The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday, the biggest game every year in professional sports. Millions tune in from all over the world to watch.
Some watch for the football, others watch for the comical commercials. Sports fans or not, everyone seems to get together on Super Bowl Sunday, make snacks and watch football’s biggest game for a few hours.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Dangerous, Smoky Air Could Linger Longer Than Our Current Alert
Minnesota Vikings fans have yet to experience a Super Bowl title, but we’ve had plenty of close calls. The Vikings have been to the Super Bowl four times and are 0-4. They’ve also had three pretty painful NFC title games where they came out the losing end. Here are nine plays and games that are the reasons why the Vikings have yet to be Super Bowl champions.
1999: Dennis Green Taking A Knee
The Vikings had the highest-scoring and most prolific offense in the NFL in the 1998-99 season, yet Dennis Green chose to go conservative when he had a chance to win the NFC title game against the Atlanta Falcons. With less than a minute to play and the game tied, he opted to take a knee and go to overtime with home field advantage instead of potentially driving the field for a game-winning score. The Vikings lost the game in overtime, and fans have yet to forgive Green. Every Vikings fan associates “Taking a Knee” with that season.
1999: Gary Anderson Wide Left
The Vikings had Atlanta beat in the 1999 NFC title game, and likely would’ve won the Super Bowl if it wasn’t for one errant field goal. Gary Anderson hadn’t missed all season. He could’ve given the Vikings a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter against the Falcons, but his 38-yard kick sailed “wide left.” It was at that moment that fans started losing faith the Vikings would win that game. The team never recovered.
2009: 12 Men In The Huddle
The 2009 NFC title game at New Orleans is as painful for Vikings fans as 1999. But the team had the game won despite five turnovers and numerous mistakes. The Vikings were driving to kick a game-winning field goal to beat the Saints and called a timeout. Inexplicably, 12 players came out of the huddle onto the field and they received a 5-yard penalty.
2009: Brett Favre’s INT Throwing Across His Body
After the inexplicable “12 men in the huddle out of a timeout” penalty, Brett Favre was forced to try and make a play to get the Vikings into field goal range for Ryan Longwell. He had Bernard Berrian open down the field for an easy completion or could have scrambled for a few yards before going out of bounds. But he tried to force a pass to Sidney Rice that was intercepted by Tracy Porter. The rest is history.READ MORE: Man Walking Along I-94 In Monticello Struck And Killed
2009: Fumbles At New Orleans In NFC Title Game
You could easily blame Favre’s interception or the “12 men in the huddle” for the Vikings’ 2009 loss at New Orleans, but they made plenty of other mistakes in that game also. Turnovers were a huge factor in the loss. Minnesota had four of them total. The Vikings fumbled six times, losing three of them. Adrian Peterson had two of them, one of them on a potential scoring drive before the end of the first half.
2000: Vikings Losing To Giants 41-0
The 2000 NFC title game against the New York Giants was one of the most humiliating in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. What’s more embarrassing is the Vikings were actually favored to win the game. The Giants scored first, then Moe Williams’ fumble on the ensuing kickoff set the tone for the rest of the day. New York had a 14-0 lead two minutes into the game, led 34-0 at the half and the Vikings never had a chance.
1970: 5 Turnovers In Super Bowl IV Loss To Kansas City
The Vikings lost Super Bowl IV to Kansas City 23-7 in 1970, largely because they had major issues hanging onto the football. Minnesota had three interceptions and lost two fumbles in the game. The Vikings ran for just 67 yards in their first Super Bowl appearance.
1977: Raiders INT For TD In Vikings 4th Super Bowl Loss
The Oakland Raiders beat the Vikings in Super Bowl XI 32-14 for their first championship. It was a day the Vikings would rather forget as Oakland jumped out to a 19-0 lead. The Raiders intercepted Minnesota twice in the fourth quarter, one for a 75-yard touchdown.
1975: Pittsburgh Dominates Vikings In Super Bowl IX
The Pittsburgh Steelers were known for having a stingy defense, and Minnesota had all kinds of issues with it in Super Bowl IX. The Vikings had just 119 yards of total offense, just 17 rushing yards, in a 16-6 loss to the Steelers in New Orleans. Pittsburgh had 333 total yards in the game, including 158 rushing yards on a busy day for legend Franco Harris.
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All these losses and moments were painful in their own way, but all can be forgotten if the Vikings can find their way to football’s biggest game and manage to win it. After a 7-9 season in 2014, that seems like a long road ahead. But stranger things have happened.