Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

A melancholy tumbleweed

Wick's World


January 25, 2018

I’m not sure of my self-diagnosis, but I think melancholy might be the word I’m looking for. On a side note, I’ve been wondering if our president was at bedside when his current wife was born. That would explain how she ended up with a name that sounds a lot like the word that describes sadness without a known cause.

No, our president is not the hidden source of my onset of sadness. Neither are the Minnesota Vikings and the drubbing they took in the “City of Brotherly Love," Philadelphia. The last heartbreak linked to a direct cause by the ongoing misfortunes of the sports-jinxed Twin Cities ended with the missed Gary Anderson field goal against the Atlanta Falcons. When Blair Walsh missed his game-winning field goal that wasn’t, my wife was there to confirm my reaction.

“Are the Vikings going to the Super Bowl?” she questioned, loud enough to be heard over my uncontrollable laughter.

“No,” I replied. “Same story, different year. We missed the field goal.”

There was no melancholy over the Brett Favre saga the season he led the charge for Vikings fans to a 15-1 record and another almost Super Bowl. All I could say to my wife that year was, “Same story, different player.”

This season the Vikings were without their Pro Bowl quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. All too soon they also lost their very efficient backup quarterback, Sam Bradford. Then they lost their draft pick and hot shot speedster, a running back named Cook. By that early point in the season you might say another bloodied Vikings team already had their melancholy goose cooked. However, in a most unlikely outburst of winning football games, the Vikings reeled off a winning streak that got most of the Twin Cities sport fans back on their bandwagon. Included in the winning streak were a set of high expectations, although not the expectation that we would somehow win our first Super Bowl.

It was with absolute certainty that at some point, Vikings fans would be dealt a sucker punch to the gut strong enough to sink the Titanic. Once again, we would be kept pacing the sidelines just like we had the previous 52 years of Vikings history. Once again, our team left us drifting along like a melancholy tumbleweed.

Give the Vikings credit for pushing our hopes skyward. We began the game by marching down the field and scoring our only touchdown so perfectly that J.S. Bach, Freddie Chopin or Giuseppe Verdi could have composed a newer and even greater Minnesota Rouser to inspire our Vikings. But we didn’t score another point; mainly because we were too busy giving the ball away to the Philadelphia Eagles. The City of Brotherly Love was known for the cruelest and certainly the most rabid of football fans. Like Genghis Khan and his Band of Angels, they literally left no goalpost unscathed. The Khan Brothers used enemy heads as footballs and both sides of Asia for boundaries. Their enemies were anyone not named Khan and the Minnesota Vikings were the only opponent with the ability to yield more turf since a tribe standing on Manhattan marveled at a set of Mardi Gras beads.

One definition of melancholy is “sadness with no apparent cause or reason.” I may not have melancholy after all, because I have an appointment tonight to test drive a new Tesla. Hopefully any falling teardrops will be ones of joy, not sadness.

Dear God, the Minnesota Vikings have once again given you a reprieve. You can cross off “Freeze over Hell” from your bucket list. Tonight I will replace that with this simple prayer: “Dear God, find me a small, simple house in San Diego. We would like one fairly close to our sons and their extended families. Please leave our Vikings in Minnesota where they belong. One final request; if Hell does freeze over, please don’t send me there. Amen.”


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