From the Editor’s Notebook:
(Warning…some of the material in this column may be unsuitable for young children. Or anyone else for that matter.)
I have once again entered into a dark place. I seem to be depressed and lethargic and not able to concentrate on work, or much of anything else for the past week. And I’m not giving a darn about things I used to care about. It seems to happen every year right around this time.
Perhaps you think it might be caused by the fact that it is winter. You know, it does get to be a serious issue in Minnesota, where winter lasts something like six months.
And, after all, as I write this, another big snowstorm is predicted for southern Minnesota, with up to six to 12 inches of snow and lots of wind to create blizzard conditions. But, no, that’s not it.
Perhaps you think it could be post-holiday blues. All that celebrating of Christmas and New Year’s is over. The Christmas tree, lights and decorations are all put away in totes and back up in the attic.
Nope, that isn’t it either.
Perhaps you think it could be because I am old and old people sometimes get depressed (and cranky) when they have aches and pains and get wrinkles and lose their hair. Or can’t figure out how to do Snapchat on their phone.
One last guess could be because of all the crap going on with politics and the upcoming impeachment and the bitter election fights and the fact that our country seems to be split.
Now that is a good guess, but again, not correct.
Nope, my depression has to do with one thing and one thing only. Those dang Minnesota Vikings.
I know, I seem to whine about them every year about this time. Although, to be fair, the whining often takes place near the end of December, not deep into January. I think being a Vikings fan is like being on a roller coaster. There are highs and there are lows.
Being a Vikings fan means you are so elated when they win big, or even win a close game. Like what they did down in the Big Easy…New Orleans. They shut down one of the best teams and best quarterbacks in football in the first half, then went into overtime and marched down the field and won. Fans, including me, were on a high.
Next came San Francisco and there was hope. If the team could handle the Saints, then they could handle anyone. Right? Wrong! Thus comes the low and depression setting in.
Just like the whole season, there were two Vikings teams. One was awesome, and the other was not just bad, but terrible.
Unfortunately, the bad Vikings team made the trip out to California. Our vaunted running back got a few pitiful yards. Our $85 million quarterback could hardly do a thing, and our three fantastic receivers didn’t do much either. Worse yet, the defense, which shut down Drew Brees, couldn’t slow down the 49ers at all, much less stop them.
People from around the country were watching the game and probably wondering how these Vikings even got into the playoffs. I admit, I was thinking the same thing.
Sure, I know, the team had a good record and there are other teams who didn’t, and who haven’t been in the playoffs for years. That just doesn’t seem to help. I almost envy them because their teams are consistent, even if they are consistently bad.
As I have said before (like just last year), it is hard to be a Minnesota Vikings fan. It is not something for the weak or faint of heart to try.
But, as those of us who have been fans since the 1960s know all too well, these Vikings are going to break your heart every year.
My wife says to buck up and get over it. That is easy for her to say, because she not only is not a Vikings fan, she doesn’t even watch any football. She is lucky.
My depression will last until, oh say, July. Then training camp will start and once again I will begin to think that the Vikings could be pretty good this next season.
And, like an addict, I will have to watch them once again, cheer for them, wear my Vikings jersey and, once again, feel so good when they win and so bad when they lose.
You know, I feel better already, just because I spilled my guts to all of you about my feelings.
You know, maybe next year things will be better. The Vikings have some great players, and they could put things together and just play up to their capacity every game next season. They might not win every game, but they could play hard and be in every game until the very end.
Don’t laugh, it could be true.
Oh, oh. Here I go again.
God help me, I just can’t quit.
(Disclaimer…this column is not intended to make light of those suffering from real depression or addiction. Those things are a real issue and a problem for some members of our society.)