Commenter Newbie checks in with his take on what the Vikings have accomplished so far:
Expectations: Am I the only one who is not excited about what the Vikings have done so far? Don't get me wrong, I am happy for them. But this is not some group that at the beginning of the season was not expected to contend for the division, only to win a dramatic play-in game to get to the playoffs. This team was "penned" into this game the day they signed Favre.
Looking at the division before they signed Favre, it was expected they would win the North, even with T-Jack or Sage. (The Packers would have given them a little more run for their money than expected, but they still did it.) They signed Favre and the NFC North was "locked." Half way through the season it was clear the Vikings and the Saints were the class of the Conference.
It came down to who would finish stronger. After the Arizona loss by the Vikings, our fate was "sealed." We were going to New Orleans for the NFC title game. (A few twists and turns could have changed that, but that's football.) This weekend showed why these two teams were the talk of the NFC all season. And it all comes down to what we "knew" in week 13. Brett Favre is leading the Vikings to New Orleans where anything can happen.
So RandBallers, looking at Childress' history: 6-10, 8-8, 10-6 (playoff loss), 12-4 (1 playoff win) do you think he has accomplished more than can be expected? After all he had the playoff bye which was more than last year, therefore yesterday's win is taking us beyond what we thought? Or do you think this team still has a lot to prove and needs to beat the Saints to call this year a success and validate the Childress extension? Or even lose in a tight match-up? After all they have not even hung around in nationally-televised-late-road game this year. I am excited about this game, but only because I have been expecting it all season long. These other games were just necessary nuisances to get to this point.
Newbie makes some valid points, but as we discussed last night in a lengthy conversation with Rocket, we would hate to see the accomplishments to this point undone by one game if the Vikings end up losing Sunday. Don't get us wrong -- we understand the entire state is hoping for a Super Bowl berth and a championship. But success is relative. Any of the final four teams can win it all. As long as the team puts forth a good showing -- win or lose Sunday, provided the losing isn't in some sort of bizarre and/or excruciating fashion -- we don't think the good of the season should be diminished too much. Because even though this team had high hopes when the season started, it is another thing to pull through.