VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell of SportsData, Arif Hasan of Vikings Territory, Aj Mansour, who hosts Minnesota Vikings Overtime on KFAN, and Joe Oberle a long-time Minnesota based writer. The VikesCentric crew crunches numbers, watches video and isn't shy about saying what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: It's time for some changes

Posted by: Bo Mitchell Updated: October 14, 2013 - 9:44 AM

In the immediate aftermath of Sunday's dismal performance against the Carolina Panthers many bewildered Vikings players called the game downright embarrassing. Vikings beat writers, columnists, sportscasters and radio commentators used words like pathetic and abysmal.

Seeking to inject a bit of cleverness and levity to the conversation I implored my followers on Twitter (many of whom are Vikings fans) to help me think of a term that goes beyond train wreck or dumpster fire to describe the state of the team. As I should have expected, many of the responses were unfit for print here.

The bottom line, as many have pointed out in the hours since the Vikings fell to 1-4, it's time for some changes. Coaches get fired after games like that. Starters get benched. Players get waived. There's plenty of blame to go around. Said changes are being discussed at length elsewhere at StarTribune.com as well as on sports talk shows and around water coolers this morning.

But that's not the only changes I'm talking about.

In the span of six weeks Vikings fans have gone from apoplectic to apathetic. That should be of real concern to the suits at Winter Park.

It's one thing when your rabid fan base is "merely" angry. At least those fans are still engaged. However, many who call themselves diehard Vikings fans turned the corner yesterday -- and are now headed down the road to just not caring any more.

One of the many things the Vikings pride themselves on is selling out their lame duck stadium. They haven't had a game blacked out since December of 1997. The Metrodump has been full and fans have been able to watch the game on TV every week ever since Randy Moss came to town.

That streak is in serious jeopardy. The Vikings no longer deem a sellout to be 90 percent at Mall of America Field to avoid a blackout. A sellout is now defined as just that: all the tickets have to be sold. Luckily (sort of) for the Vikings, their next home game is against the Packers. The house will be full on Oct. 27, although half the seats will be filled with green and gold-wearing Green Bay fans. After that, things might get dicey. I don't have the latest ticket sales numbers, but I have to believe the final four home games (against the Redskins, Bears, Eagles and Lions) might not all be sellouts.

But that might not matter. You see, the Vikings have been appointment television in the Twin Cities forever. It's just what you do on Sundays in the fall and early winter: you watch the Vikings game. The television ratings for Vikings games back that up. Whether the rest of the Vikings' home games are on TV might not matter as much, however; and that's the real issue.

Vikings fans – long-time Vikings fans – are starting to make other plans for Sundays. Fans calling the post-game radio rant shows on KFAN and ESPN 1500 talked about turning off the game and doing something else with their time in the second half. Folks on Facebook and Twitter told stories of doing yard work or going to the apple orchard with the family rather than watch the Vikings get blown out.

It's time for some changes all right. It's time for a lot of Minnesotans to change their Sunday routines even when the Vikings game is on. It's happening. It's not just the frustration talking. It's not an idle threat that will vanish in seven days when the Vikes are back on TV. It's actually happening with some fans. It's a small percentage now, but what if they keep losing like they did on Sunday and show no signs of improvement? What if they go on Monday Night football next week and get smoked before a national audience by the winless, hapless Giants? What then?

Time to clean the garage on Sunday, that's what.

The growing unrest and lethargy of the fan base has to be a concern to the Wilfs. I can't imagine the state of the Vikings will help with the sales of the already controversial personal seat licenses for the new state of the art palace that's opening in 2016.

Granted, the Vikings have had bad seasons before and not totally lost the interest of their fans. They'll come back. They always do. Once the product on the field is no longer, in their players' own words, an embarrassment, watching the Vikings will be a Sunday destination. But for right now and the near future it probably won't be.

Minnesota sports fans are just sick and tired of losing. Chances are if you're a fan of the Twins, Timberwolves or Wild, you're also a Vikings fan. There's a lot of overlap in that demographic. That's a lot of losing and a lot of frustration. The Twins felt the effects in ticket sales this past season despite their beautiful venue. And now it looks like the Vikings – the crown jewel of Minnesota's professional sports teams – are going to start feeling the fan interest wane.

And with that, I'd like to encourage you all to go downtown today and watch the Minnesota Lynx parade through the streets of Minneapolis with their WNBA championship trophy. At least Minnesota sports fans have one team that's definitely figured out the winning formula.

Bo Mitchell is the Vice President of Content at SportsData

You can follow Bo on Twitter at @Bo_Mitchell

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Adrian Peterson ever play for the Vikings again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT