One missed field goal. In the 1998 NFC Championship Game, the Minnesota Vikings led 27-20 with two minutes to go in the game. Vikes kicker Gary Anderson missed a 38-yard field goal that would have given his team a ten-point lead and all but sealed a trip to the Super Bowl. Prior to that miss, Anderson had made 35 out of 35 field goal attempts. The Falcons then scored a touchdown to send the game into overtime. In OT, the Falcons turned the Vikings' dream season into a nightmare with a game-winning field goal. The Vikings had gone 15-1 in the regular season, scored the most points by an offense (the record has since been broken), and introduced the world to one of the most dynamic big-play receivers of all-time, Randy Moss. The 1998 Vikings have become synonymous with the phenomena of having a once-in-a-lifetime season that doesn't end in a Super Bowl victory.
The Vikings entered the NFL in 1961. They've reached four Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX, and XI) but lost each one. Nonetheless, they have one of the best winning percentages in the history of the NFL, and since the merger, are one of the league leaders in reaching the playoffs. The Vikings are part of the NFC North with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers. The "Purple People Eaters" play their home games at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some of the all-time great Vikings players include Fran Tarkenton, Gary Zimmerman, John Randle, Alan Page, Carl Eller, Randall McDaniel, and Cris Carter.