I’ve been a football fan all my life. I grew up watching the Minnesota Vikings play each week, and that frequency has continued throughout my life. I’ve probably missed fewer than 10 games during the past 40 years, so you could say I’m a bit fanatical! Yes, I’m a Viking fan!
When I began attending North Dakota State in the fall of 1981, Bison football captured my attention, and I’ve followed every game since; attending or watching their games on television whenever possible. Yes, I’m a Bison fan!
Both the Vikings and the Bison have played in countless exciting games, and I’ve been an active participant in most of them, jumping up and down screaming with every important play. The Vikings have had some dominating teams, but have yet to win a Super Bowl. Likewise, the Bison have fielded some very impressive teams, but they have managed to claim nine National Championships in the process. Both these teams have provided me many opportunities to feel proud about being a fan and I thank them for those moments of greatness.
Back when the Bison played in Division II, their playoff and championship games were always completed before Christmas, and always on Saturdays, so they never interfered with the Vikings games, which are almost never on Saturdays. The Vikings, when they have made the NFL playoffs, always start these post-season games in January, long after the Bison football season is over, meaning there is no chance of them occurring on the same day.
Fast forward to January of 2012; everything was backwards! The Vikings, who finished the regular season with a 3-13 record, were done for the year, and home watching the NFL playoffs on TV. The Bison, on the other hand, had earned a berth in the NCAA FCS National Championship game, and were still playing in January. The Bison ended up winning their first FCS Championship, destroying my vocal cords and leaving me drained of all energy in the process. It was a great year to be a Bison fan!
This year, however, is causing me some scheduling difficulties! I’m usually able to get really excited and thoroughly pumped up for only one game a weekend, but on rare occasions I’ve been able to reserve enough energy from a Bison game on Saturday to continue jumping and screaming for a Vikings game on Sunday. I really pour myself into these games, and it usually takes me days to recover. What am I going to do next Saturday, January 5th? The Bison are playing for their 10th National Championship at noon, and the Vikings are meeting the Packers in the first round of the NFL playoffs at 7PM. These are two games that, by themselves, could demand an entire weekend’s supply of my energy, but are being played the same day! This has never happened before! What am I going to do? I guess I will simply count my blessings and try to enjoy both games whether my teams win or lose. Winning would be best however: Go Vikings and Bison!