Lessons Learned: Sometimes Optimism Wins

I’ll be the first to admit it.

I declared the Vikings dead before they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.  I thought the loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field, and the fashion in which they (Christian Ponder) lost it was an indicator for how the rest of the season would go.

If I had been right, I would have been labeled a realist.  Now that I am one win away from being wrong, I am very close to being an admitted pessimist.  Never, until now, have I thought of myself as a possible pessimist when it comes to my Vikings, but always felt I was a realist.

I still stand by my assertion that Christian Ponder has thus far done nothing to show us he is a franchise quarterback, but the Vikings are now playing football in a way, as a team, that could see them continue their winning streak should it continue.

Leslie Frazier.  A number of players.  A handful of readers here at VT.  They, you, are all very close to being able to say “I told you so” and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

Once again setting aside any pessimism or homerism, the realist in me has decided that this team, warts and all, can beat Green Bay this weekend and qualify for the postseason.  They can do some damage in January if given the chance.

They can continue to embarrass the pessimist and the realists alike.

And that kicks ass.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Realist
    1. a person who is aware of and accepts the physical universe, events, etc., as they are; pragmatist

    It’s funny Adam, I read where Denzel said that loss at GB was where he could see this team turn a corner. Could see that they were headed in the right direction. Now I understand it’s easy to say that now. But it just goes to show how certain things are perceived differently, and the reality that is or isn’t there.
    I never gave up hope. But, that’s because I’m a helpless homer who would still think we had a shot, even being 3-7. Not because I knew something you didn’t. I’d like to say that, but can’t. However, you could tell early on this team had something it didn’t have the last couple years.
    Yes, it kicks ass! Nice article Adam.

  2. Hello from the united states.. Yeah you read it right, this messages is comming from SAN DIEGO, nice town, so is LA (the small part of it i saw anyway, and San Fransico) 🙂
    – I sure do hope vikings will make the playoff and right now i’m in doubt.. I think the chance it’s a 50-50 situation.. Green Bays offense was really in sync (but cmon it was against the titans) and they are starting to get healthier.. however vikings have been playing tremendously defense as of late and if they play as good up front against green bay as they did against houston, A. Rodgers might now finish the gmae

      1. hey, i’m in a street called biona street. rented an apartment wit hthe entire family.. tomorow will be our last day in SD before heading up north to San Fransico again (seing some national parks along the way, yosemite)

        1. i was gonna say maybe we could meet, but i’ve got to work tomorrow in orange county. yosemite is great

    1. Malte,
      Good to see you are back in the States, Vikings are becoming more balanced the last few weeks, this is the time of the year you want to see this…Opposite of the Giants. Ponder seems alittle more relaxed .Some nice runs to keep the chains going. Couple passes that could have been bad, But overall not too bad…Gotta admit, I thought they were dead in the water As Adam and Others thought…
      Have a good feeling about this game…

      1. back? this is my first time here :p
        – but i’ve just cought up with the vikings last games via NFL rewind and AD is awesome, simply a beast, hopefully he will get atleast to 2,000 but hopefully even break dickerson’s record.. he sure deserves to, and he might never get a new chance in this pass happy league..

  3. adam, i can’t blame you. seasoned vikings fans guard their hope to protect themselves; four heartbreaking super bowl losses, a cheating drew pearson, a 15-1 season without a title, 41-doughnut, and a squandered katrina beatdown will do that to a guy. we needed some help to be in this position, it has come our way, and i’ll be cheering for us to win, but i don’t expect us to get close to a title run yet. i would love to win this sunday, play the phackers again the week after, knock them out of the playoffs, and see how far we can get. the experience would be great for our team and might help ponder to improve. i wonder what we would be like if we had drafted luck

  4. Maybe it’s fact that its 6:30AM, or maybe that I have been living in a community of poor people always expecting to be let down, but I have an alternative theory… What if all the negativity (dressed as realism) is somehow butterfly-affecting our team? If the majority of fans are always sitting around thinking that our team will let them down, does that, in some unforeseen way, affect the players/coaches/staff?

    *end of strange metaphysical theory rant*

    I definitely think they can pull this out. Clay Matthews and all. We have a very solid football team here, folks.

  5. What adds even more to the accomplishment of this playoff run is the perceived “strength of schedule” advantage we supposedly had this year. As you guys know, I give SoS very little attention, and this year is a prime example. Turns out, the Vikes had nine games against teams either in (Packers, Packers, Texans, Colts, Seahawks, Redskins, 49ers), or still in contention for (Bears, Bears), the playoffs, and so far, they have 3 wins against those teams. Of their six losses, five are against these teams. If the Vikes get in, it won’t be because the schedule-makers handed them the berth. Give Leslie’s Vikes credit for winning the games they should have won, (6 of 7).

    1. With just the slightest amount of luck in a couple of those losses things would look alot different. We could easily be hosting the Pack in the 1st round.
      Eating crow can be so sweet Adam and I hope a bunch of us are stuffed clear full.

      1. if ponder hadn’t thrown those two INTs in gb, we’d probably be playing for the division title this sunday

        btw, johnny, did you like your poop today? that guy was right, after all the pigging out yesterday, mine was great!

        1. Haha ya but I wont go in to detail. Time to go on a diet now, I swear I gain 10 pounds every year about this time.
          If I remember correctly there were a couple other games that were very winnable, Colts, Redskins, Bears come to mind.

          1. Johnny,
            How was was your Christmas ? Last few months was nuts at this job till this week…

            1. Yo Charlie good to hear from ya, was getting a little worried. Another great Christmas how abot you?

              1. Very good Bud, I,m glad to have a life again lol.The kids still involved in allot of activities?

                1. I’m down to my daughter just playing basketball and that works very well but it’s making me feel older. Everything good with you and the Mrs?

                  1. Johnny,
                    Wait to your Grandkids are doing that… I understand the feeling old !
                    The Love of my life and me are Great…She is excited that the Colts are in the playoffs.But she really want the Vikes to make it.

        2. You and Johnny are a lot closer friends than I thought. “Did you like your poop today?”
          I have very close friends (I thought) but about as far as I’ll go is something like “How’s that knee doing Lee?” or “Keeping that blood pressure under control Ron?”


          1. all that scramblin, fran, must’ve cost you your common sense. when a guy has a sister as hot as johnny’s, you always stay close

            1. Well see? I had no idea about his hot sister. I guess there’s a reason for everything.
              Luckily, I’m happily married, so I have no need to inquire as to Johnnies poop.

              Reminds me of one of my favorite Cyrano’s Lines;
              “Here comes, THANK GOD, another enemy”

              1. Wow Fran, droppin’ Cyrano de Bergerac quotes? True renaissance man.

                How’s this for a Cyrano quote AD could throw at the puckers this weekend:
                “I know. I outnumber them, but I shall go gently with them at first.”

      2. “With just the slightest amount of “luck” in a couple of those losses…” Was that another dig at our Viking QB, johnny? (aren’t puns just the greatest? Tomb will be thrilled with this one!)

        1. Honestly Coach that never crossed my mind but now that you mention it, it looks brilliant dont you think? Obviously Ponder did play a role in some losses but we can point to fumbles, dropped passes, poor play calling and dumbass penalties too. Usually a combination of all these.

          1. Brilliant? Yes, “brilliant”, I think, best describes a pun of such high quality as that, johnny. And I believe there is far more accidental brilliance in the world than it might be widely thought, so just go ahead and accept the observation as brilliant – you are entitled.

            1. Poor ol’ Fran, who can barely figure out how to reply to the proper post is up there quoting classic French plays, and you’re dropping puns and dubbing them “brilliant?”

              I think you should take a moment and think about what you’ve done here.

  6. Yo Adam can you do a post about the possibility of Denzel winning coach of the year? Who’s the competition and their standing?

    1. I would have thought you were joking 4 weeks ago but although He probably doesn’t have a Rats chance of COY, he does seem to be catching on. I still wish he’d show a bit more emotions, mostly just to let me know he’s pissed when he should be pissed but apparently that’s how he rolls and lately, at least the last game, he had a pretty damn good game plan put together and it showed.
      It would be a scary situation to go into next season without an NFL-quality head coach, starting QB or WR and sadly, that could be just where we are at.

  7. ALL Viking’s fans have a degree of pessimism, which actually goes hand-in-hand with realism (depending on the season), due to PTSD.
    I like how they’ve changed their road ‘persona’ lately. Decreasing penalties, in the fashion they have, shows signs that Frazier’s message is resounding and he has a grip. Or, the team is riding the back of AD and playing together for him and his season. Probably a little of both, but more the former.

    Nice ‘kick ass’ article 🙂

  8. Tom Pelissero: “The same people who want to vomit numbers to keep ripping Ponder will ignore 9-of-13 passing on 3rd downs, 7 conversions on Sunday.” Not sure who this guy is, just passing along the numbers he’s using. Interesting – does it make anyone feel any better about Ponder?

    1. Coach numbers aren’t everything. Just watch ponder play and be the judge. I’ll give him credit, last week he looked like a top 20 quarterback, but is that really enough? Can you name a team in playoff contention with a worse qb? Manning, Brady, Rodgers, luck, Romo, little Manning, rg3, Wilson, Ryan, Flacco, Schaub, Dalton, the only one you can argue for is San Fran’s kapernick who isn’t as good as Smith

      1. Ponder got my game ball for his third down performance last week. Converting on third downs in his first couple starts as a rookie was the reason some of us thought he had a chance to become a franchise caliber guy. The biggest thing with him is consistency. So far he’s reminded me more of Joey Harrington than Drew Brees. Hopefully he can have a nice game against the Pack this week.

        1. … or that they would try to pry any of our current wide receivers away from us, either.

  9. Although I’m one of the few here on VT that said this years team was going to be much better than most people thought they would. (I actually predicted a 9-7 season and a shot at a wild card back in July)
    The first 3 games of the season and I really felt like Ponder was the real deal, then the next 4 games changed my mind about him and I started doubting him..
    I don’t feel like I “vomit numbers to keep ripping Ponder ” but I still do not see anything remotely close to a potentially great QB. Just too many mistakes, under thrown and over thrown passes, happy feet, leaving the pocket early, etc. I just didn’t expect so many faults after getting the chance to go thru an entire training camp and preseason.
    On the other hand, I sure got a little bit more confidence in him after last week. Not a whole lot (Who could, with 16/30 passing) but enough to still keep my fingers crossed that he’s the real deal.
    If he plays a good solid game against Green Bay this Sunday, I’ll sure feel a lot better about going into next year with him.
    If he stinks it up, it sure will change the thinking on draft day and FA.

  10. Vikings who earned Pro Bowl selections are DE Jared Allen, FB Jerome Felton, RB Adrian Peterson, and K Blair Walsh.

    yayy for felton and walsh. AD is automatic. JA helped by his reputation

    1. I wonder how close the voting was on guys like Kalil, Sully, Greenway, Winfield and Smith?

      1. our o-line deserves more credit, but at least felton helps there. ya don’t get 2,000 yds. all by yourself
        smith will be there someday

    2. Cal,
      Felton has done some nice blocking And Walsh 9 kicks 50 yards plus ! Sure am glad they pick him in the 6th round.

      1. walsh might be the steal of the draft, and spielman must’ve picked up a four-leaf clover before he got felton

  11. the vikings right now are kind of a weird team. it’s like we’re handicapped, but very capable. kind of like a blind man whose other senses have improved to compensate

        1. OK, and the Packers are winning the only way they can (throw for 350). Do you think they would win by rushing the ball 30 times? The Falcons are winning the only way they can (chuck it to White and Jones), and the Patriots are winning the only way they can (ask Brady to outscore the other team). We win by emphasizing the run game, pass for key first downs, and rely on our defense. I just don’t get why the “way” we win is unacceptable. Ask 17 teams if they could live with “winning the way we do”.

          Maybe we should take what Leslie says at face value.