Yesterday, our dog Sonic put up a post about his namesake’s new game. Between then and this morning, he did wet poopies about three times. I know this because I woke up at 7am on a Saturday morning to clean his shit up. Literally. Anyway, is this a bad omen? I’m not superstitious or anything, but it can’t be a good omen either, right? Either way, there’s a nagging feeling in my heart that the game is doomed to be a disappointment… but I don’t care.
Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I’m both a Sonic the Hedgehog fan and a Minnesota Vikings fan. And while these two aspects of my life seem unrelated, they’re actually quite the same. Being a Vikings fan means going through the preseason with high hopes that are raised even higher by sports analysts repeatedly stressing how this upcoming season is the season that the Vikings have assembled an awesome team and are going to totally kick ass. What happens? They start off the season strong, but somewhere along the lines, things start to fall apart and by the end of the regular season, the now-underdog Vikings would be lucky to make it into the Playoffs. And somewhere during the Playoffs, the Vikings will inevitably lose and their Cinderella season will be crushed. During the off-season, they’ll make a whole bunch of promising changes, and the vicious cycle begins again.
Is this any different from being a Sonic fan? New game is announced, and excitement goes up. Initial teasers and screenshots promise the return of the classic speedy gameplay, and excitement goes up further. Previews then start showing new “gameplay elements” like a Werehog (seriously… wtf?), and suddenly those doubts start reappearing again. When the game finally ships, you’ll find out that it’s nothing more than a colossal disappointment. Sega goes back to the drawing board and announces another game, and the vicious cycle begins again.
A lot of people like to jump ship at the first sign of disappointment, so they end up supporting teams like the Colts, buying games like Crash-freakin’-Bandicoot, and having a lot of forgettable one-night-stands with people of dubious gender instead of trying to maintain a steady relationship. But no, not me! I’m sticking with Sonic and the Vikings. I don’t care if it means an endless cycle of crushed hopes and disappointment, I’m going stand by the underdogs because once upon a time they brought immense joy to my life.
Sonic might not have had a good game since the 16-bit era (though I really liked Sonic Adventure 1 on the Dreamcast), but those 16-bit games were awesome and my childhood would’ve been infinitely poorer without them. The Vikings might never be Superbowl champions, but damnit I feel exhilarated whenever they surprise the fans by beating a heavily-favored team like the Cowboys or their arch-rivals the Packers.
To quote a Star Trek theme song: “I’ve got faith of the heart,” and that’s why I’ll always be a fan of Sonic and the Vikings.
Random fact: The Minnesota Vikings hold the record for most trips to the Superbowl WITHOUT EVER WINNING.