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It's Our Turn: Home abroad in a purple world

From Canada to England to Ethiopia, I've been to my fair share of foreign countries. I'm well acquainted to the feeling that comes with being a foreigner. But every fall, anchored right at home in familiar Minnesota, that feeling returns.

This is my life: A foreigner in a purple world.

The Minnesota Vikings are often the talk of the town, the office and the lunch table. Rightly so, for the past few years, with all the excitement that stems from Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen and that scary-good defense.

The only problem is that I'm not a fan.

Before you cast your stones, at least hear me out. I've been a Seahawks fan since birth (a trait I acquired from my father, a Seattle native), though I've never not lived in Vikings country. The colors of fall include purple in these parts, and I'm reminded whenever talking shop with football friends.

Now, I don't mind the Vikings. In fact, they've probably snuck into No. 2 on my list of favorite teams. But I don't have a dying loyalty to the Norse and I've never participated in a Skol chant. It makes for an interesting perspective on all things Vikings in the state of all things Vikings.

During the Minneapolis Miracle in last year's playoffs, I watched with a close friend and Vikes diehard. I witnessed desperation evolve into jubilation with one iconic 61-yard pass to Stefon Diggs down the sideline and into the end zone. U.S. Bank Stadium echoed to the Canadian border. The entire state shook. Minnesota erupted into a purple buzz for the next week.

Maybe that was the start of the turning tides. Their future is certainly brighter than that of my Seahawks. Seattle won a Super Bowl in 2014, but it's been a steady decline since. So it goes.

The Vikings, though, have operated on an opposite trend. I've watched closely as an outsider, the Gjallarhorn starting to sound more and more frequently.

And now, you guys are scary.

Minnesota has all the pieces to be great (no pressure, Dan Bailey), so it's now a matter of pushing past the Ghosts of Vikings Past in order to hoist that elusive Lombardi Trophy. The Rams and the Eagles, along with a few others, might have something to say about that, but I think it's there for the taking.

I'm still rooting on my Hawks (regardless of record, thank you very much), and any whiff of Vikings fandom will always come second to Seattle. But they're an easy team to pull for. It doesn't take a native to see that.

And, hey, at least I'm not a Packers nut.

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"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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