There was a cry of anguish outside of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN Sunday afternoon, as the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Carolina Panthers 35-10. The loss dropped the Vikings to an awful 1-4 record on the season, essentially dashing any hopes of a playoff appearance this season. Once-promising potential franchise quarterback Christian Ponder was benched, despite being healthy enough to play, and the defense was left pointing fingers, unable to stop a putrid Carolina offense in 2013.
So was it the loss that triggered the cry outside the stadium? Was it the destruction of a once promising year imploding that afternoon? It was neither. In fact, the cries of anguish were released by thousands of Vikings fans realizing belatedly that they didn't have enough gasoline in their stock piles to effectively burn every visage of the franchise to the ground that afternoon.
"It was horrible," said one fan swiping at tears as he watched a small fire burn in the parking lot outside the Metrodome. "I came prepared with what I thought was enough gasoline to torch this place, but I barely had enough to even get a camp fire going. I look around me and I still see purple jerseys, and players on the field. Will there ever be enough fire to burn this team to the ground?"
Other fans felt similar. One fan shared with us that they had participated in grand theft auto on Saturday to hijack a tanker of gasoline so they could bring it to the Metrodome Sunday afternoon. As they backed it up to the stadium on Sunday, however, they quickly realized that a tanker wasn't going to provide enough fuel to turn 50 years of heart break into carbon. "I have an entire tanker, god dammit," said the distraught man, now facing life in prison for his crimes. "but it's useless. What, a tanker of gasoline is going to burn away 0-41? The Herschel Walker trade? Norman Van Brocklin? It's not like this is a renewable resource, man. I'm not burning this team down with wind power. Nothing works. Nothing. It's like the more gasoline you pour on this fire, the more it wants from you and leaves you feeling empty inside. It's hopeless."
One fan was stranded in downtown Minneapolis after they siphoned the remaining gas in their car to add to a neighboring fire. "Every little bit helps," they said, as they rolled their car onto the inferno, too. Another set of fans charging all the Dome Dogs their credit cards would allow and trying to line the Metrodome with what they thought were flammable materials, to no avail. "How were we suppose to know Dome Dogs wouldn't burn? Those things are inhuman." One last desperate fan seemed to accept his failure and decided to burn himself in a silent effigy to the team, sitting cross legged at the 50 yard line as flames engulfed his human form. "I figure if I burn myself at mid-field, at least this offense will never again come near me in this stadium," he said with his dying breath.
And as the sun set in Minneapolis on Sunday, the sky was filled with a haze and fog. Screams rolled through the buildings of downtown, and whimpering could be heard around the metro area. Yet through these failures and yells stood the Metrodome that houses the Vikings franchise, standing proud, indestructible, unburdened by the awfulness of their team, as flames scourged the land around it for miles. Within, a single tear rolled down the face of Purple Jesus.