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The Curious Misadventures of the Unlikeliest Sports Blogger–Part 4

Or, Where I Stop Toying with Ted’s Patience and Get On with the Story

Ted is a patient person, but even his patience has come to an end. He has demanded to know what happens in Part 4 of my curious misadventures of the unlikeliest sports blogger.

So there I was, writing under the name Skol Girl, a member of the Daily Norseman site for about a month and suddenly they were asking if I was interested in writing for the site’s front page. I pinched myself and enjoyed that feeling of professional validation for longer than I should have when it suddenly occurred to me that my first front page story would land just before the Minnesota Vikings’ rematch with the New Orleans Saints.

Not since 1998 had Vikings fans experienced that acutely agonizing sense of what could have been the way they did after the Vikings lost to the Saints in the NFC Championship game during the 2009 post-season. The game was close, scrappy, with both Brett Favre and Drew Brees marshalling their forces for incredible scoring drives. But the game ended with the Saints going on to the Super Bowl and the Vikings just going home. For the NFL to start the 2010 season with a rematch of that game…well, I got the feeling the NFL was setting up the Vikings to get completely trounced so the Super Bowl-winning Saints would have that glorious, “conquering-champion” moment.

My suspicion stemmed from the fact that the NFC Championship game was incredibly costly for the Vikings. Several key players were injured in that game and even several months later the Vikings’ roster was still gashed. I had my story.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little concerned about suddenly writing for the Daily Norseman front page. Because what I wrote would be on the site’s main page, a lot more people were going to be reading my articles and I really wanted to validate Chris Gates’ (our fearless leader) decision to add me to the staff. However, if I had known how I came to be offered that position, I would have been more interested in what Ted thought. Ah yes, we have come to the Ted portion of my tale and the explanation of why I refer to him as my fairy godfather.

Back when I was snarking back at Ted’s supportive comments on my fan posts (Part 3), I had no idea that he was sharing that same opinion with Chris and the other front-page writer Eric. See, my timing for drawing Ted’s attention was surprisingly good. Just as Ted was noticing my writing, the Daily Norseman found itself in need of another front-page writer.

It was Ted who recommended me for the front-page staff. He read my fan posts on the Daily Norseman and liked my peculiar take on football writing and my interaction with other DN members in the comments, which is kind of a big deal with DN.

As a chick in the sausage fest world of football writing, the odds are good that at least one guy in the entire readership of DN might be a dick. Thus far, I had been remarkably lucky in avoiding those people. However, there were a couple of the condescending “honey” and “sweetie” comments where guys kindly explained to me the error of my ways regarding my opinions. Actually, for some of those guys being condescending was probably a kindness—if I’d been a guy there’s a good chance they would have been a lot more abusive in their disagreement. Even though those “oh sweetie, let me explain something to you” comments grated on me, I tried not to answer back combatively. Sometimes it was a struggle, but I didn’t have many readers and couldn’t afford to start alienating them.

But Ted noticed my efforts. And it made him curious about me. Curiosity isn’t too surprising since a chick writing about football is only a little less rare than a two-headed duck. So, Ted wandered over here to WordPress to see what else I had written. Turns out he liked that too. Despite my family’s skepticism, it turns out I do have charm. Unfortunately, it’s only in print form.

When I set about writing that first front-page story, I had not a clue that Ted was my fairy godfather. That’s probably good because I had enough nerves about that first story, if I’d known he had vouched for me I would have been a wreck. Like I said, I wanted to validate the decision to add me to the front-page staff. It had me feeling insecure and as if I needed to up my game.

That professional insecurity is a spooky feeling and the urge to reinvent myself was strong. Fortunately, I had one of my better moments of self-awareness and realized that my style, quirky as it was, was what got me noticed so I should probably just be myself. I could improve, make sure to double-check all my facts and stuff like that, but stay myself. Even though my style wasn’t full of statistical analysis, it was full of me and I would sink or swim on the DN front-page as me.

I wrote exactly what I felt about the Vikings rematch with the Saints—dread. If the Vikings’ first game of the 2010 season was as costly as the last game of the 2009 season, I suspected that the Vikings would be limping the rest of the season. So, as humorously as I could, I wrote about how I would be cringing during that rematch and titled it “Wincing the Night Away,” I posted it, and then I waited.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first front-page post. That was probably good because any expectations I might have had would have been wrong. I got a ton of positive comments, some flirty banter, a marriage proposal, and asked out for a date. That guy who asked me out? A Saints fan–nope, not making that up. Real pity he was on the other end of the country because a guy who likes football and quotes Oscar Wilde is certainly worth meeting.

Despite my fears that DN readers would be outraged to have me doing my quirky schtick on the front page of the best Minnesota Vikings blog around, no one was calling for my immediate removal or saying I should be beaten with sticks. It was a surprise. Little did I know, bigger surprises were in store.

As always, thanks for reading. Join me for Part 5 and the bigger surprises. They may or may not have something to do with lights, cameras, and action.

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My Championship Wish

If I had just one wish…well, I’d probably have to use it for world peace so I wouldn’t look like a selfish jerk. However, if I had more wishes I think that at least one of them would involve the Minnesota Vikings finally winning the Super Bowl.

My team has not even been to the Super Bowl since the year before I was born and I think it is about time for them to make another appearance at the biggest football game of the year. Winning the biggest game of the year would be even better. I realize that I am but a lowly fan and not a great football mind, but I can’t help think that making a championship run once every three decades isn’t asking too much of my team. Especially when everyone from the fans to the analysts to the players to the towel boys seems to think this will be the year.

I don’t like joining bandwagons or counting my team’s championships before they have been won, but I’m going to try to push that tiresome commonsense aside and enjoy the moment. And really, why not? As it is, I have been keeping a sharp look-out for low-flying pigs since August 18 when Brett Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

For as much as it was bandied about and speculated, it still caught me by surprise when the long-time Green Bay Packers quarterback showed up at Winter Park and put on a purple helmet. Seeing his iconic number 4 on a Vikings jersey with “Favre” in big, block letters across the shoulders still makes me twitch a bit, kind of like Herbert Lom’s Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the original Pink Panther movies.

But, my twitchiness aside, with the pivotal signing of Brett Favre at quarterback it seems like the pieces of the team puzzle are in place for the Minnesota Vikings to have a good season. The Vikings defense was pretty solid even before last year’s signing of Jared Allen. And having a healthy E.J. Henderson added back to the defensive mix along with the resigning of Antoine Winfield and drafting Asher Allen should complicate play-calling for even the savviest of offensive coordinators. All that was really missing was an offense that stayed on the field long enough to give the defense a breather.

Now, we seem to have it. Favre has vast experience playing west coast style offense like the Vikings play. Even if his arm doesn’t have the zip on it that it had when he won his last Super Bowl, he has an ideal choice of on-field weapons. Hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, short pass to Visanthe Shiancoe and Percy Harvin, or, if Favre’s arm is feeling frisky, loft it out to Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice. With that embarrassment of riches for Favre to choose from on offense, there is a good chance that Pat Williams won’t have to suck oxygen on the sidelines nearly as much this year.

I realize that it is entirely possible that this season of Vikings football won’t live up to the hype. Come January I might be burning candles around a makeshift shrine of purple Favre jerseys while I sit in the dark listening to the BeeGees sing about how a love so right turned out to be so wrong. But for this brief moment I’m just going to enjoy the thoughts of the championship that might be. Why shouldn’t I have a good feeling about it? I just ducked another low-flying pig.

This article also appears on vikingsmix.com under the screen name Skol Girl. Despite my fears, they tell me that I will not go to jail for also posting this piece here on WordPress as well as with them. If you are fan of Minnesota Vikings football, you should check the site out.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Brett Favre, Football

 

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