Off the Record: Two more to go

You probably couldn’t tell it by looking at me, but I’m flying pretty high after the Vikings’ “Minneapolis Miracle” win on Sunday.

You couldn’t tell because my facial expression is usually more hangdog than happy dog. Many years ago, when I was in my 20s and living the life of a single gentleman in LeSueur, a fellow once asked if I was married.

I said, “No, why?”

“You have that whipped look,” he said.

Since then the years and gravity have taken their toll on my eyelids and jowls, weighing them down. I have thought about getting a face lift, but then I look at a picture of Kenny Rogers and think, no, I earned these sags and wrinkles.

But I digress. The Vikings win on Sunday was the most electrifying thing I have ever seen on a football field. Case Keenum flung it up there, Stefon Diggs went up and caught it, the Saints defender made a rookie mistake trying to cut the legs out from under Diggs, but missed and Diggs ran it all the way in with no time left. That sort of stuff usually happens to the Vikings. Missing a tackle and letting the receiver score? That usually happens to us, not to the opponent.

I did happen to be at the 1975 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys with the infamous Drew Pearson pushoff touchdown that scuttled the Vikings hopes for a Super Bowl trip. I only saw half of the game — the top half, that is. Our seats were kind of low, too close to the field. Back then both teams lined up on one side of the field at Metropolitan Stadium, so there were a lot of large bodies blocking the view of the field. The television camera was on a little truck that traveled up and down the sideline, so when the play was in front of us, so was the camera. I could see the players from the waist up, but no fancy footwork, especially as the players ran toward the sideline.

On the infamous Hail Mary play, I could see Pearson and Nate Wright running side by side. Then suddenly, for a reason hidden from my view, Wright disappeared like he had stepped in a hole, and Pearson hauled in Roger Staubach’s pass and broke all of our hearts.

I saw that Roger Staubach is hoping the Minneapolis Miracle will wipe his slate clean with us Vikings fans. He was booed the last time he was in Minnesota, and he thinks that now maybe we will forgive and forget and be nice to him from now on.

Boo to that idea! We are not forgetting, Roger, and we’re not forgiving.

Some people think that the Minneapolis Miracle has broken the Vikings playoff curse. It lifted our spirits, certainly, but nothing short of a Super Bowl victory will lift the stain of those four losses in the big game back in the ’70s.

We have two games to go before that. We have to win in Phillie, and then we have to beat the AFC champ at home. Until the final whistle blows on a Vikings win, the curse will be on my mind, lurking in the background.


Kevin Sweeney has been the managing editor of The Journal since May 1985. A native of St. Paul, he worked at newspapers in LeSueur and Albert Lea before moving to New Ulm. Contact him at