The big game is over.
The Packers fans have gone back to Wisconsin. They were last seen on Interstate 94 early this morning, heading east, up the hill on the far side of the St. Croix, taking their cheese heads and green and gold jerseys with them, trailing beer and brat fumes.
Listen closely and you can still hear the last fading strains of their polka music.
Say what you will about our neighbors to the east, but they sure know how to have fun at a football game -- win or lose.
I don't know about you, but I'm jealous. Why can't we take as much simple-minded pleasure from our team as they do from theirs?
The answer is that we're thinking fans.
If the unexamined life is not worth living, then the unexamined football team is not worth rooting for.
We over-examine and over-analyze absolutely everything about the Vikings. Play selection. Defense schemes. Clock management. Special teams. Everything.
To compound the problem, the Vikings are a thinking team.
For nearly 50 years they have tried to scheme their way to the championship, to outsmart the rest of the league the way Wiley Coyote tries to outsmart the Road Runner.
So far, no championships. The Vikes might as well send away for the Acme Professional Football Playbook.
The Buddha says that all unhappiness comes from wanting things too much. Maybe we "thinking" fans want to win too much.
Over in Wisconsin, they're happy whether the Pack wins or loses. They don't care whether they're in first place. The only things they seem to want too much is more beer and another brat.
Darn Packer fans. Don't they know we won't be happy until they're unhappy? As unhappy as we are down deep?
One border battle down, one to go. The Vikes travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Pack on Nov. 1.
That gives us nearly a whole month to think up a scheme that will beat the Pack and turn their way-too-happy fans into scheming, thinking, unhappy fans just like us.
We'll spend October thinking. They'll spend October celebrating Oktoberfest. We got them for sure this time.