I’ve been a Minnesota Vikings fan since 1970.
It was the year my mom married my dad (officially step) and we moved to Oakland, Nebraska. The old high school was called the Vikings, but they became the Knights when Oakland and Craig merged to form one school district.
Anyway, I remember liking the Minnesota Vikings back then. Not sure if it had to do with that, or something else. But, I latched on to the Vikes and stayed with them through the years.
My loyalty was challenged from time to time. I also liked the Denver Broncos in the AFC, especially when John Elway played. I always liked him. But, after he retired, my loyalty went completely Vikings.
Today, the Vikings play their last game at the Metrodome, against the Detroit Lions. The stadium will be replaced after 31 years by a new domed stadium in 2016. In the meantime, they will play at the University of Minnesota stadium.
I saw my first Vikings game in person in 1998. It was Tampa Bay, to open the season. Minnesota went 15-1 in the regular season. They lost in the NFC championship to the Atlanta Falcons 30-27 in overtime.
The Vikings beat the Bucs 31-7 to open the season. It was Randy Moss’ first game as a professional.
Since then, I’ve seen a few games at the Metrodome. We’ve seen the Vikings play Chicago, Tennessee, Cleveland, Atlanta, Green Bay and Seattle through the years.
We went to the Green Bay-Minnesota game in 2006 with Lisa’s cousin and his wife, Corey and Pasche. The Packers won the game. It was Brad Childress’ first season as the Minnesota coach. It was one of 10 losses that season.
Two things annoyed me about the game, besides losing to the cheeseheads. First, the drunk idiots who were rude to Corey and Pasche, since she is a Packers fan. Second, the attendance at that game was about 60 percent Packers fans and 40 percent Vikings fans.
One of my best memories is the 2009 season. Again, the Vikings advanced to the NFC championship game, only to have Brett Favre cost us the Super Bowl berth with one of his typical cross body passes that ended in an interception. Favre had joined the Vikings after a dismal season in 2008, after being traded to the New York Jets by the Packers.
We got tickets to the Seattle Seahawks game in November, 2009. The Vikings blew out the Hawks. It was so bad for Seattle – Matt Hasselbeck got knocked out with a back injury. His replacement, Seneca Wallace, spent most of the day running away from Jared Allen and Kevin Williams.