27

May

Nordic Burial? Why The Minnesota Vikings in L.A. Would Be Bad For The Green Bay Packers

In light of the non-occurrence of the apocalypse this past Saturday, what I am about to write and do may be a sign that the end is indeed near after all.

With the courtroom football dominating the headlines for the NFL for the past couple months, one story has flown under the radar.

This story has a direct impact on the Green Bay Packers as well as the rest of the NFC North—the Minnesota Vikings and the team’s battle to get a new stadium approved by the Minnesota legislature. In these tough times, getting a government to help fund such a deal is a very difficult prospect.

For those who don’t know the whole story, owner Zygi Wilf is desperately trying to get a new stadium built for the Vikings. While the push has been occurring for a few years now, it became all the more urgent with the collapse of the Metrodome’s roof last winter. It remains unclear if the stadium bill will be approved or not.

Should the Vikings not get the new stadium they want, there is growing concern the Wilf family could move the Vikings out of Minnesota to another city, most likely Los Angeles.

Until the team rented Brett Favre from the archives of the Packers, the team was struggling to sell out home games, though the emergence of Adrian Peterson helped fill some seats.

An average NFL fan would assume that seeing Minnesota losing the Vikings would be a cause for celebration and joy Packers fans. Perhaps a fairly large contingent of Cheeseheads would agree.

If that’s the case, then this Cheesehead is not among them.

BLASPHEMY! you say. Not quite. While I agree defending the Vikings is normally a violation of the Ten Commandments of Packer Fandom, this is not a normal situation. In fact, I’d argue that the Packers would actually be hurt by the Vikings leaving Minnesota.

How? Well, first is the long history and strong rivalry between the two franchises. Both teams have been battling for supremacy in the NFC Central and later the NFC North for the past two decades. Favre joining the Vikings in 2009 stoked further an already potent fire. Throw in the fact that both teams are in neighboring states and you have a classic rivalry.

While they don’t have the stories of the Packers/Bears games, Vikings games always get Packer fans fired up even when Favre still sported green and gold. Robbing the NFL of two games each season between the teams would hurt the Packers in that it would abruptly end one of the great chapters in the team’s long and proud history.

Rivalry aside, the Packers would have to make a trip to the west coast each season. While the flight is not as long as from the east coast, it’s still a long journey and would chew up most of a day for the players and coaches. Traditionally, teams travelling across the country to play a game tend to struggle after the long trip.

Along those same lines, it would also knock the geographical alignment of the NFC North completely out of whack. It’s possible that the NFL could realign the divisions again, but with all four teams currently surrounding each other, it would definitely have an effect. While other divisions face similar situations, it would definitely hurt the tradition of the Black and Blue division.

Don’t get me wrong. I took great joy in watching the Vikings collapse this season as the Packers ran to a Super Bowl title. Seeing Favre crumble and Childress get canned whilst witnessing a Packers championship arguable made 2010 the best season ever for me. That said, if the Vikings were in Los Angeles, I don’t think I would have been as fired up as I was.

Taking joy in the suffering of Vikings fans is part of being a Packers fans. Still, we should not take any joy in seeing them lose their team. If you recall back to 1995 when the Browns moved to Baltimore (note this was before Cleveland was awarded an expansion franchise), Steeler fans showed support for their rivals. I feel like we should do the same for the Vikings fans.

Yes, some of them are fair weather but there are many others who bleed purple and yellow like we bleed green and gold. I cannot take pleasure in seeing them stripped of their passion.

So please take note of the proceedings in the Minnesota legislature. Let’s hope this great rivalry continues so the Packers can continue to beat the stuffing out of the Vikings for years to come in the Metrodome and the team’s new stadium.

——————

Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

——————

17 Responses to “Nordic Burial? Why The Minnesota Vikings in L.A. Would Be Bad For The Green Bay Packers”

  1. Doug says:

    I have to disagree with one point that Kris makes. Should the Vikes move to LA, I do not think that they would remain in the NFC North. I think the NFL would move them to the NFC East and then make the Rams part of the NFC North.

    Living in Minneapolis, for 7 of the last 9 years and then in Winona, MN for 4, I have to say I have no problem with robbing the so called Vikes Die Hards of their team. There truly are so few of them I really believe that this state does not deserve to have a team.

    Here is one example. Without fail, every time I tell someone I am a Packers fan and am from MKE, I get asked, “But you live in MN, how can you still be a Packers fan?” Just the fact that I get asked that question makes me think that Vikes fans have no sense of what being a die-hard fan really is.

    They are the first to jump on the band wagon when the team wins, and the quickest to jump off at the first sign of adversity. I truly believe they do not deserve a team here.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Nothing I hate more than bandwagon jumpers or fans that switch teams at a moment’s notice.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      The NFL would have to realign (again) if that were to happen. If the Vikings went to the NFC West, I think the Rams would be the best replacement for them in the North.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

        Then again, swapping two teams is not really that big of a deal.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  2. Doug says:

    Oops, meant that the Vikes would be in the NFC West, not East. Sorry about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. M.O. Richardson says:

    You are assuming the Vikings would remain in the NFC North if they moved to LA. That may not be the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      I think they would short term. With a few other teams possibly locating, the league would most likely wait til more is known on those.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Joshvikes says:

    i am a die hard Vikings fan for 25 plus years, and would hate for the packers to pack up and move, as a football fan, I would be disgusted, we both have so much history and love for the game and our teams. Please help support us here in mn for a new stadium. By the way congratulation on superbowl win. I hope we both can continue on this battle we have been on for so so long,we are meant for each other,and if we split it will never be the same again. Thank you for reading this.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      Appreciate the kind words. While I’m sad for the die hards like you, I’m more sad that the history of the rivalry has to come to an end.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Ron LC says:

    If Zig wants the stadium, it might be a good PR step if he offered 75% of his equity in the Queens as a down payment. And by the way, Kohl are you listening? Don’t expect SE Wisonsin taxpers to pay for your investment either.

    Note: Bucks are starting to whine about the Bradley Center. The short life span of Sports Stadiums is beginning to be a problem.

    Note 2: FYI to the environmental idiots. Don’t be screwing with the Packers plans to develop a commercial and sports center around Lambeau. This is a must to keep the Packers on track with the billioaires who are NFL owner groups.

    Note 3: We, the Packer fans, are blessed with a board (Xec Committee more acurately)that is populated by strategic thinkers. So far,they aren’t satisfied with keeping up. They are the gold standard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      All good points Ron. I’ve often wondered myself about the Bucks. I’m personally in favor of an NHL team in Milwaukee. With Kohl retiring from the Senate, perhaps he may sell the Bucks too?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Ron LC says:

        Kris, I’m affraid that Kohl is ready to cashout his investments. He always said he wouldn’t sell to anyone that would move from Milwaukee. I caution you to remember the conditions that Turner bought the Braves under. He would never leave Milwaukee either.

        Hah!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. ray says:

    I think once a aports franchise has been in a municipality for 50+ years there should be a law such as protects historic buildings that would prevent their removal, even if it means continuing to play in what has been assessed as an outmoded building. In particular consider it a travesty that the Rams were ever moved from LA, St Louis Rams just does not sound right, and a near horror that the Browns and Colts were ever moved, certainly the fans were not the problem there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Mojo says:

    I have too big a case of schadenfreude related to the Queens to root for a new stadium to be built in Minn. The Rams would be more than a suitable replacement in my book. However, expect a Petak type fall person in Nordicville combined with a NFL contribution to give the project a go.

    Regardless of what happens, they can never take away the joy of seeing the Humpty Dome collapse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Shavager says:

    Totally disagree with Vikings leaving Minnesota, watched this team back when its glory was Fran Tarkenton, the Purple People Eaters and some guy named Joe Kapp who looked more like a fullback than QB. The Vikings belong in Minnesota–Vike fans, HOW ABOUT AN OPEN STADIUM LIKE LAMBEAU and the FROZEN TUNDRA?? Definitely take dedication like Packer fans to play outdoors but it could be more feasible for Ziggy to get it built. Vikes BELONG IN THE NORTH WITH BEARS AND PACKERS–THE BLACK AND BLUE DIVISION.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Ed says:

    As a lifelong Packer fan, I would much prefer to dislike the Vikings in Minnesota than to dislike them in Los Angeles. In addition, whenever a NFL team moves, it hurts the fans, who are the people who enable the league to be successful. Good article.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. [...] on this site, Kris Burke wrote: “Nordic Burial? Why the Minnesota Vikings in L.A. Would Be Bad For The Green Bay Packers&#8221… where he argues that the Vikings leaving for warmer climes is likely to hurt the Packers.  Just [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0