Imagine, if you will, an alien species so advanced it could travel vast distances in the blink of an eye. Picture a species that has roamed the galaxy for eons, toting up the history of civilizations that rose and fell for reasons inscrutable and obvious. They come across Earth in a thousand years, and find it barren and ruined. What happened?

"Well, DorgX9323, when we checked in on them long ago, they seemed to be divided by a great argument that had no resolution, and apparently they went to dreadful means to settle the dispute."

"What was it, BrirP3931?"

"Tastes great v. less filling."

"Again? How many complex civilizations have riven themselves asunder over that question? Well, let us move along and see if System $#5w has survived their theological quandaries. Where did they stand on our last visit?"

"It was perilous. Half the planet could not believe it wasn't butter, and half the planet was willing to do anything to force the other half to accept that it was butter. We have seen worlds tear themselves asunder over popularly priced spreads, but usually they step back from the brink."

They may leave Earth without truly understanding that it was neither beer nor butter that laid waste to our lovely blue world. It was something no one saw coming. No one knew there was a hidden source of energy so great that it would turn the world into a cinder when it was released, an element we didn't discover until it was too late.


Left alone, frustratium is not dangerous. It has a half-life of 18 weeks, after which it decays and turns into copeium and hopeium. What we didn't know was this: frustratium resonates on a quantum level, syncing with all the deposits of frustratium that have ever existed, building up tremendous amounts of stored energy that could end the world if the conditions were right.

To explain this, we need to go back to the spaceship, where a plucky young science intern has figured out what happened to Earth.

"I studied Earth at the academy, and I was particularly interested in their ovoid-possession rituals. I've listened to some of the broadcasts we picked up a thousand years ago, and I think I know what happened."

"Explain, Ghpl93356."

"The Vikings scored on the first drive, were tied going into the second quarter, fell behind at the half, made a good showing in the third quarter but were outscored, came back in the fourth to tie, and an interception on the one-yard line after the two-minute warning set up a drive where Cousins connected with Jefferson and Thielen for two 30-yard completions that led to a field goal. The Vikings won, and this set off a chain reaction that ignited the pressurized frustratium they had been building up for years."

"Could this have been avoided?"

"Perhaps. Cousins could have thrown to Irv Smith, and he would've dropped it. But he was out."

And so we must consider — however unlikely — that the Vikings have been charged with something quite important: the fate of mankind. You'll notice that while the team has never won the Super Bowl, life has continued to flourish on the planet. I know that correlation is not causation, but who knows? Can any of us say that the risk is worth it, and cheer on the team, knowing it may end life as we know it?

On behalf of all Vikings fans past and present: It's a risk we're willing to take.