Annus Mirabilis

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:01 am on Monday, October 29, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: NFL

The history of the Minnesota Vikings franchise is littered with crushed hopes and the flamed-out wrecks of lost opportunities. Four Super Bowl losses (three in four years), the Push-Off in 1975, the Herschel Walker trade that built the Dallas dynasty of the early Nineties, Wide Left in 1998, 41-donut in 2000. Until a couple of years ago the Vikings were the Boston Red Sox of the NFL – always close, never close enough. Now the Red Sox have won two World Series championships and even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose 0-26 start in the NFL inspired coach John McKay to quip, when asked what he thought about his team’s execution, “I’m in favor of it,” have won a Super Bowl.

The longest run from scrimmage in NFL history came against Minnesota in 1983 (99 yards, Tony Dorsett, playing for the Dallas Cowboys), for close to twenty years the most rushing yards ever put up in game came against the Vikings (Walter Payton did it - 275 yards). The Vikings were the first 15-1 team to not make the Super Bowl. Then there is Steve Young’s famous stumbling bobbing-and-weaving scramble through the entire Minnesota defense for a game-clinching touchdown in the playoffs. They took that one and put it in a commercial.

Yes, it’s been a history of epic collapses. But for the last several seasons the Vikings had one claim to fame: the 1998 Vikings scored more points, 556, than any team in NFL history.

(We once had other claims, but all of Tarkenton’s records were eclipsed by Dan Marino and a punter - a punter! - broke Jim Marshal’s 282 consecutive games started streak a couple of years back. There’s still Paul Krause’s record for interceptions in a career, though. 81.)

But now the record for offensive prolificacy is about to go up in smoke.

The Patriots just hung 52 points on Washington. According to Sports Illustrated the Patriots are on a pace to score 662 points - shattering the Minnesota mark by, oh, 106 points (or as many as the typical Baltimore Raven offense scores in a full season).

The sadist in me wants to see the Patriots fail. To have something heartbreaking happen to deny them the record and preserve, for a while longer at least, this one positive thing Minnesota has in the NFL record books. But New England is having a season for the ages, an annus mirabilis of the gridiron, the kind of football season that just doesn’t come along very often, if ever. They legitimately could run the table and end all the annual crap about the ‘72 Dolphins and all those idiotic stories about old men popping champagne corks. So, with all that in mind, I’ve decided to embrace the moment and pull for the Patriots to win it all this year. To go 19-0, to score 662 points and for Randy Moss to finally get his ring.

At least then the record will have fallen to a juggernaut worthy of the record and not some pansy team like the 2001 Rams.

Then maybe, just maybe, the football gods will decide the Vikings and their fans have suffered long enough and allow them the championship they’ve so heartbreakingly never won.

But I’m not holding my breath.


Comment by Flathead

10.29.07 @ 11:24 pm

In that 15-1 season who was the team that beat them in the regular season??

Comment by elraymundo

10.30.07 @ 9:41 am

In that 15-1 season who was the team that beat them in the regular season??

Yeah, we seemed to have some trouble with the redneck teams that year. Tampa got us in the regular season and Atlanta got us in the playoffs.

Comment by Jefferoo

10.30.07 @ 11:27 am

I’m surprised you’re pulling for that Pats. I figured you would be all over them for the video taping scandal.

Comment by Flathead

10.31.07 @ 1:30 pm

Got to love the NASCAR division in football.

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