Monday, November 18, 2013

The Great Pretenders

At the end of the calendar year of 2012, it looked to me like my two favorite teams were going in different directions.

The Red Sox had just gone through one of their worst seasons in two generations, winning only 69 games with a season loaded with injuries and a terrible manager. Things were beginning to look a bit better, with John Farrell returning to the team as manager, and a few new players had just joined the team. But it still looked like it was going to be a long road back.

The Vikings had just come off a spectacular month of December. They entered it at 6-6, and ran the table in that final month of the season with 4 wins and a playoff berth. Adrian Peterson had just missed the rushing title by just 9 yards. I was very optimistic about the Vikings' future (and they had a good draft in April, which fueled it even more). They had a terrible year in 2011, going just 3-13, tying their worst record in team history (with the 1984 club).

I thought 2013 would be a year that the Vikings would take the next step in becoming a Super Bowl contender, and the Red Sox would just try to right the ship and possibly be on the cusp of being a playoff contender again.

The results for the Red Sox were spectacular. Far beyond what I could have hoped for. And it ended with a duckboat parade through the streets of Boston.

The results for the Vikings were beyond bad. They'll be no parades in Minneapolis in the foreseeable future.

And it was on display yesterday in Seattle. The Seahawks, now at 10-1, showed why they are one of the NFL's best teams, as they made short work of the Vikings, 41-20.

They are a complete mess. Christian Ponder threw two more interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD. He was benched in favor of Matt Cassel in the 4th quarter, and he was also picked off (and they all happened in three straight possessions). Adrian Peterson tried to tough it out with a groin injury, rushing for just 65 yards. (Granted that by the Vikings had to throw the ball more often when they fell behind by 18 in the third quarter, so AP wouldn't running much after that.)

How bad has it gotten? The Vikings have now allowed the most the points in the NFL, with 320, two more than the worst team in the league, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville is now the only team worse then the Vikings, at 1-9. At 2-8, the Vikings are tied with Houston, Atlanta and Tampa Bay with that record.

And the schedule is not promising the rest of the way for the Vikings. They still have Green Bay, Baltimore and Cincinnati left on the road, and Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit at home. 2-14 is not out of the realm of possibility.

Well, it certainly has been an interesting year. Sad watching the Vikings go down the tubes once again. There will certainly be some heads rolling if their situation doesn't drastically improve the rest of the way.

Who would have guessed that they might be vying for the number one draft pick for 2014, while the Red Sox sit on top of the MLB mountain as champions?

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