(This is a post I originally started writing for the Vikings blog to which I contribute, but, for reasons that will become obvious, by the time I finished it was unfit to post there. So I’m throwing it up on here instead, because. It is undoubtedly one of the dumbest things I’ve done.)
The start of training camp comes pre-loaded with natural optimism—have you heard? Every team is undefeated!—but we here in Vikings Land have a special knack for identifying negatives, no matter the time of year. One such wet blanket materialized earlier this week, when Packers CEO Mark Murphy began yapping about the potential for his team to play in Super Bowl LII in U.S. Bank Stadium:
“It’s going to be a lot of fun for all our fans to drive across the state when we’re in the Super Bowl in Minneapolis,” Mark Murphy told shareholders on Monday, via Aaron Nagler of PackersNews.com.
Obvious offseason antics aside, the hated Packers playing in—and potentially winning—the first Minnesota-hosted Super Bowl since 1992 is a real possibility. And, as Drew Mahowald pointed out on Twitter, it’s terrifying. Along with decades of superior relevance and a total skunking in the championship ring department, winning a Super Bowl on the Vikings’ home turf would be another big ol’ W for the Packers in the interstate rivalry. It would also be very Vikings; even without playing in the big game, they would still find a way to lose.
But fear not, purple faithful, because the Packers will neither win, nor participate in, this year’s Super Bowl. I am very confident in this prediction, perhaps as much as 85% confident. One could point to Green Bay’s recent string of playoff meltdowns—dating back to 2014—as reason enough to make this claim. But for me, it’s about something greater.