Overheard Watching Vikings-Chargers
Let's be honest: we all had low expectations. Every single one of the Yahoo prognosticators predicted a Chargers win, and so did a healthy 91 percent of users. ESPN specifically warned fantasy players not to use the Vikings defense. This one wasn't supposed to be a bright spot, and many thought it could get ugly.
I sidled up into the uptown Leaning Tower of Pizza to enjoy the Bloody Mary special and, hopefully, the game as well. My plan was simple: 1. Watch Adrian Peterson run; 2. Hope to avoid a Brooks Bollinger sighting; and 3. Maintain those low expectations, so as to be pleasantly surprised.
It's funny how nearly 300 yards rushing will make you forget the team's win-loss record, your frustration over Adrian only getting 15ish carries to begin the season, and even the ungainly sight of Bollinger trying to handle a snap. The atmosphere at the bar got giddy in a hurry during that second half, and not all of that was due to the Bloody Mary special.
When the longest return in NFL history -- Antonio Cromartie's gut-wrenching 109-yard runback of a missed field goal to end the first half -- is reduced to an afterthought, you know it's been a wild ride.
At 12:17 a.m., after the Chargers registered the first touchdown of the game:
Patron (beleaguered): "What time is that Patriots/Colts game again?"
Optimism: it only exists to bring torment.
After Tarvaris Jackson took a blow to the head, rendering him unconscious and concussed:
Patron No. 1: "C'mon! The hit wasn't that hard!"
Patron No. 2 (incredulous): "He ... took a knee right in his grill."
Patron No. 1 (unmoved, unrepentant): "Ahhhhhh, he's wearin' a mask!"
Rub some dirt on it, kid. Get back on the field where you belong.
ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB
* Gonzo at the Vikings blog Daily Norseman sums up the consensus around here quite nicely:
Dear Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and Washington Redskins,
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you for having the good sense to pass on Adrian Peterson in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Vikings Fans Everywhere
In case you missed the game, or are stuck at work and need a highlights fix, here's a 4:41 Youtube video of Peterson highlights from the game: