Life Is Never Dull as a Viking Fan

So, there we were. Going through the process of finding the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

All the names in the frame seemingly fit the bill for the new young, fresh, communication-driven direction that leadership had spoken of wanting to install. Then, out of nowhere. Boom. Jim Harbaugh doesn’t just come onto the scene as a candidate, but in no time at all, he’s not only seen as the favorite to land the job.

It starts to be portrayed as a mere formality.

After that, as this Brit was tucked up in bed, it all changed. Seemingly when the Super Bowl is wrapped up, Kevin O’Connell will be hired as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. It’s never dull being a Vikings fan.

Harbaugh or O’Connell

A large part of the fanbase became enamored with Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday and Wednesday. This led to more disappointment in the O’Connell hire than is warranted, in my opinion, although he was always my favored candidate. We all have our favorites, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world if they don’t get the job. right?

We have the young offensive mind that so many craved. Now is the time to embrace it. It just might take time. Zac Taylor didn’t turn up in Cincinnati from Los Angeles and take the Bengals to the Super Bowl in year one. What he has achieved in three years as head coach is impressive. Though, I see no reason for the Vikings not to be competitive in 2022.

Sep 2, 2020; Thousand Oaks, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell during training camp at Cal Lutheran University. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the appointment of O’Connell, the Vikings look to the Sean McVay coaching tree, which is growing at an impressive rate. McVay will face Taylor in Super Bowl LVI. Matt LaFleur, with the help of Aaron Rodgers, has a 36-10 record and has taken Green Bay to two championship games. Brandon Staley had a disappointing first season as Chargers head coach, going 9-8 and missing the playoffs. Overall, the coaches working under McVay are impressive as head coaches.

Trust the process

Despite the euphoria surrounding Jim Harbaugh, the Vikings stuck to their process — staying true to what they set out to do from the start. The Harbaugh sideshow just feels typical Vikings, but in truth, the leadership team just went through the process of interviewing all possible candidates. It was outside forces that jumped the gun, with the claims that it was practically a done deal.

Everyone seemed to get swept up in the assumption that Jim Harbaugh would walk straight in and repeat what he did in San Francisco a decade ago. Excitement reached fever pitch, and it felt like someone else being appointed would cause some deflation.

We are seeing some of that in the aftermath of Harbaugh Watch, but O’Connell has his fans, myself included. He isn’t the play-caller in Los Angeles, but he is an important part of the coaching staff that guides the Rams to the Super Bowl. This humble fan asks you to be excited about the coming season.

The Vikings leadership headed down the route of change, which was most important, in my opinion. O’Connell is the direction talked about by Mark Wilf and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. No new head coach comes with any guarantees. Whether O’Connell is a success or failure will be determined over the coming years. Immediately following the Super Bowl, his tenure should begin, and I personally look forward to it with hope and excitement — in the knowledge that the Minnesota Vikings from the top down have a vision for success that they are going to follow.

Whatever happens, it’s never dull being a Vikings fan.