Nice post, it's wonderful that fans from around the world can unite.
Recently I was thinking, how long have I been a Vikes fan? and decided to do
a little searching on the net to figure it out, here's what I came up with.
I had been watching the NFL on TV for about a year, the first game I can
actuallyremember watching was the '85 Superbowl when the Bears beat the Pats. It
was around this time the sport was blowing up big time in the U.K with William
"the fridge " Perry becoming a household name, If I'm being honest he achieved
a level of fame here that no other player has matched since. Despite being
a keen viewer into the next season I still didn't have a favourite team,
however that was about to change.
November 2nd 1986 week 9 Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins,
OK you're saying that was last week but here's the deal. The TV coverage in the UK
consisted of a 1 hour programme the week after the games actually took place,
where they showed the highlight's of one game for about 45 minutes and a
very quick round up of the other games for the remainder. The first time
I saw a game on TV live I was shocked that it lasted 3 hours plus! Anyway
back to the game which was basically a classic shoot out, with numerous lead
changes, 3 missed extra points by the Skins and Tommy Kramer having 490 passing yards in total. The game ended 38-38 and OT loomed. By this time I had started rooting for the Vikings, I can't remember exactly why, I guess it's like
when you are watching a boxing match with 2 guys you don't know and you feel
an affinity with one of them. Either that or a whole truck load of offense!
Unfortunately my new team lost in OT to a Jay Shroeder TD, who finished with
378 yards passing, told you it was a shoot-out!
Over the 20 years the TV coverage has improved dramatically here, and now
with the Internet it is possible to watch any NFL teams games live every
week, however I can still recall getting up on a Monday morning and checking
the text on the TV to see all the scores, still felt the pain of defeat though.
The Internet has also made getting Vikings merchandising possible, back in
the 80's if you were not a Cowboy, 49er, Bear, Dolphin, Redskin or Giant
you were out of luck, I'm just glad this year I picked a Sharper jersey because I nearly chose a K-Rob one. I can also remember being on vacation in Florida (never made it to the twin cities yet) and buying some Vikes stuff, guy at the checkout was
like "someone from Minny" to which I replied "no mate Scotland" the look
on his face was priceless! The turn around in the teams has been interesting
as well, in 1986 the Colts finished the season 3-13 whilst the Bucs were
2-14 plus you also have the fact that L.A had 2 teams in the NFL that year.
Now I'd be lying if I said that it was easy being a Vikes fan, although I
wasn't around for the SB loses I still bear the scars of the 3 championship
games. The first one ironically was against the Redskins in 1987, by this
time I had discovered armed forces radio so I was able to listen to the play
by play live, although we nearly forced OT right at the end it wasn't to
be 17-10 the Skins prevail. 1998 was the one that really got me, by this time the U.K had live coverage off all the play-off games. I really thought that was our year, I still can't believe what happened, apart from the missed kick the image of Cris Carter walking off at the end knowing his chance of the big one was almost certainly gone still haunts me. As for the 41-0 Giants debacle the least said the better.
PPO it's time you got some love, since I found this site I'm kept bang up
to date with all the Vikings news and the knowledge of most of the people
here has given me an insight into the game which I never had before. It also keeps me informed of the draft and college football, things I'm pretty clueless about, It's just a pity you weren't around 20 years ago!
Fast forward to the present and although things haven't been great for the last couple of weeks I really think we are moving in the right direction. At the start of the season with all the changes such as a new head coach and switching the offence plus the tough schedule I honestly thought a .500 season was as good as we could have hoped for. The expectation level was lifted by the impressive defense (history shows defense wins championships) and special teams play and if we can maintain that and build a passing game in the future I'm definitely optimistic as Chester seems to be able to do the job on the ground.
So 20 years and no Superbowls, do I ever regret my decision in 1986? I can honestly say no, not for a second, I still get a thrill when I'm lucky enough to watch the Vikes on TV here. The uni's, the horns, the feeling that these are "my guys" has never diminished and It never will. And lastly I will leave you with this thought, it's easy to be a glory hunter and follow a winning team, but when your team triumphs out of adversity to one day lift the big prize, the taste of victory will be ten times sweeter.