There's a little bit of that small town, "play-it-close-to-the-vest" Minnesotan inside every Vikings fan right now.
You want to believe, but you don't want to get suckered again. Two days before the big game you're feeling just a bit guarded.
You're pretty sure they can win, but you've seen them blow it before. You're feeling pretty good about it, but then again it's the Vikes, so you can't go all in.
Part of you wants to needle the office Packer fan, to ask him who they're playing this weekend. But you don't want give him, or any cheesehead, a chance to rub your nose in it on Monday if the Vikings should, well, you know... If the Vikings should... lose.
It's like one of those revolving door relationships where you keep getting back together with someone only to break up again and again.
Love. Disappointment. Love. Heartbreak. Over and over. Again and again.
How many times have the Vikes left you sitting there on the sofa, chip bowl empty, bean dip congealing on your shirt, season over one game short of glory yet again?
So let other more demonstrative people go all giddy if they must. Let them paint themselves purple, drive around with Vikings pennants flapping, singing "Skol Vikings" at the top of their lungs.
Not you. Nope. Not gonna do it. You didn't just fall off the turnip truck. This isn't your first rodeo. You've been downtown and seen the trolley before.
You're going to ride into the weekend one ham on the Vikings bandwagon, the other half-off, ready to jump. You're ready cheer. You're just as ready to turn the game off and go for a long, mopey walk should the Saints go up by three scores early in the 3rd quarter.
You're going to practice the Vikings fan's ancient Nordic Zen Middle Way. You're not going to get too high on the Vikes yet. But your not going to get down on them either. Not yet.
So uff da out there Minnesota. Uff da, skol and ohhhmmm. Enjoy the game as much as possible. Cut the bean dip with Maalox.
These are the times that try a Vikings fan's soul.