Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Fluke or Destiny?

In Arizona, the struggling Saint Louis Rams were playing the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are driving down the field and Emmitt Smith fumbles. The score is within reach and if the Rams can recover the ball, they can attempt to score and make this a closer game.

Earlier in Detroit, the Minnesota Vikings seem to control the game but the Detroit Lions fight back to score and pull within one point. With a made extra point, the Lions will force the Vikings to overtime where anything can happen.

There are three Rams tackling Emmitt Smith when the ball breaks lose. The Lions snap the ball to kick the tying field goal.

The ball harmlessly goes out of bounds unrecovered. The Cardinals continue their drive, score, and crush the Rams. In Detroit, the snap was low, the Vikings tackle the ballcarrier, and seal a dramatic one-point victory.

Was this a fluke or destiny?

Vikings fans have to wonder what's next. With two games left, the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers can both win the division. The Packers own the tie-breaker and Minnesota can win the NFC North title with a victoy over Green Bay at home and a win on the road at Washington.

Because of losses by half the NFC, the Packers have already clinched a playoff spot. The Vikings meanwhile can still not make the playoffs. For me, this is very familiar territory. Didn't this happen last year? Weren't the Vikings a 'lock' before faultering?

It's odd because I have to wonder, when Emmitt fumbles out of bounds and when Detroit botches an extra point, is that a fluke? Is it destiny?

Is this the year the Cardinals under head coach Dennis Green make the playoffs? Remember they are still mathematically alive and it would take some help. On the other hand, is this the year the Vikings capture the NFC North to host a playoff game? Heck, maybe this is the year Minnesota can host Green Bay and end the Favre era?

We have to wait a couple of weeks to find out but I wonder, is this a fluke or some kind of destiny?