Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has reason to celebrate.… (Carlos Gonzalez/MCT photo )
Shortly before the Vikings-Packers game Sunday, G the Vikings Fan looked at me sullenly. I had helped gather a large group of NFC North fans from all four walks of life, and following the Bears' defeat of Detroit, Minnesota's game against Green Bay was now a Vikings must-win.
"This might have been a bad idea," G said about the prospect of watching the Vikings lose while surrounded by Bears, Packers and Lions fans. "If this goes bad, I might have to bounce."
I understood his concern—nobody wants to lose without empathy—but early in the first quarter, the Vikings were up 10-0 and it was not G who was greeted with a harsh reality, but me. I miscalculated my ability to root for the Packers. It was a foul, unnatural act that could no longer be tolerated. For the second half, I would leave our chances to fate, and the Packers be damned.
Unfortunately, Fate employed Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota running back racked up 199 rushing yards and a touchdown; his final run was a 26-yarder that set up the Vikings for a game-winning field goal. Vikings 37, Packers 34.
That means the Bears will spend the postseason in the same place as the rest of us—at home, wondering how we ever reached a point where cheering for the Packers was appropriate. In a season that reached spectacular highs, the final mood is one of regret, failure and doom.
We will go no further. We will play no more. Congrats to G and the rest of you Vikings fans out there. Sincerely, you earned it.
As for the Bears, a season that at times strained the bond between players and fans ends with the two groups in total agreement: if we're rooting for the Packers in Week 17, something has gone terribly wrong. The poles have shifted. The Earth is not safe. Perhaps the Mayans were right after all.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @ReadJack.
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