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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Cosmic Window -
It's October in 1998 where my wife & children were on vacation visiting my wife's parents in Boca Raton, Florida.  The overall stay was both relaxing and uneventful when I was advised by a business associate that their was a water show in Orlando.  Since I had never been to one, I decided to travel up to Orlando by myself for the day to see what I could and might learn.  As it turned out, there was very little for me there but I was glad that I made the effort.  It was October 5th, 1998 ... and I was about to be jettisoned through that Cosmic Window.

After the show, I pulled on my ragged Carl Eller jersey and headed for the closest sports bar.  It's Monday night, when Monday night meant so much more than it does today.  This is when the NFL headliners were about to crash heads together, where there was a buzz afloat.  The 4-0 Vikings were in the show case up in Lambaeu Field facing the 4-0 Packers.  This was a big deal in that the Packers had won it all in their 1996 season and were the NFC champions in 1997 losing to the Elway's Broncos.  Under Favre ... this was a dynasty but we were about to give those Fudge Packers all they could handle under the dual threat of Jake Reed and Cris Carter ... or so I thought.  Why would I think such a thing well it is because in 1994 Reed & Carter combined for 207 catches (122 & 85 respectively).  This was a seasoned group which was ready to dish out all they could handle.

This convention had this bar packed with hundreds of people, where it appeared that I stood out wearing my Viking purple.  Since Orlando at the time was a city of transient people, there was very little die hard elegance to any particular team however they knew a champion ... and they were ready for a show.  What was about to happen ... before our very eyes ... well, it defied description.  Absolutely no one even casually aware of what was happening on Lambaeu Field was prepared for this curtain call.  What was expected was for Brett Favre and company were to dismantle this Viking crew ... and then send them packing ... as this was the NFL's elite wearing Green & Gold.  
At this level, it has only happened a few times that I can recall.  Lawrence Taylor dissecting an offense that appeared to be operating in slow motion.  It was surreal.  Other than Reggie White throwing Cris Carter and Warren Moons legs for a jaw dropping sack ... this was the greatest defensive athlete to have ever played the game.  In my book, I don't think one of us really knows how great Reggie was because he controlled his rage whereas LT was all out ... all the time.

To be direct, we were told that this new rookie was going to break out at some point but that was like saying that there might be a hot dog in a bun at some point.  No, we were about to be introduced to the greatest Minnesota Viking to have ever played the game ... and he was about to explode on National TV (MNF) on the Fudge Packers home court.  He was an absolute freak of nature under the tutelage of one of histories greatest receivers (Cris Carter).  On this night ... there would be no answer for him and as the contest evolved, there was a clear shift as these people were witnessing a happening.  There were no words for it, just consumption and an ever present cheer riffling through the crowd.  When it was over, the reality was almost deniable.  Did it occur?  Yes, it did.

Now it is many years later and our opinions have waivered.  Randy Moss is no longer considered the greatest Viking to have ever worn the uniform where he has become like the hero Achillies. 
His character flaws were abundant and for this we have lessened what he actually was.  In being apart of two (2) teams that produced the most points in an NFL season, we point to two (2) difference NFL MVP's however one could argue that Moss should have won the award in 1998 and for all of his flaws I would take Moss over the cheatin' Brady any day of the week.  Just as we point to Ad  

Just as we now point to Adrian Peterson ... there are no perfect hero's ... and there certainly are no perfect athletes but we must accept what is.

After that October 5th contest, I sat there not wanting it to ever end.  The friend that I met that sat next to me that day senses my longing and despair.  From that sports bar he had insisted that I follow him down the street to another bar.  I really had nothing but the courage to follow as we passed the cover and the door.  As I entered I was introduced to The Blues Travelers  and the harmonic rithyms of "But Anyway".  Now when I here those melodies all I can think of is the greatest Viking to have ever were that uniform for I remember him then ... before all the ugliness.
There is no disrespect as there have been so many elite athletes to have worn the purple however there was only one that could change the world forever and it occurred on October 5th, 1998.  I will never forget that day.  The only question that I have is ... Will it ever happen again?  

The Viking Ghot Writer
Date: May 24, 2016