You probably know by now the National Football Conference (NFC) champions are not Minnesota Vikings. Despite owning the first touchdown, it was an assured victory for the Philadelphia Eagles and thus earning their spot in the 2018 Super Bowl. This, after the Minneapolis Miracle divisional playoff game played on their home turf up north—an odds-defying touchdown earned by wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the final seconds of the game in favor of a Vikings win. Consistently one of the winningest teams in the National Football League (NFL), always close but no cigar—or should I say ring.
The Minnesota Vikings entered Super Bowl IV (1970) as the favorite, but wet conditions favored their opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, at this time for Aquarius Vikings, mercury was in retrograde so there was no hope for a win.
In Super Bowl VIII (1974) the Vikings were defeated by the Miami Dolphins 24-7, a losing gap that was already wide before the second half. Venus in retrograde is known to bring sorrow, plus Saturn in retrograde for our beloved Vikings meant a cosmic tug on motivation. The celestial odds were against them.
Venus in retrograde is known to bring sorrow
2018 will not mark the first victory of a Pennsylvania team over the great Purple People Eaters. Nay, in Super Bowl IX (1975) Pittsburgh Steelers pinched the lead in the fourth quarter. Pluto in retrograde loves to remind us of the past, dragging us into darkness. That and Saturn in retrograde for the second year in a row for Viktor the Vikings meant hope for a victory was a no-no.
On a sunny day in Pasadena, California the Oakland Raiders grabbed a lead before halftime and beat the Vikings at Super Bowl XI (1977). Despite the positive vibes Jupiter can yield in retrograde, it was accompanied by Mercury and Saturn. Forget it.
Since the NFL and American Football League (AFL) merged in 1970—familiar today as the NFL—the Minnesota Vikings qualified for the playoffs 27 times, but since 1978 failed to win their NFC Championship Games to secure an opportunity to win a Super Bowl.
In 1978. In 1988. In 1998 — the unspeakable year and the first time my husband heard his grandmother yell f*ck.
the unspeakable year and the first time my husband heard his grandmother yell f*ck
In 1998, the Vikings played a spectacular season leading them to the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons. Favored to win and in a tight game, kicker Gary Anderson who had played a perfect season for the entire year missed a 38-yard field goal with two minutes on the clock—enough time to hand the NFC Championship to Atlanta. That decisive January 17, 1999, marked a New Moon. Crazy things happen around the moon. Favored again in 2000, the New York Giants slaughtered the Vikings 41-0. In a turn of events, the Vikings struck back defeating the Giants 44-7 in their steady advancement to the 2010 NFC Championship game. Alas, I saw it with my own eyes—a missed 40-yard field goal in a tight overtime game and a win for the New Orleans Saints.
Second place, silver, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. It’s an exhausting journey watching one of the most talented teams in the NFL somehow always miss the title they so deserve. You might just start to believe the Minnesota Vikings are cursed.
In 1969, the NFL Championship Game—a Super Bowl predating the AFL-NFL merger, and last to take place before the merger—was won by the Vikings in their home state playing in Bloomington, Minnesota. Indeed, they were the last to possess the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy.
they were the last to possess the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy
From then on, post-merger, the Vince Lombardi trophy was awarded to Super Bowl champs. Is that why Vikings fans hate Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers so much (Lombardi being the coach to lead the Packers to win the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967)? Or, are the Vikings under the curse of Ed Thorp—enraged from the grave that the team lost the Thorp Trophy. Indeed, in the early years of football, the traveling trophy was held for a year by the victors and passed on to the next winning team (like the Stanley Cup in ice hockey). But it gets weirder. The trophy was found in 2015 in possession of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. and there is little proof the Thorp Trophy was even presented after 1951 with the last inscription on the trophy being the Los Angeles Rams. What in Thorp’s name does this all mean? Is Ed Thorp, the football referee who died in 1934 and for whom the trophy was made in his honor, mad from the grave? Why aren’t the Packers to blame? Or the Rams?
We do not know the answer. Should we sage the uniforms for a new and uncursed dawn or hire more sports psychologists to accompany the team on the field?
I might add that I didn’t ask for this. I wasn’t born in Minnesota and I’m not of Norwegian descent. Alas, it was a slow descent into fandom beginning with scattered gifts of Vikings paraphernalia from my then boyfriend, now husband’s family across all generations. A learned trait of the matriarchy, purple-clad grandmothers fixed on the television through decades of pride and vanquish for their team. I didn’t grow up in a football family, I never went to a school with a football team, not in K-12 nor undergrad or grad school. Heck, I didn’t even understand the rules until I was in my mid-twenties.
Heck, I didn’t even understand the rules
But like an adoptive family, the Minnesota Vikings became as a familiar as my new last name. And my youth spent as a competitive show jumper, I can fathom the pressure on blue ribbons or bust.
And so, on February 3, 2030, should the Minnesota Vikings take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, the planets will be in Minnesota’s favor for only Uranus will be in retrograde, the planet that likes to shock us all.