Warning: This is not going to be an objective story. I'm a lifelong, purple-bleeding, no-sideline-heaters, Tommy Kramer-jersey-owning Vikings fan. I watched stony-faced Bud Grant lose four Super Bowls. I remember that Gary Anderson missed kick. Don't even talk to me about Blair Walsh.
Minnesotans are born to Vikings disappointment sure as the snow flies in Duluth. I even put this line in my: "He would've liked the Minnesota Vikings to be his pallbearers, so they could let him down one last time."
And on Sunday night, after the Vikes had frittered away a 17-0 lead and were losing by one at home to the New Orleans Saints, I was ready for that letdown again. Just 10 seconds remained until we loyal fans could snap off the TV set and raise a rousing glass of "maybe next year."
But then, this.
Even the team didn't believe it.
The team's play-by-play announcer couldn't hide his delight.
The noise from the sidelines was like a tornado, and we Minnesotans know tornadoes.
Former players were heard from.
Famous faces started chiming in. Even Mr. T pitied the fool who didn't believe in the Purple.
And Twitter brought the poignant and the funny, from references to Prince (a Minnesotan who also wore some purple in his day) to videos of fans' over-the-top reactions. Apple Watch even worried that its Vikings-fan owners were having heart attacks.
Social media can be a bitter, awful place. Between the Facebook family feuds and the anonymous Twitter hordes calling you out for everything from your photo to your name, all the insults thrown at the medium are probably justified.
But then some big, weird, crazy event comes along that should never have happened in a million years, and suddenly all the snarling tigers vanish for a second and it's like being at a big raucous gathering where everybody you know is laughing and drinking and slapping you on the back.
Trust us, New Orleans, we know your pain -- you've even caused us some of it, no hard feelings. Being on the losing end is absolutely zero fun. Have one of those Bourbon Street frozen daiquiris on us.
It won't take long before I'll be back to grumbling at Twitter and Facebook, to marveling at how mean people can be to those they don't even know, all while struggling not to do the same to people I don't even know.
But for just a while Sunday night, scrolling through Facebook and Twitter was like going to a huge party, where all your neighbors who've sat with you through heartbreaking loss after backbreaking loss were pinching themselves to see if they'd wake up. Keep sleeping for a few days, guys. It might still be a dream. A fabulous, wonderful, Skol-filled, purple dream.
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