It has been almost 10 years since the Minnesota Vikings suffered a heartbreaking, overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 NFC Championship.
If you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan, chances are you remember the first time they ripped your heart out of your chest and stomped on it.
For many of you, it was Gary Anderson missing wide left in the 1998 NFC Championship. But for those of us who were too young to be emotionally scarred by the “almost perfect” season, it was that one game in the Superdome in 2009 against the New Orleans Saints.
The one that happened over nine years ago.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I cried so hard I had to skip all of my classes the following day. I couldn’t watch tv or listen to the radio for weeks out of fear of it being brought up.
I was completely gutted and, as my Dad put it, initiated into the club of purple heartbreak.
But then late last week NFL Network aired a replay of the game in it’s entirety, and in true masochistic Vikings fan fashion, we decided to watch.
Immediately I was reminded of all the costly mistakes the team made. Adrian Peterson’s fumbles, the 12 men in the huddle penalty, and Brett Favre’s interception just to name a few.
Were there bad calls? Absolutely. My PTSD flairs up every time I think about that phantom pass interference call on Minnesota linebacker Ben Leber. But as much as the Saints won that game, the Vikings lost it and I’m finally ready to say that out loud.
Every time I open Twitter during a New Orleans primetime game, bitter Minnesota fans are spewing hate and negative energy left and right.
Do Vikings fans have to like the Saints? No! Was their head coach (and others involved) properly punished for their involvement in “Bounty Gate”? Yes!
It’s gotten to the point where I feel fearful expressing any sort of enjoyment watching a team that has previously beat Minnesota in a big matchup.
Newsflash, New Orleans was good in 2018 and they were fun to watch. They’ve made a deep playoff run the past couple of years for a reason. Saints quarterback Drew Brees will eventually have a Hall of Fame bust in Canton for a reason.
Let’s stop hating on people who enjoy watching football for simply enjoying football. It’s time for Vikings fans to exorcise the demons of the past. After all, it has been almost a decade.
I’m certainly not saying we need to start chanting “Who Dat” or dress up as a giant whistle and audibly decimate the Saints’ opponents (oh. my. god).
I’m also not saying we shouldn’t snicker to ourselves when New Orleans is knocked out of the playoffs because of a miraculous last second catch by Minnesota receiver Stefon Diggs or a karma-related missed pass interference call.
I think it’s safe so say on a scale of NFL fan heartbreak, both teams are even now.
So, what do you say Vikings fans? Let’s take this built up negative energy and start channeling it to teams more deserving, like the Green Bay Packers (just kidding, but not really).