Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Vikings overtime loss to the Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Much has changed in the world and in my life over the past ten years. But one thing remains the same. So come with me on a trip down memory lane.
It was a cold, blustery January morning, but judging by the mood of people around town you would've thought it was the middle of spring. I pulled my car into a parking lot near the Metrodome with three other friends, all of us decked out from head to toe in purple, and we just sat there for a few minutes before going in, pondering the inconceivable. We were actually one game away from the Super Bowl. It was like a dream. A couple of guys who looked like extras from Goodfellas came up to my car and asked if we wanted to sell our Super Bowl tickets if we had any. To hear the words "Super Bowl" uttered with the assumption that our team would be included confirmed the reality of the situation. We made our way into the stadium knowing, not hoping, but knowing that we would be walking out victorious in just a few short hours.
From section 236, row 20, seat 4, the field goal looked good and in my mind the Vikings led 30-20 with two minutes left and the Falcons would not have time to score twice. There was about a second and a half before I saw the referee signal "no good" that I knew, not thought, but knew that the Vikings were going to the Super Bowl.
The Falcons proceeded to drive down the field and score a tying touchdown and then kick the game-winning field goal in overtime. The Vikings made it back to the NFC Championship game again two years later but this time it was slightly less dramatic and went something like this:
What I didn't know ten years ago is that there is a hope that does not disappoint. It is not found in football or money or spouse or job or family or real estate or health or anything else in which we choose to place our hope. I am reminded of this hope now every time I think about that day.