So This is Really Happening:
The Minnesota Vikings, led by Christian Ponder and playing a couple of rookies in significant spots all year long, swept the month of December (their hardest part of the schedule) and made the playoffs. You read that right. The 2012 Minnesota Vikings are – INDISPUTABLY! – the sixth best team in the NFC! Woo hoo! We've finally made it! But that's not good enough, people. Just getting to the dance doesn't mean squat if you get face kicked in the first round. Watching Adrian Peterson lose out on the single season rushing record by NINE GOD DAMN YARDS doesn't mean anything if the Vikings go and lose the first round of the playoffs. This is a big deal. This game Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers kind of means a lot. I'm kind of excited for this game, and you should be too.
Why? I mean, aside from the fact that it's a Vikings playoff game? Because we have a shot at winning this thing. !!!! Let's do this.
Thanks to ShowdownPokerGuy for the great game day preview graphic!
Green Bay Fans Think This is Cool:
Let's get you riled up and angry to start the weekend off right. For beginners, I present to you the following video, which was apparently edited by a Packers fan on a Windows 97 OS. You may need to go back in time to watch things this grainy, but if you're able to fight through it, you can see it has the intent of being a Packer's "pump up" video, set to the voice overs and music to The Dark Knight Rises trailer. I say that is probably it's intent, because this video makes NO FUCKING SENSE. It starts off looking like it's going to be about Adrian Peterson returning to football and beating the shit out of the Packers, right? Which is kind of in line with what the Batman movie was all about, a return to form for the hero. But then it … what, cuts to shots of the Packers losing one game unjustly? Like they've somehow been cheated ALL THESE YEARS and finally need this game to prove themselves? You're 11-5 for fucks sake, and won the Super Bowl two years ago. What are you upset about? Jesus, Packer fans are just the worst.
Local Pride on the Line:
Just when you thought shit couldn't get any more BUCK for this game, we find out that Minneapolis Mayor RT Cool J and Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt-face have made a "friendly wager" on the upcoming pig skin match. Huzzah! What great use of politician time, betting on football games instead of creating jobs for our ailing Midwestern states! But clearly, this is more important. You see, whichever mayor loses has to send a care package of sorts to the other mayor, including some kind of food or beverage. As stated at the link,
"If the Vikings win, Mayor Rybak will get BelGioioso cheese, Sno-Cap Root Beer from Titletown Brewing Company and Beernsten’s candies — all from Green Bay. If the Packers win, Mayor Schmitt will receive house-made sausages from Minneapolis restaurant Butcher and the Boar."
I don't know what any of those things are, but I don't give two shits about BelGioioso cheese. You can buy that garbage at Cub Foods, can't you? Why would I think that's anything to enjoy? House-made sausage on the other hand? Rybak better not send ANY of that over to Wisconsin, ever. That's one way to lose reelection.
Clay Matthews Should Use HGH on His Brain:
Because he's clearly a moron. He had his awesome statement this week leading up to Saturday's game where he said the Packers "aren't giving up 200 [yards] again" to Adrian Peterson. This, of course, is most hilarious, considering Purple Jesus only averages 205 rushing yards a game against the Packers this season. But whoa! Hey, not a chance the Packers are going to give up ANOTHER 200 yard rusher! Not this week, buddy! 199 yard rusher? Sure, that's fine. Maybe even 150, but two or three rushing touchdowns? Yeah, probably. The Packers defense is total horse shit, so it's entirely likely. But don't for a second think that Clay Matthews is all soft and shit, and that the Packers are going to act like Peterson's bitch for the third time this season, a millionth time in his career. Clay Matthews simply won't hear it. Because he can't. Because his ear drums burst when he tried shooting steroids into them. Remember he juices, right?
Dolan Comic of the Week:
After this season I'll probably move on to another meme to feature in every game post, so I don't know if this is going to be the last Dolan feature or not. If it is, I want it to go out with a BANG, like what we're obviously going to do to the Packers. It's RAEP time in Wisconsin this weekend, and Dolan Vikings are going in dry. Fak U, Pookerz.
Scotch of the Week:
Thanks to my new scotch book, I'm pretty much never going to run out of recommendations now, which is awesome. As an aside, no, I haven't tried EVERY scotch out there, but I now have enough information to get all of us started toward achieving that goal. Like this week, for instance, where we highlight a rare and weird as shit Macallan. This is the "1841", 41.7 vol bottle, which is like a 150 year old scotch (it says whiskey, but come on). It's given a high 96 out of 100 ranking, and is probably well deserved. Brilliant gold, fresh, with fudge, vanilla extract, and even pistachio nut smells to it, it tastes sweet but not cloying, with bits of orange-blossom honey. As it may have been one of the first bottle scotches, and being 150 years old, it probably costs a shit ton of money. So if ever presented with an opportunity, drink it all down like you're relying on it for life sustenance.
Crap. Do I actually pick the Vikings to win this game? Dare I do such a thing? I'm trying not to jinx the team this week by thinking so many positive thoughts, but it's hard not to do so. If you don't think the Viking shave a legitimate shot at winning this game, I do think you're a little wacky. The truth of the matter is that this is just another divisional game. These two teams obviously know each other REAAAALLL well. Not just because they've played each other three times now this season, but because they beat the hell out of each other twice a year otherwise, too. Believe it or not, but this is the FIFTH time Ponder will have played against the Packers already, in only his second year (actually, year and a half) as a pro. He's seen a lot of their shit already, so he shouldn't be shell shocked. Hopefully.
And Peterson! I swear he averages 175 rushing yards against the Packers throughout his entire career. That's stupid good, and can make a huge difference in the playoffs. A rushing attack keeps Rodgers off the field and hurts like fucking hell when it's 20 degrees out. You ever try tackling a Mack truck when it's freezing? Well, me neither, but I bet it's not fun. At all. Packer defenders are going to be in a world of hurt.
Really, it's pretty simple. No stupid turnovers, rush the ball, Ponder needs to make good decisions, and have Blair Walsh kick us to victory. If the defense has Antoine Winfield at even 75% health, Harrison Smith covers well, and Everson Griffen goes Osi Umenyiora on that ass, we are in business. Deep down, I don't REALLY think the Vikings can go buck like this two weeks in a row, but what the hell do I care. We aren't even suppose to be here anyway, so let's continue to defy convention and win it all. We'll pick a Vikings win, 30-27.
Enjoy the game, everyone, if you can without throwing up. That's no guarantee. We'll get a game thread up Saturday to drop thoughts there throughout the weekend. Starting today, we're also going to have like a 36 hour marathon of making fun of Packer fans through meme on our Facebook page, so go like it and laugh, if you would be so kind. Until then, let's just all try not to shit ourselves in anticipation.