It’s the end of an era: The Minnesota Vikings played their final game inside the HHH Metrodome today. I’m sure each and every lifelong Viking’s fan experienced the same range of emotion while watching the final football game EVER played inside this downtown Minneapolis facility. I’ve watched virtually every single game during these 31 years, and now it’s over.
Being the emotional guy that I am, my first response is to get a tear in my eye, when I think back to all of the great Viking players that have played inside the Teflon dome. Tommy Kramer to Brett Favre. Ted Brown to Adrian Peterson. Scott Studwell to Chad Greenway. Sammy White to Cordarrelle Patterson. Doug Martin to Jarred Allen. Steve Jordan to Kyle Rudolph. Most of the Viking players we cheered for each week will never be in the “Hall of Fame,” but they were the best we had, and they were great in our eyes!
My tears end however, and a new determination takes over when I consider the chances for team greatness that were wasted during the same period. Darrin Nelson dropped a pass in the end zone during the final seconds of the 1987 NFC Championship game which would have forced overtime. Gary Anderson missed a 4th quarter field goal during the 1998 NFC Championship game which would have ensured a Super Bowl berth. A “twelve men in the huddle” penalty during the final moments of the 2009 NFC Championship game ultimately led to yet another overtime defeat.
31 years in the HHH Metrodome, and not a single Super Bowl appearance! My feelings of nostalgia disappear when I consider how the Vikings have performed during the post season during these 31 years! The Minnesota Vikings were 0-4 in Super Bowls during their time at Metropolitan Stadium, but at least they made it to the big game. The HHH Metrodome teams didn’t give us even a single Super Bowl team to cheer for!
The Vikings now must suffer though two years without a home while playing at TCF Bank Stadium. These years will be highlighted by no home field advantage, questions at the quarterback position, and a defense that will be trying to establish some sort of identity. Maybe Adrian Peterson will still be a factor by the time a new home field is built, but likely a totally different team identity will be present by 2016, and most of the current players will be gone.
I’ve been a Minnesota Vikings fan since birth, and I’ve enjoyed a great 31 years cheering for them while they were inside the HHH Metrodome. The Vikings have always been my favorite team and they will be until I die! I yearn for a Vikings Super Bowl victory while I’m yet walking this earth, so here’s hoping the next 31 years will be better than the last! Skol Vikings!