touchdownThe Vikings are off to a 4-0 start with a defense that looks elite.

Peter King is saying the quarterback who wasn’t even on the roster until September and didn’t play until week 2 is the MVP of the NFL so far.

Veteran Star Tribune NFL scribe Mark Craig is telling Vikings fans why it’s OK to believe in this year’s team after so much heartbreak (even if he doesn’t offer any spoiler alerts on the ending of Thelma & Louise in his piece).

And the vast majority of Vikings fandom is both ecstatic and terrified about all of this.

It’s early. So very much can go wrong. We’ve seen seasons like this before, and they don’t end well — as Craig describes, “four Super Bowl losses, Drew Pearson’s push-off, Darrin Nelson’s drop, Brett Favre’s interception, Gary Anderson going wide left and Blair Walsh going wider left.”

It’s made Vikings fans jaded, cautious, superstitious wrecks. There are 10,457 pieces of evidence of this (and counting), but Exhibit A was the reaction I got on Tuesday’s Access Vikings podcast from Deadspin’s Drew Magary, a noted Vikings enthusiast.

I asked Drew to name the five best teams in the NFL, and he included the Vikings in that mix. If you’re a top five team, that means you are a contender. A legit contender. So I prodded Drew with this:

“I think if you say that, you’re saying the Vikings are good enough to win the Super Bowl this year.”

And immediately Drew barked at me: “Shut up! … You don’t say it! You idiot! You’ll ruin it!”

I replied: “We can say things like this now. It’s not like before.”

Drew: “No. You’re going to say it and then Bradford is going to fall into a manhole five minutes from now because you said it. … I think they’re very good, and I hope more good things (happen) for them. But I’m not going to predict it and then have God come down and put a lightning bolt through my face.”

As someone who has been following the Vikings closely for three decades, I understand Drew’s pain. But I also think that at a certain point a gloom-and-doom attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I think it’s OK to talk about the Super Bowl — not as in “the Vikings are going to win it” but as in “the Vikings are good enough to contend for it” — because it’s healthy and factual.

But you all can feel free to keep tiptoeing around it if you want. That’s worked great for the last half-century.

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