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30 Day Challenge, Day 29: Favorite Minnesota Vikings Memory

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The finish line is in sight, folks. . .we've had 28 different topics for discussion in this thing over the month of June, and today we have number 29.

What is your favorite all-time Minnesota Vikings' memory?

Yes, we talked about our earliest memories in another post in the 30 Day Challenge, but this one is for your all-time favorite. As I've missed all of the team's Super Bowl appearances. . .and, let's face it, those aren't exactly happy memories anyway. . .I need to look elsewhere for my favorite memory.

The 2004 season was a bit of a strange one for the Vikings. The team got off to another fast start, going 5-1 in their first six games. However, in their fifth game, Randy Moss suffered a pretty serious leg injury that would hamper him over the remainder of the season. In their final ten games of the year, the team went just 3-7, with just one victory in the final five weeks of the season (a 28-27 victory over the Detroit Lions in Detroit when the Lions borked the extra point after scoring what appeared to be a tying touchdown).

The Vikings had a chance to win the NFC North in Week 16 of the season, but lost to the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome by a score of 34-31, leaving the Vikings to fight for their playoff lives in Week 17 at Washington. That game was the game that saw Randy Moss infamously leave the sideline and return to the locker room early, and the Vikings fell 21-18.

Still, thanks to the incompetence of a couple of other teams, the Vikings managed to back their way into the playoffs with an 8-8 record and earn a third game against the Packers, this one coming at Lambeau Field. The Vikings were in turmoil. . .in addition to the losing skid, there were rumors flying that Moss had been confronted by center Matt Birk after the game against the Redskins for his early departure. There wasn't anyone outside the greater Twin Cities area that gave the Vikings even the slightest chance of advancing to the next round of the playoffs as 9 January 2005 rolled around.

I think that's what I remember about the game more than anything. . .just how completely and utterly dismissive the "experts" were of the Vikings in that game. The Packers had swept the Vikings in the regular season, winning both games on field goals by Ryan Longwell as time expired. To hear the talking heads speak about it, you would have thought that Green Bay won both of those games by 40 points. That attitude came despite Minnesota having an offense that averaged 25.3 points a game and led by a quarterback in Daunte Culpepper that the Packers had no answer for in those first two games, whether Moss was on the field or not. In previewing the game for ESPN, Steve Young himself said outright that picking the Packers over the Vikings in that game was "the easiest pick he'd made all year."

But, we all know how that ended up.

Culpepper threw four touchdown passes and was generally flawless on the afternoon, while Brett Favre threw four interceptions to help the Vikings along en route to a 31-17 Minnesota victory. The capper, as we know all too well, was this rainbow from Culpepper to Moss in the fourth quarter. (Warning, there's some naughty words at the end of this one.)

Yeah. . .think the guy at the end of the video summed it up pretty well. I'm guessing that what Moss did distracted Buck from doing another plug for Temptation Island or whatever other crap FOX was generally airing at that time. Joe Buck could suck it before any of us even knew who John Marty was.

I know, it wasn't a Super Bowl victory or anything. But after a solid week of listening to the national media crap all over the Minnesota Vikings, it sure was satisfying to see the team walk away with a victory.

So, what's your favorite Minnesota Vikings memory, ladies and gentlemen?