Lessons Learned: In Football, The Football Itself Is The Great Equalizer

Super Bowl champions of years past all have one thing in common:  They won more consecutive games in the postseason than each of their opponents.

Winning consecutive games requires consistency, production in all phases, discipline and passion.  It also seems to require the ball bounces in their favor on a number of occasions.

When the best of the best engage in the January tournament, sometimes the difference in talent from team to team is so miniscule that the way the ball decides to bounce is all that separates the winners from the losers.

Before we commence with a week’s worth of speculation as to whether or not the Minnesota Vikings possess all of the qualities of a championship team I want to point out one thing that jumped out to me more than anything else on Sunday:  After years of suffering, the ball finally bounced in our favor.

I am not intending to discount any of the accomplishments of any of our players or coaches here at all, and I am not trying to be negative in the slightest.  Instead, I am simply relieved to see that, after years of it feeling like an uphill battle to win a football game, things actually can go our way.

A reception being called on the field and going unchallenged even though the ball clearly hit the ball.  A batted pass that pops into the air and not only avoids being intercepted, but is caught by a Vikings player.  A running back’s knee hitting the turf just a split second before the unsecured football slips from his grasp.

These are just a couple examples of what went right for the Vikings as they beat the Packers on Sunday, a game that most thought they had no business winning, but very easily could have been the difference between playoffs and no playoffs.

I sincerely hope that the solid play and the good fortune continue into January or maybe even September.  But remember this:  Do not let anyone tell you that the Vikings can’t go into Lambeau and get a victory next Saturday evening.

After all, sometimes all it takes is David Tyree’s helmet being in the right place at the right time to get you a very shiny trophy to hold up.