If the Vikings move to LA, who will the Packers New NFC North Rival be?

Recently on this site, Kris Burke wrote: “Nordic Burial? Why the Minnesota Vikings in L.A. Would Be Bad For The Green Bay Packers” where he argues that the Vikings leaving for warmer climes is likely to hurt the Packers.  Just for the sake of argument, let’s explore if the Vikings did indeed move to LA.

In my November article “Packers Win Starts the Vikings Dominoes Falling…,” I mentioned that the “dominoes” were falling into place for the Vikings to potentially move out of Minnesota. While logical, at that point it was pure conjecture.  Today the possibility is much more real.

The Vikings have failed to secure a new stadium deal with the state of Minnesota, who is in financially dire straights with a predicted $5 billion deficit.  Add to that the overall state of the American economy, a deadlocked state legislature from partisan bickering and who just shot down the Vikings’ last stadium proposal, and it becomes apparent that there isn’t much other than the fans keeping the Vikings in Minnesota.  Perhaps the state of Minnesota and owner Zigi Wilf will come to some sort of compromise, but if the Vikings do indeed leave Minnesota for Los Angeles, their assumed destination, the NFL would have to go through some drastic reshuffling.

Would the NFC North still be the black and blue division without the Vikings? It wouldn’t make sense for the Vikings to remain in the NFC North at a considerable disadvantage to the rest of the NFC North.  While the Packers, Bear and Lions would only have to travel to the west coast once to play the Vikings, the Vikings would have to travel back  three times.  Everyone knows what a toll on the body a long flight takes and football players are no different, not to mention everyone likes to go home to their own bed.

More importantly, this also negatively effects the fans, while traveling from Green Bay to Minneapolis equates to a 1 hour flight, traveling to LA takes at least 7 hours and naturally is that much more expensive and that much more tedious.  Most likely the rivalries between the Vikings and the rest of the NFC North would be diminished, which would probably reduce the ratings and therefore profits of each game.



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.