It was 30 years ago today, December 20, 1981, when the Minnesota Vikings played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium --- and I was there!
The temperature was only in single digits but I didn’t care. It was an opportunity to see my favorite Vikes in person. Back then, the purple-helmeted warriors were still coached by the legendary Bud Grant and led by the likes of QB Tommy Kramer and receivers Ahmad Rashad & Sammy White.
With the Vikings trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 late in the game, Kramer led the Vikings down the field in one last quest for victory. Alas, the Vikes came up short as Kramer’s fourth down pass to TE Joe Senser in the end zone was broken up.
My brother Eric had brought along a Vikings pennant flag autographed by Rashad. Eric was so disgusted at the outcome that he threw said flag onto the field and exclaimed “VIKINGS SUCK!”
As we were walking to the car, I suddenly began to limp. Within seconds, it felt as though my feet were going to fall off. Yes, it appeared I was stricken with a slight case of frost bite. Of course, being only 12-years old, you would have thought I was shot in the foot with a .357 magnum. A family friend ended up performing the fireman’s carry in order to get me to the car.
Picture that. A guy in his late 20s with a kid dressed like Randy from the movie A Christmas Story draped over his shoulder.