In baseball, hockey, and basketball you can play poorly in the playoffs. You can give up hat tricks, be shutout, go hitless, or be unable to buy a basket. It will be OK, you have another shot, or two, sometimes many more. Not in NFL football.
The Vikings play the Cowboys today and we get ready for that ultimate fate. So far the Saints and Colts have shown that the divisional round belongs to home teams with good quarterbacks. Both defenses rose up and played well. Turnovers were in favor of the winning teams. The Cardinals and Ravens could take solace in the fact that they each beat a good team to get there, but they won't. Football ends rather harshly in the playoffs.
All week I have been told that the Cowboys will fare well in our Dome. Recent play by both teams suggests that may be true. The single game to decide if these people are full of it, or possible soothsayers, will happen in a couple of hours. I am nervously optimistic. We have all the tools to win, we have the loud fans, and home teams are two for two so far in this round.
Whatever happens the 12-4 ride has been a good one. We have earned the right to play this game at home. We have everything in place for this game. If we lose, we (Vikings fans) will certainly be unhappy. The NFL delivers grief in just over three hours, as opposed to the 5-10 days it takes the others. The recovery time is longer than the blow. But if we win, the electric feeling lasts until the next game, a week away.
Time to mourn? Time to celebrate? It is only a few hours away. Like an inevitable car wreck that you can/may survive.
Fasten your seat belts, join me in prayer, let this be a purple day.