January 16, 2010
Beware the Ides of January
|Vikings fans need no explanation for this picture ...|
So, it is my birthday tomorrow. Usually this would be cause for celebration, but unfortunately for me the Vikings are in the playoffs. That means that my birthday will either be a time of great joyous celebration, or a time of anguish and pain.
You see, for a Vikings fan, January 17th is not the best time to have a birthday. Not only is it a little close to Christmas, but almost every year the Vikings do something to screw it up. Just take a look at these great birthday weekends from my past:
- Jan. 16, 2005 - NFC Divisional - Philadelphia 27, Minnesota 14
- Jan. 14, 2001 - NFC Championship - N.Y. Giants 41, Minnesota 0
- Jan. 17, 1999 - NFC Championship - Atlanta 30, Minnesota 27 (OT)
- Jan. 17, 1988 - NFC Championship - Washington 17, Minnesota 10
- Jan. 15, 1984 - NFC Divisional - Washington 21, Minnesota 7
Before then my memory gets a little fuzzy since I was just a little tyke, but most of their Super Bowl losses also came around my birthday.
The worst of all these games for me is by far the 1999 NFC Championship game. Most Vikings fans do not need a reminder of this epic failure, but I can't help but share some of the memories.
The Vikings were 15-1 and playing at home. They had highest scoring offense in NFL history led by a rejuvenated Randall Cunningham, the great running back Robert Smith, and one of the best group of wide receivers in NFL history, Cris Carter, Jake Reed, and NFL Rookie of the Year Randy Moss. What a team! What a joy to watch ... except for this game.
As I've already spelled out, the game was on my birthday and for once in my life I thought, "The Vikings can't lose! They are at home! The have a record setting offense! It is on my birthday!" We had a big party at my parents' house. We had some awesome chili, we had some cheese doodles, we had some great chips and dip, the beverages flowed freely, and we all sat around the TV expecting a Vikings victory.
Except the Vikings lost. Gary Andersen, who had never missed a field goal all year, missed for the first time. The Falcons drove down the field in OT and kicked their own field goal and won the game. Oh man ... I was angry, sad, frustrated, and confused all at once. Quite frankly, my birthday was ruined.
The Vikings play the Cowboys tomorrow, on my birthday. Will they finally redeem themselves for the 1999 debacle? Will my birthday finally be a time of joyous celebration? We will find out tomorrow. I have learned not to get my hopes up, but unfortunately for me my hopes are getting dangerously high. Please Vikings, PLEASE, don't screw this up!
Posted by snackeru at January 16, 2010 10:55 AM
You may have eaten too many cheese doodles but your description above is a little off. Gary Andersen missed his figgie in regulation. It would have given the Vikes a 10 point lead with only a few minutes to go. The Falcons marched down the field and tied it with a few seconds left, won the coin toss in O.T. then marched down the field again for the winning field goal.
Posted by: freealonzo at January 16, 2010 3:04 PM
Good catch Free. I've made a slight adjustment. Obviously my memory is still clouded by my disappointment.
Posted by: Shane at January 16, 2010 3:32 PM
Shane - I hope you have a Happy Birthday today - I really do!
By the way, if I had a dollar for every time I uttered the phrase you ended this post with, I would retire tomorrow.
Posted by: Jeff T. at January 17, 2010 8:20 AM
The birthday playoff curse is over!!!!!!
Posted by: freealonzo at January 17, 2010 5:03 PM