Rand: Vikings shouldn't apologize for winning

  • Updated: December 26, 2011 - 9:30 AM

Fans were not pleased with Saturday's victory, but the players should be.

It was ironic. We will grant everyone that.

Vikings fans have gathered in stadiums and around TV sets for countless years, hoping beyond hope that their team could win this or that critical game. More often than not, history tells us, Minnesota has come out on the losing end -- often times in a fashion that was spectacular, heartbreaking or both.

So on Saturday, with many purple faithful dreaming of Andrew Luck and shifted toward wanting that very thing the Vikings so frequently seem to deliver -- a well-timed loss --Minnesota did the exact opposite. The Vikings didn't roll over. There were no catchy Luck failure slogans in play. They didn't even play flat for Matt (Kalil).

By winning Saturday, the Vikings took themselves out of the running for the No. 1 pick in the draft. They diminished their odds of getting the No. 2 pick and brought about the real possibility that their pick could be worse than No. 3 if they pull off another victory week against the Bears.

Anyone who doesn't understand how this could happen doesn't have a firm grasp on Vikings history. But they also lack perspective on what it means to compete at the highest level.

Being an elite athlete shouldn't be a thankless job. But it should be a tank-less one.

You cannot -- or rather, should not -- tell or expect a professional athlete to stop competing and/or attempt to lose a game. Anybody worth having on a team you are rooting for should not have those character traits in their DNA.

As such, why shouldn't Adrian Peterson have played Saturday? He was healthy enough at the outset, he is very well paid to do it. Anyone trying to pin his injury on anything but a bad break is missing the greater point.

Those folks are probably same ones who start thinking about draft position as soon as a team shows a hint of failure. They are perhaps frustrated by Joe Webb's playmaking brilliance, unnerved by Toby Gerhart's insistence on running over would-be tacklers and mystified that Saturday, of all times, the Vikings finally intercepted a pass.

Sorry, but if you have a competitive bone in your body, you have to understand that between the lines, there should not be a choice. There is only the highest standard a player and a team set for themselves. There is no shame in success, and there should be on apologies for winning.

There have been plenty of low points in Vikings history -- some truly excruciating losses. But count us among those glad that Saturday didn't descend into some nightmarish farce.

In 2006, Mark Madsen tried seven three-pointers -- his first seven attempts all season, all coming in overtime -- to ensure the Timberwolves lost and received more draft ping-pong balls. The ensuing draft was the oft-referenced Randy Foye-Brandon Roy debacle.

You make your own luck. But you can't make Luck come to you.

MICHAEL RAND

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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