As a rule, games in the National Football League generally don't take place on Fridays. Sure, there are games on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, and the occasional Saturday, but Friday? That's just sort of crazy talk right there. But with it being "Black Friday" today, I thought I'd take a look back (courtesy of the folks at Pro Football Reference) at the history of the Minnesota Vikings in games that they've played on Fridays.
As it turns out, the Vikings have actually taken the field on a Friday three times in their existence, and the results have largely not been very good.
The Vikings' first Friday appearance doesn't appear to have any sort of holiday connected to it, as it happened on 22 September 1967. The game saw the Vikings head out to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Rams. The Vikings probably should have just stayed home, as they absorbed quite the thumping from the Rams, losing by a score of 39-3. The Vikings wound up playing three quarterbacks that day. . .Joe Kapp, Ron Vander Kelen, and Bob Berry. Collectively, they completed just 13-of-34 passes, with Kapp and Vander Kelen throwing two interceptions each. The 1967 Vikings finished the season with a record of 3-8-3. Yes. . .three ties in one season. Somewhere, Donovan McNabb is very confused.
It would be 26 years before the Vikings would take the field on a Friday again. Their next Friday appearance came on New Year's Eve in 1993, as they traveled to RFK Stadium to take on the Washington Redskins. Even though the Redskins wound up going 4-12 that season, they gave the Vikings all they could handle. Behind a 1-yard touchdown run by Scottie Graham and a touchdown pass from Jim McMahon to Anthony Carter, the Vikings overcame three Chip Lohmiller field goals to emerge with a 14-9 victory. That victory propelled the Vikings to the playoffs, though they lost in the Wild Card round to the New York Giants the next week.
Minnesota's most recent Friday appearance came on Christmas Eve in 2004 when they hosted the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The winner of that contest would clinch the NFC North, while the loser was still going to have to fight for their post-season lives. Daunte Culpepper threw three touchdown passes, and Minnesota linebacker Chris Claiborne returned an interception of Brett Favre for a touchdown, but it wasn't enough. Favre, who threw three touchdown passes of his own, got the Packers into position for a 29-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell at the gun, giving the Packers a 34-31 win and the 2004 NFC North division title. The Vikings wound up backing into the playoffs despite a Week 17 loss in Washington, but exacted their revenge in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, going into Lambeau Field and knocking the Packers out of the post-season.
So, the Minnesota Vikings have an all-time record of 1-2 on Fridays in their history. With every NFL team having to play at least one game on a Thursday during the regular season now, I'm not sure if or when we'll see another Friday game.
The Vikings are still undefeated on Tuesdays, though. So they've got that going for them. . .which is nice.