The overall head-to-head record sounds bad:
Green Bay 59 Minnesota 48 Ties 3
It was not always this bad. We were even not long ago.
In the last six years the Vikings record versus the Packers is 1-10-1. The lone win a 37-34 end of the 2012 season win in the Hubert Humphrey Dome where Adrian Peterson fell just short of the NFL single season rushing record and Christian Ponder threw well. In 2013, Minnesota tied Green Bay 26-26 at Lambeau Field. And that is a summary of the success of the Purple in this rivalry since 2009.
Back in 2009 Minnesota used a revengeful Brett Favre to sweep Green Bay. Much like the fabled 'monkey's paw', we seemingly paid the devil to beat the Packers. Or maybe we used the dark-side of the force? Since Favre's glorious 2009 season highlighted by a sweep of his former team, it has been a one-sided rivalry. Since 2010 Minnesota has had four losing seasons and won only one of twelve games against their most-hated rivals.
Meanwhile the Green and Gold kissed and made up with their prodigal son.
It is time to renounce the Favre curse. I am not sure if this would entail destroying all Vikings' paraphernalia that has #4's dirty prints or not, but if replacing a bumper sticker of a purple Favre is all that is needed to end this curse... then so be it.
We used to not have to do crazy things like sign our rival's Hall of Fame quarterback. For much of the rivalry we have held our own. Green Bay won nine of the first ten meetings they had with the 1961 expansion Vikings club. From there it became very purple... From 1966 until 1979, Minnesota did not lose a single series to Green Bay. Minnesota had a 21-5-2 edge during this time. They swept the Packers nine times in those fourteen years.
The 1980s were rough as Minnesota only had one sweep in 1986. Green Bay won the season series six times. Edge Packers.
In the 1990s Minnesota was the stronger. They swept in 1992, 1993, and 1998. Green Bay won only one series, that of 1997. The rest were split. Edge Vikings.
In the 2000s Green Bay won four years. Minnesota won twice, 2005 and the 2009 cursed season. The edge was certainly the Packers though a wild-card playoff victory in the 2004 season's end at Lambeau ranks as one of the greatest wins in Minnesota history. Randy Moss electrified a national television audience and Minnesota intercepted Favre four times. The 31-17 win in Green Bay caused Favre to admit to reporters he though about retiring...
Fast forward to the present. Minnesota just dominated the New York Giants at home in such a way as to bring hope for the 2015 post-season. It has been a good year, winning ten games and securing a playoff bid for the first time in three years.
Green Bay, on the other hand, is reeling from a national beating. Arizona, a team a short-handed Vikings team played near even, completely embarrassed our neighbors to the East. Aaron Rodgers was pounded. Carson Palmer and David Johnson carved through the Packers' defense like an electric knife through a soft oven roast.
Should this give us confidence?
Well... I confess it does not.
Green Bay tossed Minnesota around in their first meeting, easily handling the home team 30-13. It was a blow then to our quickly inflating ego, which took a further beating against Seattle 35-7.
Playoff teams do not lose like that. They lose 23-20 to teams like Denver or Arizona. The 17-point loss to Green Bay more indicative of the last five years. Since 2010 the total score of this rivalry is 223 to 384. In the last 12 games Minnesota has averaged losing by nearly two touchdowns a game.
I tell you it is a curse.
Somehow Green Bay became our big brother. The kind of brother who beat you at everything. I had one of those. Did not matter what sport, I would lose. I could be up 5-2 serving match point in tennis and I would lose. It could be H-O-R-S to nothing in "Horse" and I would lose. He could be down to a single checker and I have three double-deckers and it would happen.. So much of competition is mental.
Eventually you give up. Or persevere until it happens..
Minnesota has a chance to shed their 'little-brother' image. They have an opportunity to end the curse of Favre. All it will take is to walk into Lambeau and win this Sunday in a game where everything points to the purple being the stronger team. All signs suggest an end to Packer domination and a returning of Purple Pride.
A Purple Force Must Awaken.
This Sunday, say goodbye to big brother. Say goodbye to the curse placed on us for using a Packer to beat the Packers. Say goodbye to the dark side.
Say hello to Redemption. And the light.