Monday, January 25, 2010

A real Viking story

Ah yes, the football Vikings did what they do best--lose the big game.  Worse, they usually look bad doing it.  Yesterday, it was losing five fumbles that marred a heroic performance by Brett Farve.  The Saints damn near killed the man--this was true gladiator stuff.  If had been a prize fight, there would have been calls to stop it.  He'll be feeling this game until the day he dies.

But you know something, I find myself really pissed off sometimes over that fact that this absurd football team names itself after one of the more interesting societies of history.  At the height of the Viking Age, their economy and influence stretched from the shores of North America to Constantinople.  These were not folks to be trifled with.  Amongst other things, they were large men who liked to fight, and capture the finest sex partners in Europe.

The football team shares SOME Viking characteristics.  What they lack is the 400 years of success.

But Viking society evolved.  In the battle between Producers and Predators, Viking Producers had a huge advantage--they built the boats.  The skills necessary to build a longboat made that project the moon-shot of it's day.  Obviously, not everyone could actually do this so there was a division of labor.  There were the boat-builders and there were the guys who went a-Viking in them.  The guys who built the boats stayed behind and got the pick of the widows when folks were lost at sea.  Do that sort of thing for a few hundred years and you get Nordic societies that are no longer feared for their warlike behavior but admired as these people who build magnificently.

So OK, are the football Vikings representative of the modern builder Vikings?  Well, their coach is bald, be-speckled, and has a nice high forehead.  So there's that.  And he has a real belt-and-suspenders approach to playcalling.  That should count too.  But the real Vikings make products wanted around the world--the football Vikings barely have appeal to the folks in their home market.

So I say to our football Vikings who will be asking soon--no new stadium for you folks.  And if that makes the owners so angry they want to move to LA--I say have fun in the sun.  But PLEASE, lose the name.  As someone who has lot of Viking blood, I grow weary of your insult to my heritage and culture.  Besides a football team should be named for a Predator.  And even the briefest look at Viking history will show the absolute necessity of Producers to the Viking Age.  Can a football team ever represent the values of such a society?

Nah! And that's the team's fatal flaw.

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