It's Vikings/Packers week, which means it's time for two fan bases that exist on stubbornly parallel planes to suddenly veer into each other and collide head-on. Packers fans are dusting off their best jokes about how many Super Bowls the Vikings have won, while Vikings fans mock their border peers about worthless stock and recent playoff failures.
Over the years, I've more than dipped my toes into these waters. I mean, I used to play in a Vikings fans vs. Packers fans touch football game on the same weekend the teams played. I have a lot of good friends who happen to be from Wisconsin and root for the Packers. They are mostly rational, nice folks.
However, there are also fans on both sides of this rivalry that are a little less rational and a little more gullible. I'm not sure which side has more of these people, but I interacted with quite a few on the Green Bay side this week.
It started with a simple absurd tweet. I happened to be looking at ESPN's Total QBR standings for the 2017 season and saw that the Vikings' Case Keenum ranked No. 5 while the Packers' Aaron Rodgers was No. 8. I took note of that and wrote that as a result, it "Feels good for the Vikings to finally have the QB edge going into a MN/GB game."
Now, I think Total QBR is a pretty good stat (some of you disagree, but that's fine). Regardless: Suggesting based on a few games and one statistic that Keenum — who started the year as the Vikings' backup — is better than Rodgers is absurd. I hoped everyone knew that.
I'm on record saying Rodgers is the best quarterback I've ever seen. I believe that. I'm also on record more recently asking, plainly, if Keenum is good.
Now, if you don't know me and think that I'm some sort of mouth-breathing rube who really believes Keenum is better than Rodgers … nope, even then you couldn't possibly think the tweet was serious. Could you? Oh, you could.
Some of you accused me of #fake-news or being the worst of Vikings fandom.
Many of you found clever .Gifs to explain your rage.
It was even suggested that maybe I was on drugs?
Sensing that there were, unfortunately, more than a few people who weren't in on the joke, an attempt was made to clarify — which was taken as an attempt at backpedaling by some.
So I don't know, maybe Twitter needs a sarcasm font. Maybe I expected too much.
Or maybe it's just better this way.Because as much fun as it is to have genuinely good-natured back-and-forth taunting between Vikings fans and Packers fans leading up to these games — the 90 to 95 percent of Vikings fans and Packers fans who knew I was not serious with that tweet can have this kind of exchange — it's just as fun to see the extremes.
I'm getting older, but it will never get old to interact with sensitive, gullible Packers fans.