As many people who have been readers of the site for any length of time know, the first season that I was a Vikings fan was 30 years ago. . .waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1984. The team that wore the purple and gold and took the field that season is regarded by many as the worst Vikings' team of all time. The team was coached by Les Steckel, who everyone pretty much hated by the end of training camp. After the team started the season with a 2-2 record, the team proceeded to lose 11 of their final 12 games and wound up setting the record for most points allowed by a Vikings defense in the history of the franchise. (A record that last year's team nearly bettered. . .or worsed, if "worsed" is even a word. It probably isn't.)
That was also the third season the Vikings spent playing under the teflon sky of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, as they left Metropolitan Stadium after the 1981 season and started playing in the Dome in 1982. That means that I, along with the majority of my generation of Minnesota Vikings fans, have never known the Vikings playing home games in the elements. For my entire time as a Vikings fan, "home" has been the fairly antiseptic environment of the Metrodome, save for that one random game in the disastrous 2010 season.
On Sunday, that all changes. This will be the first (scheduled) regular season outdoor home game for the Minnesota Vikings since 20 December 1981, when the Vikings closed Metropolitan Stadium with a 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The temperature that day was 10 degrees, with 17 mile an hour winds providing a wind chill factor of -8 degrees. We're definitely not going to see conditions like that on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium, but just wait. . .I'm guessing that, by the time December comes around, a lot is going to be made about the weather conditions in the Twin Cities.
Personally, I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it to TCF Bank Stadium for a Vikings' home game at any point over the next couple of years. (I'm damn sure going to be there for the opening day/night/whatever for the Vikings' amazing new stadium in 2016, though.) If I'm unable to make it, I certainly hope that a ton of you are able to make it out there, whether it's hot or cold, rain or shine, or anything in-between. What we're going to be witness to over the next couple of seasons is going to be something special.
The Vikings are going to have the best stadium in the National Football League coming here in a couple of seasons. But leading up to that, being able to see this team play outdoors for the majority of their games should provide a truly unique experience, and I hope that none of you pass it up if you have the chance. I know that if I have the chance, I won't be.
To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.