Friday, January 2, 2009

The NFL playoffs are upon us...

Yet our friends in Minneapolis don't seem to have got the message. The Vikings are desperately trying to move the remaining tickets so the game will not be blacked-out in Minneapolis.

Did I miss something? Are Vikings fans spoiled from too many playoff appearances? This year, the team secured its first playoff berth since 2004 and first division title since 2000. If the team can sell out eight regular-season games, it surely can sell out one post-season game. These are the games fans wait all year to attend.

I was at the 2001 Bears game when the team clinched its first playoff appearance in what seemed like forever with a win over the Buccaneers. The announcement came over the loud speaker and the place went nuts. There was no question the playoff tickets would be gone in a heart beat, even though the team lost to the Eagles.

The Vikings face a good team in the Eagles, but they still have a good chance to win. Running back Adrian Peterson can beat teams by himself.

The Arizona Cardinals also risked black-out until Friday, when they finally sold all their playoff tickets. That team has been a perennial doormat for most of the decade, last appearing in the post-season since 1998. This year, the Cardinals won their first division title since 1975.

Fans in Phoenix don't seem to have an excuse, since the only post-season action that has happened there in recent memory is last year's Super Bowl, which was a neutral field. It has been mentioned Cardinals faithful may not be interested in seeing the team lose to the Atlanta Falcons this weekend. What kind of rationale is that? If that were the case, no one would buy playoff tickets to watch the Cubs play anyone in the MLB divisional playoffs.

Let's show a little faith, or, dare say it, a little heart. Somebody out there has to remind Minnesota and Arizona that "You gotta believe."

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