Whether because of brashness, a lack of life experience or just plain stupidity, we all made mistakes when we were younger.
But then most of us got older and wiser and learned to the errors of our ways — and can now look back on the transgressions of our younger days with a knowing shake of the head.
What were we thinking when we thought we had it all figured out?
Last week, for instance, we were technically all younger than we are right now. And a lot of us were pretty sure we had the Vikings and Twins all figured out.
As Sam Bradford’s knee grew increasingly troublesome, the narrative around the Vikings turned to gloom and doom. Last Sunday, they stumbled around Pittsburgh with a lackluster all-around performance. That description was certainly apt when it came to backup quarterback Case Keenum.
So when it started to look as if Keenum would be the guy again against Tampa Bay — a hunch that proved true Friday when the Vikings made it official and Bradford went to get a second opinion — many of us (hand raised here) naturally assumed there were only two possible outcomes against the Buccaneers:
Either the Vikings would find a way to disguise Keenum and keep a low-scoring game close with a chance to win at the end, or the emotional letdown that seemed evident the previous week would overtake the purple and they would get trounced at home and really start to panic.
Ah, the follies of youth. Now that we’re older and wiser, we can see the foolishness of that assumption. Sports are cyclical and unpredictable. Anything is possible in a given week.
Sure, we might not have guessed that Keenum would post a Total QBR figure of 94.7 — better than any NFL QB in either of the first two weeks, including Bradford’s sterling Week 1 display (92.1). None of us will ever live to be old enough to see that coming. But the Vikings winning 34-17? Sure, why not.
The Twins, meanwhile, followed the Vikings’ stinker in the Steel City by spending the early part of last week getting swept by the Yankees and looking increasingly hopeless in the process.
They still had the final seven games of the road trip left, and there were enough teams in their rearview mirror to think the Twins could be headed for a downward spiral that would cut short their postseason chances.
Then of course they arrived in Detroit. The Tigers’ bullpen looked about as good for four nights as Tampa Bay’s secondary looked for three hours. Their nearest competitors continued to stumble. The Twins left Detroit with a four-game sweep and a commanding lead in the chase for the final wild-card spot.
Of course they did. The Tigers are terrible. Nobody else in the playoff chase has made anything resembling a sustained move for two months. Why did we lose faith?
All of this wisdom can only lead to the natural conclusion that the Vikings are back on a Super Bowl path and that the Twins are going to shock the world in the playoffs — starting in Yankee Stadium.
Ah, well, not quite. The biggest takeaway, as always, is that we have no way of knowing what is going to happen. The only time we look smart is when we keep our mouths closed and just watch … and then pretend we saw it all coming after it happens.