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Sports Illustrated has a story about the 1998 Vikings if you want to feel awful

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And who doesn’t, really?

Randall Cunningham

We’ve often talked about things that happened a long time ago to the Minnesota Vikings, and one of the more prolific pieces of franchise history is celebrating an anniversary. . .if you can call it that. . .this season.

Sports Illustrated has given us a bit of an inside look at the whole thing, courtesy of the people that were a part of it.

Yes, this season marks 20 years since the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, led by a rejuvenated Randall Cunningham and a hotshot rookie named Randy Moss, trampled the National Football League en route to setting what was then an NFL record for points scored in a season with 556. While Moss himself didn’t sit down to contribute to the story, there were many others that did, including Cris Carter, Robert Smith, and Brian Billick, who rode his success as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator to a head coaching job with the Baltimore Ravens.

Apparently the team tried to get a race between Moss and Smith organized, and it never happened. But, according to tackle Todd Steussie, it isn’t because they didn’t try.

We would wind up throwing a couple hundred bucks down—I think the pot ended up getting to a couple thousand dollars—to see who would win in a race, winner takes all, between Randy Moss and Robert Smith. Robert Smith was generally considered the fastest guy on our team until Randy showed up, so all year we wanted those guys to race.

That would have been a hell of a thing to see had it ever materialized. We all know that Moss was ridiculously fast, but Smith (according to his Wikipedia page) once ran a 10.24 second 100-meter dash when he was at Ohio State. Do you think Moss would have been able to beat him in a footrace? Because I’m not completely sure, to be honest.

There are a lot of pretty cool parts to the story, even the parts about the 1998 NFC Championship Game itself and the reaction to the loss (including a call that Dennis Green received from then-President Bill Clinton). Conor Orr did a very nice job of putting the story together and getting input from those involved, and it’s definitely worth your time to check out.

You may need a stiff drink. . .or several. . .afterwards, but it’s still worth it.