Vikings Fans Run Wild with New Jealous Theory

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

First, and not long ago, it was, “The Vikings should’ve signed Joe Flacco.”

Revisionist history allows folks to bemoan current happenstance, and Minnesota Vikings fans are quite loud about it. For example, about once a week, a craze circulates on social media regarding why Minnesota should’ve drafted Kyle Hamilton 20 months ago.

Vikings Fans Run Wild with New Jealous Theory

So, Flacco? Check. Hamilton? Check. The latest is Jim Harbaugh.

Wild with New Jealous
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

After the University of Michigan advanced to the National Championship on Monday night, chastising the Vikings for not hiring Jim Harbaugh two years ago became all the rage.

For context, this is how close Minnesota was to hiring Harbaugh in February 2022:

Following an intense couple of days, though, Harbaugh returned to Ann Arbor after not landing the Vikings job, re-upping with Michigan and perhaps on the verge of winning a national title if he and the Wolverines can down the Washington Huskies next week.

Meanwhile, the Vikings hired Kevin O’Connell from the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams and have produced a 20-13 (.606) record since. In fact, O’Connell has guided Minnesota to the NFL’s eighth-best record during the timeframe.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh lifts up the Rose Bowl trophy after a 27-20 win over Alabama at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Yet, numerous Vikings loyalists became ultra-bitter this week about Harbaugh’s success occurring in Michigan and not Minnesota. Dylan Cyr tweeted, “Jim Harbaugh wanted to be the Vikings coach and we told him no. 🤦🏻‍♂️”

Rick Sosa posted to the X app, “Too bad the Vikings didn’t need a real winner like Jim Harbaugh.”

Stephen Turner opined, “I’ll always wonder what things would have been like if the Vikings hired Harbaugh. Should have been a no brainer … but, it’s the Vikings.”

“I hope this Sunday is KOC’s last game with the Vikings. Bring us Jim Harbaugh,” Jack Kinsman tweeted.

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Viking Age’s Adam Patrick wrote Tuesday, “If the goal for the Vikings is to win a Super Bowl within the next few years, then making another attempt to hire Harbaugh as their head coach might be something for them to consider. Harbaugh has already had success in the past as an NFL head coach when he was with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, and what he’s helped Michigan accomplish in the last two years cannot be ignored.”

Tyler Schweder added, “Would rather have the Vikings hired Jim Harbaugh than KOC.”

And then some stragglers:

Michigan may have to savor the upcoming National Championship or second-place finish, as sanctions may be incoming with or without Harbaugh at the helm. Harbaugh could bolt for the NFL to a team like the Los Angeles Chargers, or so says the rumor mill.’s Pat Forde reported last week, “Two NCAA infractions cases remain ongoing. Sanctions almost certainly loom in 2024, potentially major ones, potentially leading to (another) suspension of the head coach. Of course, the head coach could be eyeing the NFL (again) and/or the NFL could be eyeing him (again). A large group of players who have been vital to the program renaissance are heading to the NFL.”

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports.

Harbaugh was suspended for six games this season for his role in sign-stealing and recruiting violations, and more penalties for the program may be on the way.

But don’t tell that to some Vikings fans who’d rather have the scandal-riddled college coach over the current guy with the eighth-best record in the sport in his first two seasons.

It’s always, “Here’s what I would’ve done,” when one has the luxury of convenient retrospect.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by