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My cultural experience at the NYC MN Vikings Fan Club

November 13, 2009

While I may not be the biggest of sports fans, I realize that it’s a favorite pastime among most Americans. New Yorkers and Minnesotans alike are no exception. So in the name of research and in my never-ending quest to meet all the Minnesotans living in NYC, I trekked down to the New York City Minnesota Vikings Fan Club at Bar None in the East Village a few Sundays ago as they gathered to watch the Vikings cream the Packers (well, even a non-football fan knows that we didn’t exactly cream them, but we did win, so what the hell).

Bar None has been hosting this fan club for about 6 years now, and it has grown to the point where Vikings fans are overflowing out of the bar and pretty much spilling onto the street. I walked in to find about 75% of the people wearing Vikings paraphernalia of some kind. Most had MN Twins baseball caps on to top off their outfits, too. I found my friends in the middle of the long front bar area, narrowly avoiding a collision with the waitress carrying a tray of several $9 pitchers of beer.

I knew I was out of my element, but the game was easy enough to figure out – everyone in the bar cheers wildly? The Vikings did something good. Everyone starts yelling, cursing and banging the tables? The Vikings did something bad. The first cheerful moment took me completely off guard, and I nearly dropped my beer. My friend Eric’s suggestion was to cheer right along with everyone else, and the good times began!

The crowd was intense and full of true Vikings fans. One guy had on one of those furry purple and gold wigs, a jersey, and he kept blowing into a horn and whooping it up to rile up the crowds. He was definitely the cheerleader of the bar, and apparently he’s not even from Minnesota! The back bar was a little more mellow and much more spacious. They had a big screen and projector back there, and everyone was watching with groups of friends having a great time. I spoke to Marcus, a fellow Minnesotan who’s been around since the start of the fan club, and he spoke of the excellent camaraderie here, with lots of new friendships and even some romances forming over the years.

The New York City Minnesota Vikings Fan Club at Bar None definitely seems to be THE place to watch the Vikings in NYC. I even added the game schedule to the events calendar, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll be there every week as a passive objector to sports in general. Check it out, and GO VIKINGS!

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