No schadenfreude here.
Hello Packers fans.
You’re probably expecting me to gloat right about now, aren’t you?
Well, I certainly could. And part of me even thinks it is my inalienable right to do so. After all, I could reveal names of the multitude of classless Packer backers who needled me incessantly in the days after my lowest moment as a Minnesota Vikings fan.
It was January 17, 1999 when my favorite NFL squad was an 11-point favorite at home in the NFC title game against the Atlanta Falcons. After a stellar 15-1 regular season and a then record breaking offense (556 total points, usurped by the ’07 Patriots with 589), the Vikes looked primed to make their first Super Bowl appearance in 22 years. With a 27-20 lead and just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were looking to put the nail in the proverbial coffin. Kicker Gary Anderson was coming on to attempt a 39-yard field goal to give them a 10-point lead. This is the year where Anderson didn’t miss a kick. Not in training camp drills, practice, preseason, regular season, nor playoffs. NEVER!!
So you can imagine how my heart sunk when Anderson hooked the kick just wide to the left. Atlanta would go on to tie the score with less than a minute to go and send the game to overtime. In the OT, Falcons kicker Morten Andersen booted the game-winner to give Atlanta the 30-27 victory and a berth in the Super Bowl. I have never watched highlights of that game since. Not even when they replay it on ESPN or the NFL Network.
So in the immortal words of former President Bill Clinton, “I feel your pain.” Therefore, I am taking the high road on this one simply because I’ve been where you’re at right now. A big favorite at home in the NFC title game, only to lose in OT by a field goal.
But unlike us tortured souls who call ourselves Vikings fans, take solace in one incontrovertible truth: Your club has three of those Vince Lombardi trophies on display.