Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where anger is a gift (and sometimes a gif). Let’s get to it:
*Vikings fans are well-acquainted with the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief, even if they don’t know have a deep background in emotional development. Grief starts with denial, then moves to anger, then bargaining, then depression and finally acceptance.
Fans of all teams tend to spend more time on certain stages than others, and I’d say a lot of Vikings fans right now have moved right past denial and have latched onto anger in a big way. Sometimes this expresses itself in ugly ways. And sometimes it comes out in hilarious ways. Case in point:
Via @mebaltes on Twitter comes an account of her 10-year-old cousin. In a letter dated Jan. 1, 2019 — two days after the Vikings lost to the Bears to miss the playoffs — the young girl finds a fascinating scapegoat for the poor performance of Kirk Cousins in the 24-10 loss: Sleep Number, the mattress company that Cousins endorses. Per the letter, where the girl describes herself as a Stefon Diggs and Kirk Cousins megafan:
Dear Sleep Number,
As you know the Vikings lost the game against the Bears. I am writing to you complaining that Kirk Cousins’ Sleep Number mattress is not good enough. That means that he is tired for games and can’t perform at his best.
This is fantastic next-level stuff, and the creativity shown by a 10-year-old to connect a Vikings loss to a product endorsement is off the charts.
If that doesn’t do it for you, though, another seemingly angry Vikings fan placed an ad on Craigslist announcing that the team’s new state-of-the-art training facility in Eagan could be purchased for $84 million — conveniently the full cost of Cousins’ three-year contract. Per the ad:
Current occupant chooses not to utilize facilities to maximum potential and is in search of renter who would enjoy the opportunity to take advantage of a state-of-the-art facility to build a championship teams. (Or heck, a team that can string together three or more wins in a row.) Also included is an employee who wanders the halls and the field looking lost and frustrated. He’s harmless but has a bad habit of throwing wadded up paper footballs way past the waste baskets, and then uses a Microsoft Surface to attempt to place the blame on the basket. His contract must be paid whether or not new occupant decides to keep him.
Ouch! It should be noted that there are plenty of Vikings fans out there who have moved on and still have high hopes for 2019. They just don’t occupy the dark corners of the Internet.
*But perhaps those folks will be rewarded next season? After all, every successful Vikings season in recent memory has been at least somewhat of a surprise. The last three times the Vikings made the playoffs — 2012, 2015 and 2017 — it involved a jump of at least four victories from the previous season. And the years with the most hype (2010, 2016, 2018) have turned out to be duds.