Finally some magic goes the Vikings way

Finally some magic goes the Vikings way

January 16, 2018 3:08 AM
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On October 16, 1977, I attended my first Vikings game at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Vikings and Chicago Bears went to sudden-death overtime, tied at 16. In overtime, Minnesota marched down the field and got into field goal range. 

Stoic Bud Grant sent in his kicker, Fred Cox, to attempt the game winning kick. Shockingly, the Vikings called a fake and holder Paul Krause hit a wide open Stu Voight for a winning touchdown. How great it was to be a new Vikings fan at 8 years old.

The Vikings were coming off a stretch of four Super Bowls in eight years, and three in the previous four.  While they hadn’t won the big game, it just seemed like it was a matter of time. In retrospect, it was the beginning of 40 years of pain, heartache and not to be believed misery. The Vikings have not made it back to the Super Bowl since and have lost big games in the most impossible ways.

Minnesota had seasons end on Hail Mary passes, dropped goal line touchdowns and lost two NFC Championship games in overtime, both when victory was right on the cusp. They marched down the field to set up a chip shot field goal for Blair Walsh to beat the vaunted Seattle Seahawks in 2015. He, of course, would shank the kick and keep the Minnesota curse alive.

So you cannot blame those longtime Vikings fans who dared not to get caught up in the “this is our year” mentality (me included). We’ve seen this movie one too many times to believe they would win convincingly against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Even when they were up 17-0 at halftime, most of us felt like it was just a different placement of the proverbial rug under our feet. 

The Stefon Diggs catch and run was the greatest finish in NFL history in what might be the league’s best playoff game ever. Never before in the playoffs had a team scored a TD, when behind, on the last play of the game to win. It was finally “our time”.

The Vikings will bury the Eagles. 

Top horse play

Fair Grounds race 9 on Saturday is an optional claimer for three-year-old’s going long. No. 8 PRIVATE EYE is a deep closer for trainer Paul McGee. He upset a strong maiden field at Keeneland at 15-1 in his second start with a huge late run. Pace looks honest enough to set him up in the lane.  Morning line on Private Eye is 4-1. Post time for the 9th race is 3:03 PT.