Barring any fan's close association with an NFC North rival, it's easy to feel sorry for the Minnesota Vikings.
Think about Dennis Green on NFL Network's excellent "The Missing Rings" series, solemnly staring at his hand and wondering how he let Chris Chandler deny him the only jewelry he ever wanted.
How about the mess going on right now in St. Paul, a stadium standoff that could have permanent consequences for fans in Minnesota?
More misery can be mined via the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program. After all, it was the Vikings and Brett Favre who were unmercifully targeted by Gregg Williams and his charges in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. Favre was pounded, including a nasty high-low hit that became one of the signature plays of the subsequent scandal.
"Yeah, that high-low was pretty vicious, but here's the deal," Allen told KTAR-AM in Phoenix (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "I think what people get caught up in -- and obviously the Saints were wrong in what they did and they're being punished accordingly -- but the way I look at it, you can't cry over spilled milk. They won the game, we had our shots and we blew it. But their 'bounty'-gate had nothing to do with our five turnovers."
Allen remembers game officials missing clear unnecessary-roughness calls, including the infamous high-low hit by Bobby McCray and Remi Ayodele.
"But I think, you look at those hits on Favre, and you look at that stuff -- all you've got to do is throw a flag," Allen said. "You can hit a guy like -- they didn't put him out of the game, he stayed and finished the game. If the refs called those flags, after about two or three personal fouls and 30, 45 yards of field position, those tend to slow down."
The punishments being doled out by the NFL surely will slow down the dirty play now, but it won't help the 2009 Vikings.