This point was hammered home last night on two separate occasions -- while listening to the song "Conduit for Sale" by Pavement, and while re-reading David Eggers' excellent book, "You Shall Know our Velocity." (Yeah, we know. Just give us the Hipster Boy Scout Badge already).
Conduit for Sale is a strange song from Steven Malkmus and Co., but one we've always enjoyed a great deal. The verses are spoken word, and an entirely too fast spoken word -- like a nervous 8th-grader who has been assigned to memorize and read a famous poem, and therefore develops a rhythm in front of the class that buzzes through the words at lightning speed so that his assignment will be done sooner and he can return to his desk. The song builds musically and lyrically to a final statement, however, that we have always considered very profound: "Between here and there is better than either here or there!"
A similar sentiment is expressed throughout YSKOV, which you really should read. The protagonist, Will -- with whom we identify tremendously -- embarks with a friend on a somewhat bizarre but entirely beautiful one-week trip across the world. He is focused on constant movement, losing himself in the moment -- considering it the best way to quiet the dark parts of his mind. And that, to him, is the only way to win.
We've often considered the line, "Between here and there is better than here or there!" to be somewhat of a life philosophy -- a journey, not a destination, in simpler terms. As it relates to your 2011 Vikings, however, it is completely backwards. The Vikings are stuck between here (the 2009 season) and there (completely bottoming out, so they might rebuild), and it is certainly not the preferable position. This should come as no surprise; as stated before, we are finding out they are exactly who we thought they were: a veteran team capable of brilliance and failure; a team with enough talent to sustain momentum, but enough holes to really get things taken to them when things go wrong.
They are grounded in the airport of the NFL. They were hoping to defy the law of averages, to be that 8-win team that somehow wins 11 because they made the three plays that swing almost every close NFL game more than they should have (see: Bears, Chicago). As such, they are not without hope nor are they are un-watchable. But when you get stuck in the middle between here and there and you have no velocity, you are really going nowhere.