Holler: Vikings' bandwagon still tempered

Vikings Fan (Hannah Foslien/Getty)

A win Thursday would make the Vikings 5-0 at home for the first time since 2009, but the fan base still seems tempered, maybe even skeptical.

The last time the Vikings started 5-0 at home was in 2009, before Vikings fans knew who Jenn Sterger was. All was right in Vikings Country and all was decidedly disgusting in Packer Nation. Good times for Vikings fans.

With a win tomorrow night against Tampa Bay, the Vikings would be 6-2 at the midway point of the 2012 season and putting themselves in a realistic position to make the postseason.

This is of interest to those who trend toward Nevada, where the betting line for Vikings victories in 2012 ranged somewhere between five and six for a 16-game schedule. If they hold serve Thursday night, the gambling phrase, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" comes into play.

The interesting part about the Vikings' current run of success is that a fan base tempered on empty Kleenex boxes has a bit of an unwillingness to fully jump on the bandwagon. Had the Vikings not opted into a league agreement to allow less-than-sellout crowds to count as a sellout, Vikings fans potentially might not have seen any of their four home wins to date.

With a win Thursday, the Vikings will be 3-1 in September and 3-1 in October. They will have banked enough currency that, if they play .500 from that point forward, they will finish 10-6 and make the postseason. With a win Thursday, the Vikings might be able to yell "All aboard!" to the team bandwagon. Passengers accepted – better late than never. It's time to start a new sellout streak. The scars of 2009 should have scabbed over and healed. It's time for the in-house fan base to get back on the bandwagon because, from the looks of the closing half of the schedule, the Vikings need the 60,012th man now more than ever.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • Tampa Bay has lost nine straight road games dating back 13 months. The last time the Bucs won on the road? When they played the Vikings and won 24-20.

  • John Carlson has been ruled out of Thursday's game with concussion symptoms. At the midway point of the season, Carlson with have three receptions for eight yards.

  • As expected, Adrian Peterson didn't take part in Tuesday's practice. Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Matt Kalil, Mistral Raymond and Harrison Smith were limited in practice. Raymond's return to practice this week and last is a positive sign, after it appeared as though he had suffered a season-ending ankle injury in September. He isn't expected to play Thursday, but the following game in 10 days is a possibility.

  • Every Tampa Bay player on the roster was listed as a full participant in Tuesday's practice – perhaps an NFL first.

  • The Vikings-Bucs game is on NFL Network, but the game will be broadcast locally on the Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE. Fans of The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation may be salty, but, in Minnesota anyway, NBC may have finally re-captured Must-See TV on Thursday night.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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