An object of masochistic adoration fit only for vain and miserable flagellants like postmodern comic novelists, flinty Down East spinster schoolmarms and other hopeless faux-brainiac romantics, the Boston Red Sox play out their useless seasons as an endless loop of tragicomic self-immolation. The curs'd stage upon which they enact their stupefying dumb show, Fenway Park, is no better than a black hole into which the rosy dreams of egghead fans from Halifax to Hartford have been sucked since the second administration of Woodrow Wilson.
Yes, they will lose spectacularly.
Yes, they will tear your still-beating heart from your very breast.
No, the spirit of the malevolent Bambino will not be placated or exorcised if Pedro Martinez drills him in the ass with a four-seam fastball.
The Red Sox, in short, are losers. Accept it. Get on with your life. I did.
The Minnesota Vikings, on the other hand, represent the kind of low-impact, fan-friendly semiobsession that workaday suburbanites and apple-cheeked 4-H members can get behind without fear of lost sleep, recourse to foul language or a stress-induced spastic colon. A wholesome, farm-fresh rooting interest—that's what Mom, Dad, Sis and Baby Brother need! Year in and year out, after a pleasant season's team play, the Vikes lose their championships and Super Bowls as politely and predictably as Minnesota politicians lose presidential elections.
They'll get close to the big prize, sure, but in the end they'll succumb to the paralyzing modesty required by the surrounding community. To be a standout is to, well, stand out, and per Babbitt, no one is more suspicious of a show-off than a Minnesotan. (Former tent-show attraction Jesse Ventura was elected governor as an act of statewide contrition—voters were subconsciously punishing themselves for those two years the Twins won the World Series.)
"Do well!" they say in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! (But never too well!) Have a nice day!