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Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings

Buffalo Bills


Minnesota Vikings

The Setting

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call.... The Twilight Zone.

Tonight we bring you a dark tale of horror and improbability. We will witness the meeting of the two teams who both came so close so many times, only to have victory snatched away by the icy grip of defeat in the end. From the NFC, we have the once great Minnesota Vikings from the 70's. Led by Fran Tarkenton, they are no stranger to dissapointment in the final showdown with four Superbowl losses. From the AFC, we have the recent Buffalo Bills, who have made a habit out of losing the big game. Tonight, live from the Twilight Zone, we will witness their meeting, for a fictional Superbowl World Championship, where one team will finally slay the demons that haunt it.

The Commentary

BRIAN: After 20+ years of futility, the Vikings finally get off the schnide! The way I see it, the Vikes lost 4 Super Bowls over a 9 year span, while the Bills were able to lose 4 in a row. That shows that the Bills have superior sucking power. In fact, the Bills have SCSP (Super Concentrated Sucking Power [tm]). The Vikings were never THAT bad. Second, the Vikings have a cool nickname (The Purple People Eaters) while the Bills don't (don't even bring up the K-gun). Who did the Vikings lose to? Other teams with nicknames (No-Name Defense, Steel Curtain, etc.). Who did the Bills lose to? The Giants?! Sorry, G-men does not count as a cool nickname. Nor does "The Boyz". Kelly and co. will be eaten alive by the Purple People Eaters.

Oh, and Steve, even in the Twilight Zone, NFC >> AFC. 'Nuff said.

STEVE: All your facts are correct, but your interpretation of them is that of a weak-minded simpleton. Obviously, it is a greater sign of weakness to lose the superbowls over a longer time scale. So the Bills had a bad 4 years. So what. The Vikings had a bad 9 years! A losing streak over twice as long! They were so bad they didn't even make it to the Superbowl several of those years. At least the Bills made it consecutively--obviously the sign of a superior team.

The Bills also have innovation on their side. They have the Hurry-up offense, K-Gun, and Kelly himself calling most of the plays. All Fran has is the traditional run-the-ball/pass-the-ball boring offense. Very predictable, very beatable. Even that won't matter however-- Bruce Smith is going to send Fran out of the game early in the first quarter. Bills 35, Vikings 6.

Brian, the Twilight Zone is a dimension of imagination, so actually AFC >> NFC.

BRIAN: It truly amazes me that you can acuse me of simple-minded interpretations and then come up with something like this! The Vikings sucked for all nine years??!! No way! When teams like these DON'T make it to the Super Bowl is usually when they have their best year (Vikings fans will tell you their best team was the one that lost in the playoffs to Dallas on that fluke Hail Mary play). Just ask any Steelers fan. Last year, they fell Three Yards Short (tm) of the AFC Championship, but as any Steelers fan will tell you, they were the top team in the league. But if the Steelers had beaten the Chargers and then invariably been blown out by the 49ers, everyone would have said, "Damn those Steelers suck!" (much like they said of the Chargers). Simply put, the Vikings were TOO GOOD to lose four in a row, hence they will win.

And don't even tell me about innovation. The Bills aren't doing anything that hasn't been done before. (Methinks I saw an offense very similar to the "K-gun" in Super Bowl XXIII and there wasn't a Bill in sight. Oh, and that offense lost the game, of course.) Who want innovation, just look at Fran the Scrambler. Tarkenton's scrambling abilities electrified the game! All Jim Kelly does is limp off the field after every other play. The only innovation done in the game since Fran's scrambling is the West Coast Offense (tm) and nothing the Bill's have done.

Viewing from her luxury box at the new United Airlines Stadium (tm) in the Twilight Zone, Kathy Lee Crosby will see Fran's performance and will be able to say nothing other than "That's Incredible! (tm)"

Oh, and Steve, I don't care if we are in the Twilight Zone or Bizarro World, NFC >> AFC.

STEVE: "Limp off the field after every other play?" I don't think so! Kelly is one of the toughest quarterbacks out there. He takes a beating and stays with his team until he's a bloody mess! And he actually leads the team by calling most of the plays, unlike his modern counterparts. I believe you're thinking of Troy Aikman (AKA "Jerry Jones' lap dog"), who does in fact limp off the field every 2.3 plays. And since when is "scrambling" innovative? Seems pretty old-fashioned to me.

Don't get me started on "That's Incredible! (tm)". A second rate show hosted by a second rate quarterback with minimal hosting skills. That's all I have to say about that.

Oh, how they will celebrate in Buffalo tonight! The legendary 12th man provided by the fans of Buffalo will paint the town red (and blue). The partying will last for days. Meanwhile, the hapless residents of Minnesota sulk and watch "Coach" reruns. After all, only in the make-believe world of TV sitcoms can a Minnesota team actually win.


The Results

The Vikings (155)


The Bills (46)


Editorial note: We appreciate that the fellow from the University of Kansas is a Bills fan,
but regret that his votes (almost 200 of them at last count) must be removed in the interest of fairness.
Thanks for keeping it a close race though!

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Voter Comments


I believe that the 70s Vikings matched up against some of the best teams in history (72-73 Dolphins, 74-75 Steelers, could also throw in the Chiefs and Raiders though I wouldn't put them on the all-time team top 10). A team like Buffalo, based more on finesse than the aforementioned brute strength teams, would match up poorly against the Vikings.

On the other hand, I suppose that a meteor would probably just crash into the stadium, killing everyone to prevent a victory for either.

- Mike Miller

Yesterday in Serlingland (AP)-- Thousands of Sci-Fi fans with too much time on their hands were shocked yesterday as their favorite alternate universe ground to a halt. In an interesting twist of the much-hyped bills vs. Vikings game, an unnamed control-room technician forgot to compensate for the "Irrestistable force vs. Immovable object effect" and the dimension ground to a halt in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a world-shattering paradox.

The game, which had left the Vikings one point ahead up until last second of the fourth quarter, was about to end as the Bills tried for a fifty-yard field goal. Unfortunately, since it is scientifically impossible for either of the teams to win, there was a last-minute galactic core dump as Twilight plane of existence almost rend itself in two.

"I thought that the NFC would win by default," said director Ohmi Gosh, "I forgot that the AFC could actually win the bowl in the seventies."

Several football announcers, agreeing that the alleged AFC victories were elaborate Communist propaganda, have agreed that a disaster like this was inevitable. "Once Fox got those NFL games, you know the Apocolypse is coming," said John Madden, "Melrose Place and Football on the same Network? Forget it. I'm just glad it didn't happen in my universe.

The Dual Impossible Effect, first seen in the Dukakis-Bush election of 1988 and later in WWWF's Storm Troopers vs. RedShirted Ensigns, happens when the only possible options are themselves impossible, and so causes the universe to lock up in a self-defense measure to save itself from being ripped apart by violations of the laws of probability. Looping over and over like a bad Star Trek episode, the universe replays the offending event until a viable option becomes available. Authorities are planning to send in the 49ers to resolve the paradox tomorrow.

Foolish mortals, of course the Bills would win. With all due respect to Paul Harvey, let's look at the Rest of the Story. Once upon a time there was a young defensive back named Dean. Dean played ball for Princeton, and in his years as a Tiger set an NCAA record for interceptions. The next stop for dean, the NFL. Signed on by the Bills, Dean was on his way. But a severe knee injury ended young Dean's career before his first regular season game.

Undaunted, our young hero turned his hand to acting. He had one tremendous advantage over most ex-athletes: he was able to speak in complete sentences. After a few minor television roles he landed the part that made him a star. For that young defensive end is none other than Dean Cain, who plays Superman on Lois and Clark: the new adventures of Superman. And now you know the rest of the story.

Once Superman learns that the Bills have made it to the Big Dance one more time, he will do everything in his power to make the team. Years of pent-up Rage (tm) give him the iron resolve to suit up one last time and exorcise the demons of his past. I don't pretend to know how Superman makes it to the Twilight Zone in time for the kickoff. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with flying around the earth over and over, really really fast until the Cheesy Special Effect (tm) kicks in.

But regardless of how it's done. RuPaul and Boy George will have a tough time calling this game (hey, this is the Twilight Zone, after all) since one of the defensive ends has a cape hanging over the back of his jersey. You want quickness? He's faster than a speeding bullet. You want blocking? He's more powerful than a locomotive. You want someone who can dive over the top on the short yardage plays? He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. What's that racking up a hundred interceptions for the Bills? Is it a bird? Of course not, Buttmunch, don't be stupid. Is it a plane? Get your eyes check, Dillweed. It's Superman! Strange defensive end from another planet with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal Bills (which is a damn good thing).

The only dark moment in this Bills romp comes early in the first half. Superman has just made his first interception and run it back for a touchdown. In his exuberance, he spikes the ball a little too hard and sends it spiralling into the earth's crust. But after using his Super Breath (tm) to freeze the newly born volcano, and providing a decent burial to the remains of Jimmy Hoffa which were forced to the surface during the eruption, the game continues.

The Viking's offense is so completely shut down by the Man of Steel (tm), that even the anemic Bills offense can't give the game away. Sorry, Fran. Maybe if you had played a superhero instead of hosting That's Incredible, you might have stood a chance.

Now, let's figure the average Viking's possesion lasts 30 seconds before Superman manages to force a turnover. The Bills will average a pathetic 2:30 per possession for a total of three minutes. This means that each team will get possession of the ball 20 times. If Superman runs back 95% of the turnovers for a touchdown (hey, nobody's perfect) that gives us a final score of

Vikings 0 Bills 133

- Dr. Dave

This should be a no-brainer to everyone.

Look at it this way... on a good day, the Vikings might actually be able to beat the Patriots.

- Jake McGuire, Carnegie Mellon

Hey, where are the Broncos? On probation????? Actually, were such a match-up to occur, I think the Goodyear Blimp would do a Hindenburg, so as to prevent either side from winning. That aside, Buffalo wins 20-10.

Oh and one other thing -- these teams played real football in real environments (except for Buffalo's astroturf). Don't play the game in a tropical paradise or some pansy dome. Soldier Field looks like a good neutral site.

- Ken

The Bills, The Vikes, futility at its finist. No, neither of these teams will win. In the Twilight Zone that is the NFL, The Bills will be bought by Art Modell and converted into an Arena Football team, leaving AFC multi-loser runner-ups the Denver Broncos to take on the Vikings. This team was the originator of the AFC-Super-Bowl-Multi-Choke(tm). You want a nickname, how about the ORANGE CRUSH. That vaunted defense that gave up 136 points in 3 Superbowls in 4 years versus the Giants, the Skins and the 9ers, plus a 4th loss in 1978. Imagine that, at a time when AFC >> NFC was the case (winning the 5 previous and 3 following Superbowls), the Broncos still managed to lose to the Cowboys (a team that twice lost to Pittsburgh!). Thats right, the ultimate losers, the Denver Broncos will finally get their day, and Elway will finally negotiate the big comeback in a game that matters.

- Joel "I ate the leftovers from Madden's loss to the Fridge" Recht

Gotta go with the Bills on this one. Fran the Man Tarkenton is out of playing shape! He's too busy selling cheap exercise cycles on those Infomercials and porking Kathy Lee Whatchermacallit. I doubt he could scramble eggs, let alone avoid the Bills pass rush. Jim Kelly is still playing, so he at least has 'the touch' and could complete some timing patterns. All in all, both teams suck big wind, but.... Bills win, BIG.

- Douglas Shultz

This has to be the toughest Grudge Match [tm] ever. The edge goes to the defense on both sides. The Bills D can stop Fran, I have no doubt about that. And the Purple People Eaters will destroy the Bill's O. End of regulation it will be 0-0. At the start of the 11th OT, after 4 Super Bowl Halftime Shows [tm], the Vikes kick off into the end zone, the Bills run it out and are stoped on the 3 yrd. line. Jim Kelly takes the first snap, drops back into the end zone, starts to nod off and .... POW!! Allan Page sacks him for a safety. Vikes win 2-0. It's 9:10 on Monday morning. Page interviewed by Regis and Kathy Lee in the locker room.

- Bill Scherzinger

The Vikings will win because the Bills will be bruised and tired from their five overtime win in the AFC championship game against the only other team to ever lose 4 superbowls in their history the Denver Broncos. The Vikings have no such team to beat in the NFC so they will end up beating the Bills in a tight game 20-14 in five overtimes as we can't let the game end in a tie.

- Jeffrey R. Swanson, California State University, Chico

My analysis says....

VIKINGS 37 (2 TD rush, 2 TD pass, 1 def fumble rec, 1 safety!) BILLS 6 (two field goals setup by punt returns)

- Mike Smith

In a rout, the Vikes drill the Bills 45 - 3. The Vikes Defense scores touchdowns on a INT return by Bobby Bryant and a fumble by Therman Thomas is run back by Matt Blair. The Bills score their 3 points with 5 seconds left in the game on a field goal by Scott Norwood.

- Kraig Lee

If the Bills are permitted to use Steve Christie instead of Scott Norwood in the matchup, then the defense is the only reason the Vikings win.

- Ronald Poniewasz, Kent State University

Three words, Purple People Eaters, Kelly never has more than a second to pass. Vikings record Super Bowl record 35 sacks in the game.

- Eric Rawdon, University of iowa

I think what clinched this super-suck bowl would have to be the reference to the Bills 12th man. No team is going to win with a toothless inbred moron playing for them.

- Dave West, Cornell University

Well, in the end, it comes down to who has played in these teams' hallowed pasts. For the Vikings, you have Anthony Carter, Herschel Walker, Fran Tarkenton, and Jim Marshall. For the Bills you have... O.J. Not even close.

So, in the hallowed grounds of Cleveland Stadium, the former home of the team that never got there, these two fight it out. Buffalo is hot off a win over Denver, the other true losers, while the Vikings breezed through the loser playoffs, beating Arizona and Detroit. Halftime entertainment is provided by Beck, singing his hit "Loser."

The Bills lose the coin toss, and kick off toward the scoreboard. The Vikes take an early lead on Tarkenton's TD pass to AC, but then their scoring stops. The quarter ends, sides are switched, and the Vikings line up facing the big screen scoreboard. The Bills, chosing not to put O.J. in the lineup, instead put him on screen. The Vikings are bored to death as the Fung cross-examination is played throughout the quarter, and secede an insurmountable lead. The Bills win, 50-7.

- King

It doesn't matter who the Bills play. They are allergic to Super Bowls.

It's game time, Vikings kick off. There it goes fielded by Brooks who gets hit and fumbles. A Viking has it, Marshall perhaps, and he is in for a TD. Wait, wrong endzone, Bills get 6.

Vikings first possession (this will also hold true for all remaining possessions). Tarkenton drops back and throws a bomb for a TD.

Final Score: Vikings 79 Bills 6 (Norwood missed the xp wide right)

- Jagrmeister

This is an absolute no brainer. Forget the misguided NFC >> AFC vs AFC >> NFC smoke. We all agree NFC >> AFC is appropriate for any single year of the past... well, what seems like forever.

The important comparison is between the 1990 and 1970 era football players. The '90s player is the product of years of steroid use. They have grown well beyond the dimensions of "organic" mighty mortals of today. The so called "monsters" of 1975 pale in comparison, The '90s Bills have cornerbacks who could substitute at linebacker for the "terrible in THEIR ERA" Purple People Eaters. Heck, the Purple People Eaters of yore would have a time of it holding up against the current purple rage we know as the Northwestern Wildcats.

The '90s Bills will scoff at their punitive combatants and proceed to maul them. The result will be a more lopsided victory than even the Bills of present have managed to be on the short end of.

- Dr. Joe

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