Assuming I didn't know about the Minnesota Vikings my first five years of life -- tonight is the beginning of my 45th year of being a Vikings fan. Every year has started with hope & optimism -- and ended with either smothering frustration or jarring heartbreak. Will this year be any different?

Of course even as I write this -- I know the answer, but for the same reasons I occasionally but a Powerball ticket, I wore my Bridgewater jersey to work today and hope for the best.

Even if the NFL championship were nothing more than an even odds drawing (which it obviously is not), the best chance we'd have at winning it all is 1 in 32. As a Minnesota sports fan, I find myself wishing the odds were THAT good.

Entering the 2017-18 season that kicks off tonight at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Adrian-Peterson-wielding New Orleans Saints -- I find myself more pessimistic than usual. It tastes a little like a 5-11 or 6-10 season (and I'm the optimistic guy). I can't even tell you why I feel that way. Just do.

Maybe me being pessimistic about the Vikes is a good sign. Being optimistic about the team has never done us any of us a damn bit of good.

My pick for tonight: A shaky 23-20 Vikings win.

Skol Vikings!

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