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30 in 20: Looking back at the most memorable Vikings moments of the past 20 years

The electricity in the air really gets palpable a few blocks away.

Drums are pounding, whistles are blowing, and everyone you cross paths with is on the same journey to the Promised Land. And on this day, snow was falling as we crossed Portland Ave., and the Metrodome slowly came into view.

It was a couple days before Christmas and my dad was a yearly season ticket owner at that point.

It wasn’t anything special, some nosebleed seats that he would either use or sell if he wasn’t in town, but it was in the building. And at a young age, that’s all that mattered to me.

We didn’t expect much; the Vikings were firmly out of the playoff hunt at 5-8. But for some reason that meaningless game in which the Jacksonville Jaguars went on to win 33-3 sticks in my mind forever.

This was Cris Carter’s “retirement” game. Near the end of the game, he had a message that played on the big screen thanking the fans and the organization for an incredible career, and this would be his last game at the Metrodome.

While Carter did eventually suit up a few games for the Miami Dolphins the following year in 2002, including a brief appearance against the Vikings at the Metrodome, this was effectively his swan song.

And everyone in the building knew it.

With the game firmly out of reach late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were driving to get Carter one last touchdown.

After crossing midfield with 50 seconds left, down by 30 points, the Vikings called their first timeout.

Starting as a slow rumble, the stadium soon erupted into a never-ending chorus of:

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

A 17-yard gain to Carter to put the Vikings on the 27-yard line, and the Vikings called their second timeout.

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

An opportune roughing the passer penalty put the Vikings on the 13-yard line.

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

After two straight incompletions Spergon Wynn drops back, targets Cris Carter in the endzone, and is intercepted by Jacksonville.

The air completely left the building as the Jaguars quickly lined up to kneel the ball, and the game was over.

Walking out of the Metrodome on the back of a 30-point loss to put the Vikings at 5-9 should be something that I buried deep, deep in the recesses of my mind never to be thought of again.

But that’s the weird thing: it’s one of my most cherished Vikings’ memories.

And that’s what makes football so loveable.

Your personal favorite memory could be something that a diehard fan has never even thought of before. Someone could have no clue about that game against the Jaguars, but vividly remember Randy Moss’ Thanksgiving game at Dallas just three years prior.

After thinking back to my favorite Vikings moments (and after reading Joe Posnanski’s incredible “60 Moments” MLB series on ‘The Athletic’), I wanted to try to collect a series of those memories.

This will be a series of 30 of the most memorable Vikings moments of the last 20 years.

It will not be ranked, because at the end of the day, ranking would be objective. How can you, for example, compare an elite Adrian Peterson performance in 2012 to an elite Brett Favre performance in 2009? They are both moments of greatness in their own right.

Instead, it will be a compilation of moments that I believe have electrified, inspired, or deeply impacted recent Vikings fandom.

Spoiler alert: there will be moments included or excluded here that people will disagree with.

And that’s ok.

It’s hard to pick out a universally agreed-with list of the past 20 years, and I’m sure I will miss some of your personal favorite moments just like someone would have missed my Cris Carter moment.

I just hope I don’t throw an interception in the endzone.


No.30: Allen’s goal line stand & Frerotte to Berrian

No.29: The Kirk Cousins Signing

No.28: Coming Soon

No.27: Coming Soon

No.26: Coming Soon

No.25: Coming Soon

No.24: Coming Soon

No.23: Coming Soon

No.22: Coming Soon

No.21: Coming Soon

No.20: Coming Soon

No.19: Coming Soon

No.18: Coming Soon

No.17: Coming Soon

No.16: Coming Soon

No.15: Coming Soon

No.14: Coming Soon

No.13: Coming Soon

No.12: Coming Soon

No.11: Coming Soon

No.10: Coming Soon

No.9: Coming Soon

No.8: Coming Soon

No.7: Coming Soon

No.6: Coming Soon

No.5: Coming Soon

No.4: Coming Soon

No.3: Coming Soon

No.2: Coming Soon

No.1: Coming Soon



Ben Lyso

Contributor from Texas, but Minnesota born and raised. The Vikings will be the death of me but I wouldn't have it any other way. SKOL.

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