wideleftBailey Cossairt’s YouTube project on the last 20 years of Vikings history is probably not the documentary you wanted.

But dear Vikings fans, it sure might be the documentary you needed.

The Vikings from 1997 to present are such a mixed bag of huge hopes, big games, massive disappointments, memorable moments and, let’s face it, oddities that they probably deserved what Cossairt created: an 80-minute documentary set to be released at 5 p.m. Thursday on his Spawn Trapped page on YouTube.

Appropriately titled “Wide Left” to denote the missed playoff field goals that nearly bookend the 20 years, the epic ode was created by a St. Cloud State junior who is exactly 20 years old himself — adding to the quirkiness of the project.

“I didn’t even get to watch Gary Anderson miss that kick,” Cossairt said — or at least he was in diapers if he did.

Indeed, Cossairt is far too young to have experienced the joy and pain of 1998 or even 2000. His pain is built around 2009 and 2015 — which is to say there is plenty of it, still.

To build his documentary, Cossairt first had to get lucky. He found a Vikings fan via the online site Reddit who had footage from more than 70 games — including many of the most important ones — over the past 20 years.

Cossairt, who started making documentaries in high school and worked on this one for about four months, also pieced in fan commentary from a trio of Vikings backers who have gone through the ups and downs.

Now he’s hoping for a little bit of leeway from the NFL. You see, when he uploads the full video Thursday there is a chance it will be taken down because of copyright restrictions on the game footage he used.

But Cossairt said tried a test upload and based on that and similar videos on YouTube, he believes the NFL will allow it as long as they put their own advertising on it.

Only one person has seen the full documentary: Cossairt’s father. But plenty of people have watched the trailer.

 

“The way reacted was, ‘this is going to be terrible but great at the same time’ — and that’s really the case for the last 20 years of the Vikings,” Cossairt said. “That’s what makes for a great story — all the ups and downs, twists and turns.”

In the end, he said he tries to leave the viewer optimistic. Cossairt, after all, is a Vikings fan — something he notes is “much harder than being a Patriots fan.”

But something keeps the purple faithful coming back. And let’s face it: even with all that didn’t go right in the last 20 years, there were nine playoff appearances, three NFC title games, Randy Moss, Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre and a ton of other memorable individual moments.

Come for the catharsis. Stay for the hope.

“If you’re here watching it now you’re still a Vikings fan and still have this new hope every year that this could be the year,” Cossairt said. “We never give up and we never lose that hope.”

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