Packers Hatred is Culture in Minnesota

With the Green Bay Packers set to return to work after the bye week, there are still a few empty days with no football to talk about so I'm taking the opportunity to freestyle.  I thought I'd share my thoughts and opinions on Minnesota Vikings fans and their disdain for the Packers and their fans.

For the past 18 months, I've lived in the Twin Cities (and am now back in the Phoenix area just ahead of another Minnesota winter).  Before I moved there, I was warned about the stereotypical feelings that Vikings fans harbor towards the Packers and their fans.  While any fan is going to carry a level of vitriol towards opposing teams and their fans, I thought that the reality would surely not be as dramatic as it was described.

I was quickly proven wrong.  Hatred (I'm sticking to and using that word) of the Packers by local Vikings fans is born and bred.  And most Vikings fans will admit it to be true.

The way it was described to me, at least in one aspect, is that many college graduates of Wisconsin schools find more opportunities in the Minneapolis area than at home and so they relocate to start their careers.  They, of course and wisely bring their allegiance to the Packers with them.  As such, there are more Packers fans in Vikings country than the Norsemen fans would like.

Packers fans certainly aren't the most hospitable when it comes to the Vikings, Chicago Bears or Detroit Lions either.  But I've never seen the level of disdain for another fan base as that which I've seen for the last year and a half.

Any Monday following a Vikings win and Packers loss (multiply by 10 if the Vikings beat the Packers) brings about prancing and an added level of joy for the disappointment Wisconsinites are surely feeling that day.  The Packers could be 13-1 while the Vikings just beat the hapless Cleveland Browns (hey, that DID just happen, whadya know!) and Minnesota fans will act like they just notched another Lombardi trophy into the case.

And maybe therein lies the issue: they have none.  Zero.  Zilch.

We all know the stat line by now with regards to NFL championships: Packers 13 Vikings 1 and with Minnesota's one coming with an asterisk.  They won the NFL championship game in 1969 which was the final league championship before the NFL-AFL merger.  The win over the Browns only allowed them the chance to advance to Super Bowl IV.  They lost that to the Kansas City Chiefs.

So even in winning, the Vikings lose.  I'd be bitter, too.

The Vikings have four trips to a Super Bowl to their credit but without a single win.  The Packers have won four.  The Vikings most recent best chance to reach a fifth Big Game came in 2009 and ended with Brett Favre, Minnesota's hero and savior at the time, throwing a disgusting interception to essentially end that game and Minnesota's season.

The following season, the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XLV while Favre was forced to the bench to watch his career end and Minnesota not even reach the postseason.  A big snow fall imploded the roof of the Metrodome that year, too.  Is it any wonder the fans from the great North can't stand the Packers?

The Vikings have had some very good teams in recent history, including the 15-1 team in 1998.  Randy Moss was a young rookie who took over the league and the Vikings were unbeatable.  They reached the NFC championship game and seemed on their way to a Super Bowl appearance until kicker Gary Anderson, who had been perfect on field goal tries all season long, missed one in the fourth quarter.  The Atlanta Falcons managed to tie and eventually win that game.

Just two years ago during a home playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, kicker Blair Walsh missed a short game-winner that gave the Seahawks the win.  Packers fans may have "4th and 26" and the Seattle NFC championship game, but Vikings fans have their own brand of failure.

Minneapolis will play host to Super Bowl LII in February following this season.  Several months ago, the NFL came out to meet with the local hoteliers and answer their questions about what to expect when the teams are finally decided and the rush to reserve rooms comes about.  During the question and answer session, the first question asked was "can you make sure the Packers aren't in the Super Bowl?".  There was laughter in the room followed by a single and loud "Nope!" (we won't get into who that came from).

When Aaron Rodgers was injured on a tackle to the ground by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, Vikings fans naturally defended their player.  They said "it's football" and "part of the game".  Many also grinned ear-to-ear knowing that the Packers' promising season was likely to end in disappointment and that they wouldn't be coming to Minneapolis again in early February to represent the NFC in another Super Bowl.

I'm, of course, speaking generally when I wrote that last line as I've spoken to many Vikings fans who thought the hit was unnecessary and dirty.  I personally don't think it was dirty and it's hard to say if it was unnecessary given how fast these guys play.  If you look at the image above, the ball is out of Rodgers' hand and Barr is still bearing down.  Could he have held up?  Maybe.  But he didn't.

Barr responded to Rodgers' version of the aftermath of the play on Instagram over the weekend and I'll say this: Anthony is certainly not an English major.  Rodgers claimed that Barr gave him the finger and a "suck it" sign after getting off the turf as Rodgers was walking off the field.  Barr says he was merely responding to the foul words coming from Rodgers in his direction.  Here's the tweet:

 

That the injury happened in Minnesota and helped lead to a Vikings win over the Packers was just more salt in the wound but, as much as Vikings fans don't want to admit it, they understand all too well the type of loss that Packers fans experienced that day.

There is a lot of season left and the story is yet to be told about the 2017 Green Bay Packers.  Meanwhile, the Vikings are preparing to get quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back after a horrific injury suffered last summer that cost him all of 2016.  Two polar opposite scenarios among such polar opposite franchises.

The Vikings are also in first place in the NFC North now and currently have a decent path to the playoffs.  Whether we like it or not, they got one on us.  It may not be a Super Bowl but the Vikings are a big one up on the Packers at this particular moment.  They have the bragging rights.

But deep down, Vikings fans are nervous.  Sweating.  Why?  Because they already know what we all should by now: they'll blow it.  And Packers fans will get their smile back.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (14)

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Lphill's picture

October 30, 2017 at 06:20 am

They are the worst fans in all of sports they are happy when a Packer gets injured and of course are thrilled with the Rodgers injury , I have read comments where they make jokes about Reggie White and Bart Starr having a stroke , these are sick people , there is no place in sports for them . Yet they defended Adrian Peterson like he was the victim that tells it all right there .

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rdent's picture

October 30, 2017 at 06:40 am

I worked in St Paul back in 2003. It was a very unpleasant experience. I was glad to get back to Wisconsin.

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Handsback's picture

October 30, 2017 at 07:12 am

It's just a game. Enjoy it when you win and drown your sorrows when you lose, but never forget it's entertainment and not life.

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keeley2's picture

October 30, 2017 at 07:37 am

Last week the Vikings released a video montage of the season to date. What was the opening game clip for this PR piece? You guessed it - Barr flattening Rodgers. I've lived in Minneapolis for most of my life and it's gotten to the point I won't wear Packer garb outside my own home. Retail clerks getting out-right nasty if I'm wearing anything green and gold. Stay classy Vikes and fans!

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2017 at 08:08 am

Move back to the 1980s and early 1990s when the Packers were sucking it big time and the Bears were good. Remember all that anti-Bears sentiment? Charles Martin body-slamming Jim McMahon? The vitriol ran so thick regardless of how bad the Packers were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr7UcrLLybo

Teams and their fans get tired of looking up at other teams (and their fans) year after year. No one is immune to it.

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mrtundra's picture

October 31, 2017 at 10:07 am

The vikings fans excel at it.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 30, 2017 at 09:03 am

My nephew went to college there and decided to stay oh my. Its hard he is a true core Packer fan but he is young he can take the bashing.

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Community Guy's picture

October 30, 2017 at 09:27 am

thanks for this piece Jason. you are right about hating the Packers as part of the culture in Minnesota. i have the unique (?) experience of being both a Vikings' fan (born, bread and remain in MN) and a Packers' fan. from my childhood, i remember the most recent 3 of the Vikings' Super Bowl losses and have carried the angst of the Vikings having never won it all (nobody counts 1969 as victory).

after becoming a Packers' fan (another story), i felt an incredibly deep catharsis when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. i had had the burden of 3 Super Bowl losses lifted off of my shoulders.

most Vikings' fans never "converted" and have never felt the catharsis of a Super Bowl victory. the typical Vikings' fan has a lifetime of losing angst which is likely compounded by the recent experience of getting stuck with a heavy tax burden for the financing of US Bank Stadium. all of those negative feelings have to go somewhere; and, unfortunately, a lot of that negativity gets directed at the Packers and their fans. yes, i am sure that many Vikings' fans are rejoicing that AR12 has gone to IR and are satisfied that AR's injury is due to a hit from one of their guys.

i imagine that, unless the Packers pull out a miracle and save their 2017 season, the Packers' fanbase will remember Mr. Barr's hit for years if not decades.

someone commented about keeping perspective.. when football is nearly religion, keeping perspective is difficult for some.. but keeping perspective is the right thing to do. if the 2017 post-AR12 Packers continue to head toward mediocrity and lack of a post-season entry, we in Packer nation can learn from the misdirected angst of the Viking fanbase. we can turn our energy into something better, and, be a true championship fanbase.

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jasonperone's picture

October 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Thanks, CG! It's interesting to hear the stories and perspective. The Packers had to learn how to win again and seem to have held onto that lesson for many years after. The Vikings, I'd imagine, would do the same if that fortune were to shine down on them. And it would then likely spread to the fan base, or so we hope!

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al bundy's picture

October 30, 2017 at 10:11 am

I dis agree. Used to live on the border and on game days our elks club would have a big party with pack and vike fans all dressed up. It was a good time by all.
Both fans want to win and yes you have a few, very few, a holes on both sides but most of us get it, its a game, should be fun, win some lose some but have fun.
Hell many vike games have at least 50% pack fans at the games.

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Gianich's picture

October 30, 2017 at 10:23 am

I live in Duluth. There are a few classy fans but those few don't make up for the overall concentration of tools being the mass majority. Even "the power trip" morning show and "9 to noon with PA" spends about as much time obsessing over the Packers as talking about their own teams. Its kind of sad that as a fan base the nearest feeling you have had to winning the big one is seeing your team injury the best player in the game.. Those jerks came out of the woodwork that day after a month of silence. The aforementioned 2 actually classy fans said nothing. The a-hole majority blew my phone up with classless BS... Those fickle bastards will fade away soon enough.. Although they got the defense and ST to make some noise....DAMN IT!

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Bearmeat's picture

October 30, 2017 at 11:57 am

I don't hate Vikings fans. But I loathe that so many of them are willfully stupid because they can't take off their fan goggles. The Arod injury just proves it one more time. Vikings fans deep down knew they didn't have a chance with ARod in their division. Now their mediocre team is the favorite to win the division. That they won't advance in the playoffs if they get there hardly matters. Beating the Packers for once is what they want - regardless of the way in which it came about. If you want evidence, just read the threads on the Daily Norseman. It is the A1 Vikings moron site on all the interwebs, and Christopher Gates is absolutely nuts - and not in a good way.

Absolutely Gross.

Oh, and btw - It's just not like ARod to lie about someone. Even a rival. He never said anything bad about Favre, nor Jennings - when both were basically taking a leak on him publicly. ARod was telling the truth and Barr is lying. This video proves it.

Aholes.

https://www.acmepackingcompany.com/2017/10/28/16564354/video-evidence-aa...

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mrtundra's picture

October 31, 2017 at 10:22 am

"When Aaron Rodgers was injured on a tackle to the ground by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, Vikings fans naturally defended their player. They said "it's football" and "part of the game".

Don't forget how they all said "It was a clean hit!" The ball was away, Barr had to take two steps to get to Aaron and then drove him into that crappy turf that has also claimed the legs of two vikings QB's and their star rookie RB.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Vikings Fans are the most Rude, Obnoxious People you Don't Ever want to meet. I used to have some Respect for that team, years back, Not Anymore. The one's I see are complete Assholes.

I Remember years ago Joe Namath talking. Broadway Joe is considered "The Player" responsible for all other players getting Bigger Contracts.

Namath had really Bad Knees. He said the opposing players would actually take it easy on him when it came to a tackle. Boy how things have changed!!
LVT

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