Vikings vs. Saints

The Saints beating the Vikings in the 2010 NFC title game is just one of the many miserable moments Minnesota fans have endured. (Getty Images / January 22, 2010)

The Bears lost last week to a mediocre St. Louis team. Their starting quarterback is injured. And they haven't won a Super Bowl in nearly 30 years. But before you complain, remember this: It could be worse. You could be a Vikings fan.

With the Bears traveling to Minnesota this weekend, I asked my friend Rob Watson to break down his worst moments as a Vikings fan.

 

1. 1998 NFC championship overtime loss to Atlanta, 30-27

IT CAN'T GET WORSE, RIGHT?

After becoming the first kicker in NFL history to complete a perfect season, Gary Anderson missed his first kick of the year in the fourth quarter, a field goal that would have given the Vikings a 10-point lead.

Rob the Vikings fan's take: When Gary Anderson missed that kick [pauses] you got that feeling. And every fan has had the feeling: "This may not be our day." You don't know whether to get in touch with the feeling and start preparing yourself for losing or whether to tell yourself, "Don't worry, this is just a blip on the radar. Everything is going to work out." And the rest is history. That's all I can say about 1998.

 

2. 2000 NFC championship loss to the N.Y. Giants, 41-0

IT CAN'T GET WORSE, RIGHT?

In the opening three and a half minutes, the Giants scored a touchdown, forced a fumble on the kickoff and scored another touchdown. 14-0 Giants, with 12:53 remaining in the 1st quarter.

Rob the Vikings fan's take: It was like getting knocked out on national television [when] everybody thinks you have a chance to win. That's the worst part about it. If nobody thought you had a chance to win, then getting knocked out is not a big deal. But when everybody expects you to play well or to fight, and you get killed like that in front of your mom and everybody on national television, there's no place to hide.

 

3. 2009 NFC championship overtime loss to New Orleans, 31-28

IT CAN'T GET WORSE, RIGHT?

With less than a minute to go in the game, tied at 28, the Vikings drew a penalty for having 12 men in the huddle. On the next play, Brett Favre threw an interception across his body. The Saints won in overtime.

Rob the Vikings fan's take: The way that I rationalize that game was I felt like New Orleans needed that more than we did. I know that's going to sound crazy, but at that time, as devastating as it was, it was like, "Good for you, New Orleans. Good for you." That’s the only thing as a Vikings fan you can tell yourself to get past it. 

 

4. Randy Moss leaves the Vikings after the 2004 season

IT CAN'T GET WORSE, RIGHT?

Moss ended up in New England two years later and had arguably his greatest wide receiver season ever with the 16-0 Patriots.

Rob the Vikings fan's take: Watching a player leave your franchise and become so successful and set records without your team is like breaking up with a girl, and then the dude she marries is a gorgeous 6-foot-4 model with lots of money who really loves her and treats her right. It's like, "Why wasn't I good enough?" Matter of fact, she left you for this guy, and this guy was worth leaving you. That's what you’re finding out. It's devastating, because it makes you question your self-worth as a team, as a franchise, as a fan.

 

5. Adrian Peterson tears his ACL the day before Christmas 2011

IT CAN'T GET WORSE, RIGHT?

Did you not read the description? He tore his ACL the day before Christmas.

Rob the Vikings fan's take: At the time, it was a big deal for me. It was like finding out that Achilles has mortal parts of his body. It was like watching somebody knock out your dad. The person who you look to who is pretty much unbeatable, the image of strength for your team, to see him writhing on the ground like that was awful. It made you question whether this superhuman back would be the same guy that he is. 

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page