MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Do you remember what you were doing 19 years ago?
On Jan. 17, 1999, the Vikings played the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship at the Metrodome. The Vikings were heavily favored but there was the infamous missed field goal and the Falcons went on to win the game.
The camera flashed to the face a devastated woman who shared the emotions of every Vikings fan across the country.
“It wasn’t the most flattering picture, but you could tell she wasn’t happy,” Brent Wiehle said.
That woman was Colleen Wiehle, mom to children Brent, Stacey Richman and Jessica Wiehle.
Last week the family saw a story on WCCO that happened to include Colleen’s reaction to that kick, video they had never seen before.
“To be honest, I cried,” Stacey said.
Colleen was at that game as a gift for being in remission from breast cancer.
“Seeing her like that was so empowering,” Stacey said.
That’s because Colleen was a lifelong die hard Vikings fan. Sundays were a ritual in their Maple Grove home.
“She’d get so into the games she’d sometimes get upset and just start cursing,” Jessica laughed. “We’d have to close the windows so the neighbors wouldn’t hear.”
Of course the Vikings lost that game. Soon after Colleen’s cancer came back, and she lost her battle.
She died just a few years later at the age of 48.
“You think you’re going to pull through this no problem, and then reality hits you,” Brent said.
Since then every Vikings game has made her children, who now have their own children, think of their mom. Especially Sunday’s memorable ending.
“She probably would have peed her pants,” Jessica said.
The siblings say Colleen wanted nothing more than to see the Vikings play in the Super Bowl. While she wasn’t in the stands at Sunday’s game, maybe there was something miraculous with that catch—at least for them.
“She was one hundred percent a part of that,” Stacey said.