“We Left At Halftime” — The Story of Vikings Fans Who Left & Missed Out on History

"We Left At Halftime" -- The Story of Vikings Fans Who Left & Missed Out on History
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

“We Left At Halftime” — The Story of Vikings Fans Who Left & Missed Out on History

It’s the kind of statement you’re not going to hear too often. “The Vikings are 11-3, and they’re the most frustrating team ever!”

These are the words of a frustrated Vikings fan who exited U.S. Bank Stadium while the Vikings were down 33-0 in the first half of Saturday’s game.

“We left at halftime,” Rich from Sartell shared. And he wasn’t alone in this thought. Long drives home, snowy roads, and fleeting weekends before Christmas were just two reasons many logged off or changed the channel. The 33-0 first-half deficit to the ratty Colts was just the kicker.

We Left At Halftime
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

While many stuck it out and stayed at the stadium, some left and, by their own volition, missed out on witnessing firsthand what would become The Biggest Comeback in the History of NFL!

“We Left At Halftime” — The Story of Vikings Fans Who Left & Missed Out on History

These are their stories…

Meet Slice from Chaska…
At the game with his kids and their friend, they opted to beat traffic and left the premises after the Vikings opened the second half with a three-and-out. The score was 33-0, the first drive in the second half was lifeless, and nobody could have blamed them for leaving at the time.

“I saw with my own eyes how bad they were in the first half and couldn’t imagine they could come back,” Slice shared. “Plus, we had plans that evening, and it was a great opportunity to get things done on a Saturday afternoon.” While this sentiment wasn’t that of the majority for the more than 66,000 on hand at the game, it almost certainly was for the millions watching the featured NFL Matchup across the country.

Insane Stat Highlight Jefferson's Dominance
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

But then the comeback started…

“We heard the first TD on the light rail and the next three [TDs} on the drive home. When we were only down two TDs with nine minutes left, I had my ‘oh shit’ moment.” For Slice and his family, thankfully, they made it home in time to see the finish to the game, but it wasn’t the same as taking it in from the seats they were keeping warm just two hours prior.

“In 10-20 years, it’s a better dinner story that I left than if I stayed.”

Meet Melanie from Annandale…
Season ticket holders since 2009, Melanie and her husband have stuck it out through their fair share of frustrating Vikings games both at The Dome and The Bank. But this one, this one proved to be too much. Already with “fraudulent” pinned next to their name in most of the national conversations, when the Vikings found themselves down 30-0 with six minutes left in the first half after Kirk Cousins threw a pick-six, Melanie and her husband Tim decided it was time to flee the scene drown their sorrows.

“We didn’t feel like they were going to come back,” Melanie said. “The horseshoe wasn’t in our favor. So we headed to Brother Justus Distillery and enjoyed the comeback there!”

While there was certainly remorse for what they had missed out on, Melanie embraced the new experience and slightly altered memory they could make while experiencing the historic comeback in a different way, with different company.

Meet Brandon from Cambridge…
Brandon and his brothers gave it all they had. They stuck through the first half and all 36 Colts points. They even saw the start of the comeback and the Vikings first 21 points, but when Jalen Reagor gave up running a route and paved the way for an easy Colts interception, they had seen enough.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

At that moment, the score was 36-21, and there were just a little over eight minutes left in the game.

“We just left out of pure frustration,” Brandon explained. “We got the tickets expecting to win The North, and it didn’t seem like that was going to happen.”

But by the time they got back to their car and turned on KFAN to listen to the finish, the tone had changed a bit inside the stadium.

“We RACED to get to a bar and catch the end…I just kept saying, ‘I can’t believe we left!'”

Like Slice from earlier, Brandon is still finding time to revel in the victory and choosing to see the silver lining.

“My girlfriend just said, ‘we won; that’s all that matters.’ But it still feels a little hollow. I’ll still have the memory, and when the state comes up in 10 years, I can say that I was there but was a moron for leaving!”

Meet Keith from Chanhassen…
For Keith from Chanhassen, Saturday was meant to be a wonderful opportunity to bond over a Vikings game with his son, who was back from college for the holidays. Settling into their seats, hoping for a statement victory from the Vikings, the pair decided wandering the stadium for food might be the only thing to help them keep from vomiting in their seats. After a delicious Parlour burger and a few more frustrating plays, the pair decided it was time to depart.

As the tide started slowly turning, Keith offered a warning shot across the bow of the car on the drive out of downtown. “I told him if they come back, I was gonna be pissed,” Keith said. But remembering what it was like when he opted to stick out the Dallas blowout earlier this season, Keith kept driving and headed back towards the west metro.

Ultimately, as Keith said, “this season is a lesson…a painful but enjoyable lesson that you have to learn to stick it out.”

And as if this wasn’t bad enough for Keith, he went on to share with me that he was also at the “Minneapolis Miracle” game back in 2018…but he had to leave for his daughter’s gymnastics meet and missed that miraculous finish as well…?‍?

Aj Mansour is a member of The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN and works for iHeartMedia and the Vikings Radio Network. He’s also a senior writer for VikingsTerritory.com. Be sure to follow him on social media for the latest Vikings news and big opinions – @AjKFAN