Sunday, January 10, 2016

Predictions for Today's Vikings Seahawks Playoff Game

Most pundits will make predictions for today's playoff game the way that pundits usually call 'em. They look at how banged up the players are, assess what happened last time they met, evaluate their current momentum heading into the end of the season and make up a score that feels logical based on all these miscellaneous data points. I'm going to follow a different route.

Here are my predictions for today's game, which is slated to begin within the next hour.

1. It will be very cold.
OK, that's an easy one. How cold will it be? It won't be the coldest outdoor game ever played, though it's probable that the temps will never rise above zero. Therefore it will limit the number of maniacs who strip to the waist and paint themselves purple to eight.

Trivia: The Mayans and Babylonians each came up with the concept of zero independently of one another. As a concept, zero is what you have when everything else is gone. In football, it means your offense is not performing very well. The temperatures today will likely be below zero, which will likely have an impact on the score.

2. The helmets of each team will reflect a symmetry that is common in nature, a remarkable feature of the world we live in. 
You have certainly noticed how the markings on butterflies and moths reflect remarkable symmetry. If you folded them together they would match up. Symmetry is a fascinating phenomenon of the natural world. When you look at a face, the eyes and nostrils and ears are in a symmetrical formation. So, too, our arms, legs, hands. When the camera faces a Minnesota Viking player straight on, you will also notice that the helmets and shoulder pads are symmetrical from the front view.

What's interesting though is that this symmetry does not happen in the top to bottom mode. A line drawn horizontally on our faces or waists would show no such symmetry in the up and down direction. Why this is is a much longer discussion.

Key thing to watch: Look for players whose numerals on the front of their jerseys are symmetrical. Both 0 and 00 would work. Also, see if you can identify any players whose names are spelled the same both frontwards and backwards. This will add to your enjoyment of the game, especially if you are freezing your butt off in the stands. If you see two or more of this phenomenon, give the edge to the Seahawks.

3. A lot of people will bring cardboard to the game.
Most people bring their corrugated cardboard to the recycle center. That's what we do. But if you are a Vikings fan you know how cold that concrete is beneath your feet and under your seat. Cardboard is a lightweight material that forms a barrier against this cold.

Trivia: The logical thing to do if you have cardboard and it is utterly freezing outside would be to stack it and make a small fire to stay warm. Since being a Vikings fan is a belief system not based on logic, bonfires fueled by cardboard will probably not be seen during today's broadcast.

4. The Vikings were here before Columbus came to America. 
A Viking Runestone was found here in Minnesota, which if authentic gives evidence that Viking explorers were here in the Northland long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue or the Mayflower touched our shores. Considering the temps going into today's game, it's no wonder they had a change of heart and decided to go home.

Observation: The Vikings were here, it is true. But they decided not to stay and went back to their homes in Scandinavia. Many pundits will assume this means the Vikings will lose today's game and be sent home packing. I'm not willing to draw such a conclusion based on this or the fact that Marshawn Lynch will not be ready for today's game.

Corollary: Did Marshawn Lynch stay home because of the weather?

Final score: Frostbit fans 19, frostbit players and coaches, 2.

Enjoy the game.

EdNote: For an interesting book about the Vikings in Minnesota, read Jack Salmela's second novel, Of Vikings and Voyageurs.

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