Did the Giants cheat when they destroyed the Vikings in 2000?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/ALLSPORT) Daunte Culpepper
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/ALLSPORT) Daunte Culpepper /

Following their blowout 41-0 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship, the New York Giants were accused of cheating in the game.

In the history of the Minnesota Vikings, one of the franchise’s most embarrassing losses was easily when they were steamrolled 41-0 by the New York Giants in the 2000 NFC Championship.

The Vikings were actually one-point favorites heading into the matchup against the Giants. But New York got off to a blazing fast start and Minnesota was never able to keep up.

For a Vikings team that averaged almost 25 points per game during the regular season, it was very odd when they were unable to come up with a single point against New York. It’s almost as if the Giants knew exactly what plays Minnesota were going to run before the ball was even snapped.

New York Giants were accused of listening to the headsets of the Minnesota Vikings in 2000 NFC Championship

Shortly after they pummelled the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship, a column from the Toronto Globe and Mail accused New York of figuring out a way to listen to the radio transmissions inside their opponent’s headsets.

Basically, the Toronto newspaper alleged that the Giants knew what plays Minnesota was going to run before each snap during the matchup.

Former Vikings safety Robert Griffith, who played for the purple and gold in the 2000 NFC Championship, doesn’t doubt that something fishy took place in the stadium that day. Here’s what Griffith told a Cleveland radio station in 2009.

"“I have no idea how we get blown out in the championship game, but it was a bit eerie how that game unfolded.There is no way that that team gets blanketed 41-0 without a little questionable situations. I don’t want to name any names, it just felt like we went into a situation where we could not win. They’re stealing our signals and that kind of thing. I have no idea if they were, but it was really an eerie day.”"

Griffith added that a 41-0 loss was difficult to believe without Minnesota having to deal with something strange in New York that day.

"“There’s no way that that team we fielded gets blanketed 41-0. I have no proof. Nobody has any proof. You would be hard-pressed to tell me that it was a really equal playing field. When we hit the field, they were everywhere we were trying to be. It was almost like they knew the call. I have no evidence and I’m not going to speculate, but that team was definitely better than a 41-0 drubbing.Whenever they made a check on defense, they knew exactly where we were at and what we were doing. It was almost like every play we had called, they had the counter to it. I’ve never been part of a game more lopsided than that.”"

When asked about the cheating accusations after their 2000 NFC Championship victory, former Giants head coach Jim Fassell called them “ludicrous.”

Nothing has ever been proven that New York actually stole the radio transmission signal from the Vikings’ headsets that day. But as Griffith alluded to, it was incredibly odd that Minnesota’s high-powered offense was unable to score any points against a Giants defense that wasn’t exactly the second coming of the 1985 Chicago Bears.

We should also mention that New York’s offensive coordinator in the 2000 NFC Championship was none other than Sean Payton, the same Sean Payton who was suspended for an entire season after his involvement in the infamous Bountygate scandal that played a major role in the New Orleans Saints defeating the Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship.

So Payton was involved in multiple events in which Minnesota’s opponents were accused of cheating. Was this a coincidence? You can be the judge of that.

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