Sunday Bloody Sunday

Just like that, my weekend went from bad to worse to really freaking bad to unimagineably awful. To recap:

  • Manchester United lost 4-1 to Middlesborough. The last time Man United conceded four goals was the day my dog was put to sleep; as soon as this happened I should have known I was in trouble.
  • The Leafs lost 8-0 to Ottawa. I don’t feel I should need to elaborate on this.
  • Minnesota lost 38-13 to the Carolina Panthers. Last night, I predicted that this afternoon’s Vikings could very well resemble the West Canaan Coyotes after Jonathan Moxon took his teammates to a strip club. I was right.

Then, to make things worse–unimagineably worse, as it were–Daunte Culpepper went down injured in the first quarter. At first, it looked innocuous; then, as Culpepper struggled to get to his feet, you could sense there was a problem. Naturally, FOX cut to commercial. When the broadcast returned, Culpepper was being helped off the field…and you just knew something awful had happened. Something awful had: preliminary reports indicate that Culpepper could be done for the season. (I probably don’t need to mention that Paul Edinger missed the subsequent field goal attempt; if I could have bet on it happening mere minutes after watching Culpepper blow his ACL, I would have.) Just like that, the Vikings’ 2005 season went from being merely “bad” to resembling something out of Greek tragedy.

So: since January the Vikings have lost Randy Moss (the team’s premier offensive threat), Scott Linehan (an offensive coordinator who, unlike his successor Steve Loney, isn’t actually a line coach), Onterrio Smith (seemingly the team’s only legitimate running back) and Matt Birk (Pro Bowl centre). The man who tried buying the team lied about his resume, then couldn’t come up with the funds. Mike Tice has proven that he isn’t head coach material–although to be fair, at least 50% of what’s gone on this season hasn’t been his fault. The rebuilt defence is actually worse than last year’s (which I’m starting to think is Ted Cotrell’s fault, but that’s another story). The team made the terms “love boat” and “Lake Minnetonka” part of everyday NFL parlance. And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, the team’s franchise player blew his ACL. In case it wasn’t clear that God isn’t a Vikings fan, this afternoon’s events should have rammed that point home.

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