remaining two teams competing in this year’s big game. For this Vikings fan, the choice is easy.

The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for another Super Bowl appearance. Simultaneously, they were also zeroing in on the fourth Lombardi trophy in franchise history, the third of the Andy ReidPatrick Mahomes era. Mahomes is a yearly MVP candidate the current regime drafted and gave time to learn behind a veteran. When he was ready, he stepped into a starting role on a playoff-caliber roster and immediately turned the team into a perennial Super Bowl contender.

Everything Vikings fans can only dream about.

The Chiefs have been nothing short of unstoppable since Mahomes took over as starter in 2018, and they appeared in their sixth-straight AFC Championship game this season. In that span, Kansas City has only lost to the immortal Tom Brady twice – when he was with the Patriots in the 2018 AFC Championship and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV – and once to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kansas City already has the credentials to be mentioned among the most decorated dynasties in NFL history and is only seven seasons removed from Alex Smith as their starting quarterback. The Vikings are seven seasons removed from starting Sam Bradford.

As a Vikings fan, it is impossible to avoid feeling jealous of the situation in Kansas City. Minnesota has been starving for an MVP-caliber quarterback and sustained success in the playoffs for nearly half a century. Kansas City figured out the puzzle within two seasons of Mahomes’ arrival.

To make things worse, there does not seem to be an end in sight for KC’s run of success. Even in arguably their worst season since Mahomes became the starter, they are in the Super Bowl and have become more relevant in pop culture than they have ever been previously because of a pop star’s love life.

They are now omnipresent. You can find Kansas City players in the commercial breaks of NFL broadcasts discussing insurance or vaccines or referenced in your favorite sports podcasts or debate programs. The number of hours it takes a pop star to fly from a concert in Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas is now readily available information.

Even a casual NFL fan could be justifiably tired of the Chiefs. For Vikings fans, it should sting a little worse.

The Chiefs and Vikings faced similar forks in the road in 2017 and went in very different directions. Andy Reid identified a player who could take his team to the next level, and the franchise made the necessary moves to ensure he was available when the Chiefs made their first selection. The Vikings selected Dalvin Cook with the 41st-overall pick, having sent their first-round selection to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Sam Bradford.

We can argue endlessly about what Minnesota’s brass should or shouldn’t have done after Teddy Bridgewater’s injury or before signing Kirk Cousins. However, it’s inarguable that the Chiefs have done what the Vikings have been unable to do.

Since taking over as starter in 2018, Mahomes and the Chiefs have already won 14 playoff games. The Minnesota Vikings have won 13 playoff games since their last Super Bowl appearance in 1976 and have only one playoff win since 2018. In his six seasons since becoming the face of the Chiefs franchise, Mahomes has not yet felt the sting of a single-digit win season. The Vikings have only two 10-plus-win seasons in that span.

Watching Dante Culpepper, Randy Moss, and the Vikings dynasty that could-have-been crumble in the late ’90s and early 2000s and the inability of Minnesota’s front office to replicate that formula has transformed me into a jealous, bitter hater of any team’s long-term success – especially when that includes a future Hall of Fame player at quarterback. Kansas City will continue to take the lion’s share of my hate, and it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon.

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