The Gutierrez family: Ariana, Gabriella, Victor Jr. and Victor Sr.

Note from Lindsey:
This week, I’m excited about our Vikings Fan Spotlight that’s highlighting two Vikings fans! Victor Jr. reached out to us as a regular reader of Vikings Territory to tell us how much he appreciated all of the content we post. He also told us he’s an avid listener of Andy Carlson’s Purple FTW! Podcast. I got to know a little of the Gutierrez’s story, and I decided it was a great one to share with the rest of the VT community! Enjoy 🙂

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Meet Victor and Victor.

They are diehard Vikings fans living in Miami, and if you ask them, they might be the only ones. However, that doesn’t bother them. This father and son will cheer for the Vikings over the Dolphins any day of the week, and they owe their fandom to a close friend, Jerry Alvarez.

When Victor Sr. was just seven years old, Jerry introduced him to a team called the Minnesota Vikings. Victor Sr. would visit Jerry’s house, and there he saw several photos and posters of Vikings players from the early 70s; one of those players was Chuck Foreman, who attended the University of Miami.

“I just fell in love with the program,” Victor Sr. explained. “I started watching as much as I could back then.”

Living in Miami before the time of Internet and smart phones, Victor Sr. found it difficult to watch many games, but he refused to give up on following his team. As any Minnesota fan knows and Victor Sr. would attest to—when you’re hooked, you’re hooked.

When Victor Sr. married and had children, he knew that a love for the team would be passed down to his family. He desired to share all his passions with his kids, and the Vikings proved one of the largest. He said the following:

My kids have been Vikings fans since they were little. When they were first born, they even had their Vikings gear, Vikings pajamas […] There’s really no choice here—my wife and my two kids, we’re all Vikings fans.

Victor Jr. was the only Vikings fan in his friend group growing up, and he stuck out like a sore thumb among scads of Dolphins supporters. It didn’t bother him, though, and he never considered switching allegiances.

“We were probably the only Vikings fans in Florida,” he said. “But it really wasn’t difficult for me. Honestly, I enjoyed having my own team and being different. It was fun.”

Most significantly for the males in the Gutierrez family, football has become an incredible bond; Victor Jr. explained that he and his dad often drive up to West Palm Beach to watch the Vikings game with Jerry. For the father and son, a three-hour roundtrip commute on Sundays offers valuable time to connect and talk about the team, their favorite players and the direction they feel Minnesota is headed.

Like a majority of Vikings fans, Victor Jr. and Victor Sr. both feel a lot of optimism surrounding the 2015 season, even after a tough loss in Week 1. In fact, they each predict a postseason in the Vikings’ future this year.

I’m most excited to see Teddy Bridgewater in his second year, just building off last year where he really developed in front of our eyes,” said Victor Jr. “I really think our team has a great chance for winning and making the playoffs this year.

Like his son, Victor Sr. thinks Minnesota has a strong chance to get into the playoffs; his prediction is as a wild card selection. Especially with Adrian Peterson back on the field for 2015, the potential for success feels very real to the father-son duo.

They might cheer for the same team and bleed purple together, but Victor Sr. and Victor Jr. do not share a favorite player. Interestingly, one calls a defensive player his favorite while the other tends toward the offensive side of the ball. When asked to name their top player, neither one hesitated.

For 19-year-old Victor Jr., Bridgewater is an easy pick as his favorite, especially since the second-year quarterback is from Miami. On top of the hometown ties, Bridgewater wears Victor Jr.’s favorite number; the fan wore No. 5 on his high school basketball jersey.

“I love the way Teddy plays,” Victor Jr. explained. “He’s always so confident and calm!”

Which Victor Sr. shares the excitement for Bridgewater, his player of choice is none other than Everson Griffen. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Griffen has consistently proved to the Vikings that he deserved to be selected higher. Victor Sr. pointed out the way Griffen spent time behind Jared Allen, but after showing such large potential, the Vikings rewarded him with a sizeable contract. Since then, the defensive end has lived up to expectations.

“The extreme passion that [Everson] showed, it seemed to me that he really, really cared about the team and is serious about the 2015 season,” said Victor Sr.

While the Florida citizens have never been to a Vikings game in Minnesota, they have been intentional about seeing their beloved team when its on the road in the South. Victor Sr. explained that he used to attend Vikings-Buccaneers games in Tampa Bay, and the two also attended the Vikings-Dolphins match ups in 2006 and 2014.

They have both enjoyed watching the Vikings play when they’ve been able, but Victor and Victor have every intention of making a memorable visit to Minnesota to see a home game in the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium.

The pair can’t really think of a better way to finally support the Vikings in their home state, and they are looking forward to planning what they will consider the trip of a lifetime.

In preparation for their future adventure, the Vikings Territory writers would like to offer a friendly piece of advice for our Florida friends…

Bring a coat.