Friday, August 10, 2012

It All Starts Tonight

My family recalls the many moments the
Vikings have brought to the state of Minnesota,
including the "Miracle at the Met."
Tonight our favorite football team straps on the pads for the first time in the 2012 season. With that brings another season of Vikings football to Vikings fans all over the Midwest. Face it, our team hasn't brought us the captivating moments that we expect from a football team in Minnesota, but we are Minnesota Vikings fans. We stick with our team through, the good, the bad, and the heartbreaking moments. We have become accustomed to having our hearts broken, but we have stuck together.

True Vikings fans live for the team each and every Sunday. They drop everything to watch the games and continue their obligations after the game is over. True fans support their team win or lose and stick with the team they covenant. My family started years ago with deep Vikings roots. It started with my grandfather, who remembered the first days of the Vikings organization. He told me so many stories about his favorite Vikings moments, which included the "Miracle at the Met," where the Vikings made one of their most improbable comebacks in franchise history.

It began on December 30th, 1980, the Vikings trailed Cleveland by a point, 23-22, and Tommy Kramer had just launched a pass from the Browns’ 46-yard line into the right corner of the end zone, with four seconds showing on the scoreboard clock. Terry LeCount, Ahmad Rashad and Sammy White had been deployed to the right corner, LeCount in the middle as if it had been a wing formation. The clock ticked down to zero with the ball in flight.The Vikings faithful held their breath as a Central Divison championship hinged on a miracle. Rashad caught the ball backed into the endzone and brought Vikings fans an improbable Central Divison Championship.

My grandfather also recalled the days of his all-time favorite Vikings player, Chuck Foreman. He explained his ability to spin away from "would-be" tacklers. He stated that the only Viking he ever saw with as much athletic ability as Foreman, is current running back Adrian Peterson. My grandfather and father recalled his rookie season, where Foreman was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. They both talked about his ability not only to run the ball, but to catch the ball out of the backfield. He actually caught 6 touchdowns through the air compared to four on the ground. My grandfather talked about Foreman's second career NFL start vs. the rival Chicago Bears. He explained the type of energy Chuck brought to this team in only his second career NFL game. He rushed for 116 yards on 16 attempts and gained 46 yards on 4 catches. He instantly knew Chuck would become the face of the Minnesota Vikings franchise for seasons to come.

My grandfather never was able to witness the Vikings hoist the Super Bowl trophy. His heart was broken twice in the Super Bowl, in 1998 at the NFC Championship Game, and in 2009 when Brett Favre nearly led us to the promised land. All he wanted was for Brett Favre to show the Green Bay Packers he still had one more year in 2009. He still very much enjoyed Favre defeating the Packers twice during the 2009 and told me, "It was a fun ride, but we came up short. We so should have won that football game, but, Hey! that's the way it seems to go."

The Minnesota Vikings not only bring their talents each and every Sunday on the field, they live in families all over the Midwest. The beauty of Vikings football is how the tradition has been passed from generation to generation since their establishment in 1961. I'm so glad my grandfather brought the Vikings into the home of his family. I can't imagine a day without the Vikings being apart of our families lives. Thanks grandpa for passing the Vikings tradition onto my father and later onto me.

So here's to a season filled with many moments, memories, and passions of Vikings football, all over the great state of Minnesota. Skol Vikings!

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