As I sat watching the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots punch their tickets to the Super Bowl, one thought came to mind: will I ever get to see any of the teams I cheer for win a championship?
I think some South Dakota State students are in the same boat as me.
My favorite teams in the four major sports (football, basketball, hockey and baseball) are all from Minnesota. The Vikings, Timberwolves, Wild and Twins. None of them have won a championship in my lifetime and I was born in 1995. Actually, none of them have even played in a championship.
I got my hopes up early in the Vikings’ season when they started out 5-0. Everything went downhill after that, as they ended up going 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
The Timberwolves have not gone to the playoffs since 2004, when they went to the semifinals and lost.
The Wild have made the playoffs the past four seasons, but have not gotten past the second round.
The Twins have actually won the only two championships in Minnesota sports history, as they won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. But that was before I was born, so it doesn’t really count.
The team I want to see win the most, though, is the Vikings. They’ve been to four Super Bowls and haven’t won any. In my lifetime, they have been to the NFC championship game, which is the game you have to win to get to the Super Bowl, three times. They’ve lost all three. Two of them in heart-crushing fashion.
In 1999, the Vikings were 15-1 and had the best offense of all-time. Their field goal kicker, Morton Anderson, had not missed a kick all year. He missed two opportunities that would have won the game.
In 2009 they had Brett Favre, a Hall of Fame quarterback. They were playing the New Orleans Saints and the game was tied late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were driving when Favre would throw an interception at the Saints’ 40-yard line.
The game went to overtime and the Saints kicked a game-winning field goal. Eighth-grade me was absolutely devastated.
Since then I’ve believed that there is a curse on Minnesota sports teams. Right now, the Wild are 30-11-5 and are in first place in the Western Conference. It would be fitting if they lost in the first round, because it’s Minnesota.
I’m almost numb to my favorite teams losing. It doesn’t really disappoint me as much because I’m expecting it.
I know that the drought will probably end in my lifetime, but hey, Cleveland hadn’t won a championship in 52 years until the Cavaliers won last year and the Cubs hadn’t won a championship in 108 years.
So, who knows when it will end.