As this site is devoted to Vikings and their culture, we’d be remiss in not mentioning the Minnesota Vikings, that NFL franchise which is the only North American professional sports team immortalizing the badass Norse warriors.
On the face of it, you’d think a history in which a team has amassed the league’s ninth-best overall record since 1960 (eighth if we omit the expansion Baltimore Ravens and/or combine their record with their progenitors, the Cleveland Browns) and has earned four trips to the Super Bowl would give fans pride.
And yet, the Vikings faithful are listed among the most snake-bitten in football, suffering heartbreak and gut punches intermittently in the modern era.
As even the casual NFL fan can tell you, those four aforementioned Super Bowl appearance all ended in losses and all took place prior to 1977 – but backers of the “Purple People Eaters” in the 70s didn’t know how good they had it. Mostly mediocre through the 80s, the team enjoyed a resurgence of success beginning in 1992 that saw the Vikes make eight playoff appearances in nine years. Nevertheless, the utterly egregious choke-job loss in the 1999 NFC championship game chasing a 15-1 regular season was for two generations of fans utterly emblematic of the Vikings’ style.
The 2010s have given rise to some optimism in Minnesota with the at-times unstoppable Adrian Peterson in the running game and (as of this writing) world-be future franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. In a league defined by parity among its franchises, the Vikings are certainly due for another shot at the big game – though wouldn’t the Vikingest thing to be a Super Bowl loss, thereby making them the first team to go 0-5?
First off, let’s be clear: We’re talking about American football here. Unfortunately, in contrast to soccer, very few football-themed casino games exist, perhaps due to the gray area online casinos accepting US players often find themselves in. But hey, at least we have a couple football slots to recommend…
Now a standard in the online casino, the 5-reel, 20-payline Pigskin Payout is a colorful tribute to the college football game – despite the NFL-style officially approved theme music and freely flowing beers within the symbol set. Wagers may run from 1¢ to $50 per spin, and gameplay is pretty standard until the free spins are triggered; these include the grammatically-suspect “Jackpot Can’t Lose” feature. The wild cheerleaders (heh heh) are stacked (bwah ha ha ha!) in the first and fifth reels, guaranteeing a win on every free spin.
The casino game Touchdown is probably the most elaborately-designed game of themed keno ever. In this game, you’re invited to place the traditional bets on a simulated season’s worth of games. Before gamers get any ideas, we should point out that the simulation’s realism is limited to franchise cities and a schedule.
To give an example: In my last run-through with Touchdown, ostensibly based on the 2015 season, Super Bowl 50 featured the Jacksonville Jaguars topping the Chicago Bears, 31-28; the real-life Super Bowlers, the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, meanwhile limped to .500 records and missed the playoffs altogether. The Pittsburgh Steelers won their division at 8-8, while the Seattle Seahawks ran off a 15-0 mark until losing in week 17 to the 13-3 St. Louis Rams.
Nevertheless, Touchdown is pretty fun stuff, with bets on the pointspread, over/unders, divisional and Super Bowl winners possible. Each “week” of play takes just two minutes, with the game scores revealed quarter by quarter in a scoreboard-type format. For the football fan, this beats the heck out of keno any day – and maybe you can get a result wherein the Vikings win the Super Bowl! (Sorry.)