By Matt Krier
It’s no secret we live in safety-conscious world these days. Want to enter that haunted house? Sign this medical waiver so you can’t sue if you collapse from fright. Want to play rec league sports? Place your John Hancock on the dotted line in case you get lightheaded shooting hoops. You want to sign up for that chili eating contest? You don’t get an oyster cracker until you absolve the contest from any responsibility. It feels like there isn’t a lot we can do these days without ensuring that what we’re doing is a direct danger to our health and ourselves.
Well, except Vikings football. Strangely, one of the worst things for our health this fall doesn’t require a waiver. But after the first six games in 2021, we might need to rethink that.
Just consider what this team has put us through so far and what’s yet to come:
1. To jab or not to jab? Like it or not, COVID still looms over everything in 2021, and that goes for our local professional football team, as well. The starting quarterback Kirk Cousins along with many of his teammates opted to not get vaccinated. In unfortunate timing, he, along with several of those teammates, missed time in the preseason due to positive exposures and causing enough outcry for him to offer to exist in a plexiglass box.
2. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and all points in-between: Five of the Vikings’ first six games have been one-score affairs with the outcomes up in the air until the final seconds each time. The team has made kicks to win, missed kicks to lose, wrestled victory from the jaws of defeat and watched as wins slipped through their fingers on more than one occasion. It’s been exhausting, not only to fans, but to national commentators as well:
3. Legacies and futures hang in the balance: With the team treading water at 3-3, the futures of many key figures in the organization are anything but certain. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman are both in the crosshairs as the team cannot afford another season with middling success without questions arising about their effectiveness. The team may need a deep run in the playoffs, something this duo has not achieved since 2017-18.
4. Good Kirk, Bad Kirk: Want to start a fight amongst Vikings fans? Express an opinion about Kirk Cousins. Any opinion. He’s good! He’s bad! He hates mustard on his hot dogs! It. Doesn’t. Matter. You will find someone clad in purple who will argue with you about whatever you feel about him. The fact is that Cousins is having one of his best years statistically in 2021. He’s currently seventh in the league with almost 300 yards passing per game. He has 13 touchdown passes to only two interceptions. He is completing almost 70 percent of his passes. He’s been phenomenal. The problem? The team is 3-3. Is he the reason the team is only .500? No, not at all. But when your overall record as the team’s starting quarterback barely hovers above the break-even point (28-24-1) and you have been paid as a top five quarterback your entire tenure in Minnesota, at some point the finger gets pointed at you, fair or not. With the team having drafted quarterback Kellen Mond in the second round of this year’s draft, it’s no secret to Cousins, his fans, and the team that the countdown to his departure may be on unless something incredibly drastic changes.
5. It doesn’t get any easier from here: Think it’s been tough so far? It’s only going to get tougher. At this moment, the Vikings have the second most difficult schedule remaining in all the NFL. What little room there has been for error gets squeezed even worse going forward. The only bright spot? The most difficult schedule remaining belongs to the Packers, so enjoy that Cheeseheads.
So, are you ready for the remainder of what looks to be a roller coaster of a football season?
We have lost a game in regulation, ot, and missing a kick that if made would have won as time expired— Riabetes (@Wernburner) October 17, 2021
We have won a game in regulation, ot, and making a kick that if missed would have lost as time expired
It is week 6
Before you do, please sign the waiver stating your heart is healthy enough for Vikings football.