By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — John Bott has seen the Vikings play at U.S. Bank Stadium, at TCF Bank Stadium, at the Metrodome and at Metropolitan Stadium.

“It was Purple People Eater time,” Bott said, “Bud Grant and that whole crew.”

The lifelong Vikings football fan got season tickets through a connection in the early 1970s and went religiously every year after that.

“We had the heartbreaks of Super Bowl losses but it was still exciting,” Bott said.

Bott and his wife eventually moved away, and when his daughter, Lori Barnes, moved to Minneapolis in the late 1990s, he gave her the season tickets.

Barnes was at that infamous 1998 playoff game. He had already bought Super Bowl tickets, but we all remember how that game went, with Gary Anderson missing the kick and the Falcons winning the NFC Championship.

“I absolutely cried,” Barnes said. “I cried all the way home.”

This Sunday, Bott and Barnes’ sister have flown back into town to go to the playoff game against the Saints as a family.

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(credit: CBS)

“I’m totally nervous,” Barnes laughed.

When asked what it would be like to see the team win it all and be together as a family, they got choked up.

“It would be awesome,” Barnes said.

It’s a story of purple pride where winning a football game is almost as good as sharing the experience with family.

“It joins us,” Bott said. “It’s just another way for us to be a family.”

Bott celebrates his 71st birthday next week, and says a Vikings win would be the best present. Barnes says she and her husband, Bryan, plan to pass the season tickets on to her children eventually so it becomes a family tradition.


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