ALWAYS A VIKING FAN
It was 1968; I was eleven years old. My family lived in New Ulm Minnesota, just on the outskirts of town. We lived in a large two story house. 1968 was a year of turmoil in our country. Riots were happening on college campuses as students were protesting the Vietnam war. Civil right marches were taking place across the country and Dr. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Not a good year. However, in the world of sports, it was an excellent year for the Minnesota Vikings.
I remember watching the Vikings with my dad on our black and white television set that season. I would cheer loudly in front of the television, while my dad would sometimes yell in frustration at a Vikings miscue. For the first time in Vikings history they made the playoffs, they were 8 and 6 during the regular season. The Vikings were loaded with some blue collar football players. Some of my favorite Vikings of all time, like quarterback Joe Kapp, running back Bill Brown, Carl Eller, Allan Page were playing that year with many other great players.
I remember the Vikings first playoff game really well. My dad had put a small black and white Tv in my bedroom. That is where I watched the Vikings play the Baltimore Colts for the Western Conference Championship. The game was played in Baltimore right before Christmas, and if I remember correctly it was snowing. I was emotionally involved with the 68 Vikings, loved all the players on the team and wanted them to win so bad. They didn’t, they lost 24-14.
I was absolutely devastated, so much so I cried. I cried lying on my bed in my upstairs room watching the clock wind down on my antique television. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I was very sad that they lost; it hurt so much. Thus began many years of agony of being a Minnesota Vikings fan.
That was my first taste of the Vikings losing a big game. I have suffered through four Super Bowl losses. Gary Anderson’s missed field goal against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game in 98. The Vikings were 15 and 1 that year and it was the most disappointing loss of all time. I shed a tear that day. Brett Favres interception against the Saints, Blair Walsh wide left, Hail Mary loss to the Cowboys, the list is long and hurtful.
This year’s Vikings team is fun to watch. I will always be a Vikings fan. I actually bleed purple. I really enjoy watching the Vikings on Tv Sunday afternoons. I do turn down the Tv sound and listen to Paul Allen and Pete Bercich on the radio. That makes for a perfect Sunday especially when they win, and they have been winning a lot this year.
This could be the year they win the Super Bowl! Just once before I die, I am hoping the Vikings win the big game. Then I could cry happy tears for once!