More than a few random thoughts on this NFCCG day
First, I am a realist, I think both teams today have a lot of good reasons to think they will come out the winner, and one of them will. I do think the Vikings should be a slight underdog due to the Saints home field advantage. But, for some magical karmic reason, I just have this inner feeling or peace that the Vikings will win today.
This entire week, whenever I have flashes of headlines in my head, it's always to the tune of "Vikings beat Saints.." with photos of Favre. Even if for the briefest second, the word "Saints" pops in my head first, it's followed by "lose". My mind cannot conceive of the thought of the Vikings losing again this year.
Certainly a Peyton Manning vs Archie Manning (Peyton's dad) Super Bowl has a certain sort of attraction to it. Archie does radio color for the Saints and was a HOF-caliber QB for the Saints, and Peyton probably grew up being a Saints fan because of his dad. But a Favre-Manning Super Bowl would be an even bigger attraction; we are talking about two sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers here. Even though Favre won a SB way back in Jan 97, he is still a very John Elway-esque old QB who won a lot but has limited SB success. Elway won his only two SB trophies in his final two seasons as a player. After this season, which is arguably the finest of his entire career, Favre looks poised to do the same with a very fine team around him.
Yes, there are weak, inconsistent spots here and there all over the Vikings. But with five inexperienced starters (Harvin, Loadholt, Sullivan, Johnson, Brinkley), you have to expect some polish is needed (though Percy already shines). Winfield's injured foot still appears to need rest/healing, but when the Vikings win tonight, he'll have nearly two full weeks to rest/treat it. The Vikings have all kinds of talent all over the field on all three phases. Fan voting only counts for a third of the Pro Bowl voting, so when your team gets nine or ten players selected to the Pro Bowl, they are doing pretty darned well. If the Vikings Pro Bowlers play better than the Saints Pro Bowlers (after all, we have a lot more of them), the Vikings will win.
It's been 10 long years since the Vikings made it this far, and it's been 34 years since they reached the Super Bowl. Our last memory of the NFCCG was 41-doughnut, a game best forgotten. This game could almost be like the 98 NFCCG, except this season the Vikings come in as the Falcons did then...the underdog on the road to the highest scoring team in the league (and you have a better defense too). The Vikings have come too far this season not to come out confident and firing on all cylinders. Maybe the final TD last weekend was a foretelling to all in the NFL that nothing, no one, can stop the Vikings this season. They are quick to knock you to the ground, land several decisive blows, and toy with you the rest of the contest. I really believe, for no reason other than faith, that the Vikings are winning tonight.