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Talking it over -- 12-9-10

I am an avid Vikings fan. Just like with all the sports teams I follow, from elementary school on up, it doesn't matter to me if they win or lose, I just love to cheer them on.

Therefore on Saturday when my daughter asked me if I wanted to go to a Vikings game on Sunday I was thrilled. Even though people around me were saying things like "why would you want to watch them" or "you can see the game better on TV", I was excited to be in the dome and among the crowd yelling loudly. I quickly learned that there are many fans much more "into it" than I am.

We left early Sunday morning and got to downtown Minneapolis about an hour before the game. Despite the cold we took some time to walk through the tailgating areas and that is when I realized that I may not be as big a fan as I thought. There were people in these areas who literally live, breath, eat, drink, and wear purple.

They pull into these parking areas close to the dome early in the morning in their purple vehicles. They set up large purple tents with Vikings logos. They grill food on football shaped grills, their coolers are purple and gold, lounging chairs are Vikings colors, coozies, glasses, plates, napkins, bowls, and everything around them is all about Vikings. That is just the surroundings. The people in these areas are not only dressed in Vikings clothing but have purple and gold hair or face paint and some even wear the traditional Viking braids. I was very impressed and somewhat embarrassed by my simple Viking sweatshirt and purple and gold Santa Hat.

We had great seats and a good view of the game. The Vikes even cooperated enough to score many of their touchdowns in the end zone where we were sitting. We had a blast raising the noise level when the Bills attempted a third down play and sang the "Skol Vikings" song loudly after each touchdown. The fireworks and cheerleaders were great to watch along with the players lining the sidelines.

We probably could have seen some of the plays better on the TV screen but we would have missed all the other things that are going on after these plays. We did have people in front of us stand up just when the Vikes ran in for a touchdown but they do have replays on the screens in the dome. We were all in on the chant when fans thought the coach should throw the red flag and cheered even louder when the call was reversed.

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the game and all the other things going along with it. I would highly recommend a visit to the dome for any Vikings fan where you are sure to get into the spirit no matter if it is a winning season or not. They will always be my favorite team and there is nothing quite like living and breathing purple in Minnesota.