Sunday, we watched the Vikings dissect the Bears, watched Brett Favre throw for 392 yards as easily as skippin' stones across a pond in a Wranglers commercial.

Monday, we watched the Saints dissect the Patriots, watched Drew Brees throw five touchdown passes as easily as catching beads at Mardi Gras.

On consecutive days, we watched two of the great quarterbacks in history lead two of the most dynamic offenses in the game, watched the two best teams in the conference set course for what promises to be a spectacular NFC Championship Game.

The natural reaction of a Vikings fan should be: "I can't wait to see that.''

But when I opened e-mails Tuesday morning, I realized the reaction of most Vikings fans was: "I can't bear to watch.''

Having removed much of the overt drama from the regular season with their 10-1 start, the Vikings have created an internal drama for most of their fans, who feel snubbed by fate after watching four Super Bowl losses and multiple NFC Championship Game disappointments.

One e-mail from Tuesday morning read, in part, "Last night's game between New Orleans and New England is why the Vikings won't get to the Super Bowl ... As a Viking fan from the beginning, it appears I will be disappointed once again.''

Which raises the question: What is wrong with you people?

You buy the jerseys, invest time in following the team, spend money on tickets and parking and tailgating and throwing Sunday afternoon parties, and then your team starts 10-1 while featuring the most captivating story and personality in sports, and instead of enjoying the moment you curl up in the fetal position, cover your eyes with your tattered "Three Deep'' poster, and imitate the Weeping Blondes?

Minnesotans are supposed to be hardy and strong, tempered by the DNA of forebears who lived through their first winter here and, strangely, decided to stay.

When it comes to the Vikings, though, this is a state full of wimps.

Instead of viewing the four Vikings Super Bowl teams as high achievers, you treat them like they stole paychecks from your mailbox. Instead of viewing the 1998 NFC championship game as a timeless epic, you treat it like a personal insult.

I'm starting to think that if average Vikings fans won the lottery, they'd complain about the taxes.

If you want evidence that the Saints' victory over New England on Monday night does not preclude a Vikings Super Bowl appearance, you need only remember the game that left those famous Blondes Weeping, in a Star Tribune photo that today resides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It is the Vikings' loss to the Falcons in 1998 that provides all the evidence you need that upsets are possible, and that the more explosive passing team doesn't always win the big games.

Remember? The Vikings were heavy favorites. They set an NFL record for points scored that season; the current Saints are threatening to break a newer version of that record.

The Vikings were playing another dome team at home, just as the Saints would be if they played host to the Vikings this January.

The Falcons played flawlessly that day. They used a strong ground game to slow the pace of play. Quarterback Chris Chandler, a cool veteran, handled the crowd noise and converted third downs.

The Vikings suffered key injuries during the course of the game. They watched one big play -- Randall Cunningham's fumble at the end of the first half -- change momentum. They watched a kicker, Gary Anderson, who had not missed all season, miss with the game on the line.

If you hadn't noticed, sports tend to be unpredictable. Outcomes hinge on fluke plays and pressurized decisions, on officials' mistakes and star players' biorhythms, on injuries severe and subtle.

If you're going to watch sports, you should stop whining about the possibility of another heartbreaking loss. Even if it is inevitable.

Jim Souhan can be heard at 10-noon Sunday, and 6:40 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on AM-1500. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com