Hartman: Losing the Super Bowl is a painful, lasting memory

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 2, 2014 - 8:48 AM
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Dolphins running back Larry Csonka plowed past the Vikings defensive line during Miami’s 14-7 victory in Super Bowl VIII on Jan. 13, 1974, in Houston. That was the second of the Vikings’ four Super Bowl losses over a stretch of eight seasons.

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The last time that the Vikings reached the Super Bowl was in January 1977, when they fell to 0-4 in the NFL title game.

If you go back to that 1976 season and consider the teams that were in the NFL at the time, you will find that only three other teams have had longer Super Bowl droughts than the Vikings’ run of 37 years:

The Lions have had the longest wait, having never been to the Super Bowl; the Jets haven’t been to the Super Bowl since beating the Colts after the 1968 season; and the Chiefs haven’t been since beating the Vikings the following year.

Kansas City won Super Bowl IV 23-7 in New Orleans, and it did so with some of the greatest talent that money could buy. In 1963, Lamar Hunt, the multimillionaire owner of the American Football League team, had outbid the Vikings for Gophers star Bobby Bell with a salary offer almost double what the NFL team bid. Hunt paid the price necessary to get the best players.

Miami, like Kansas City, had better talent than the Vikings when the Dolphins beat them 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII in Houston. That Miami team lost only two games one year after going undefeated, a feat no team has matched since; it was also the Dolphins’ third Super Bowl appearance in a row.

The Vikings faced Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XI, and like Kansas City and Miami, the Steelers were one of the best teams in NFL history, led by such great players as Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Dwight White, Ernie Holmes and L.C. Greenwood.

Then the Vikings’ fourth loss came at the hands of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI, a team that had a number of Hall of Famers, led by Fred Biletnikoff, Fans on NFL.com voted that team the greatest in NFL history in an online bracket two years ago.

No doubt in Bud Grant’s mind, the 1975 Vikings team might have been the best he coached. If it hadn’t been for Dallas’ Hail Mary pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson in the final seconds of the Divisional round, that Vikings team might be in the same class as all those other all-time greats of the NFL. The Vikings would have had a good chance of beating the Steelers, who defeated the Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X.

The loser of the Denver-Seattle game Sunday will find out that the fact it won a conference championship doesn’t mean a thing to fans.

All is forgotten if a Super Bowl team can’t win it all, and the only fans that go away with good memories are the ones that cheer for the victor.

Vikings sought revenge

There’s a little sidebar to the Vikings’ loss to Kansas City. The Vikings opened the 1970 season against the Chiefs after falling to them the year before in the Super Bowl.

For one of the only times in his coaching career, Grant showed the film of the loss in the Super Bowl to the team the night before that season opener.

Grant was upset because the late Hank Stram, coach of the Chiefs, had been wired to a microphone and kept ridiculing the Vikings on TV during the Super Bowl.

The result of the teams’ matchup was the Vikings beat the Chiefs 27-10 to open the 1970 season. They completely dominated that game to get some revenge.

Gophers miss Andre Hollins

The Gophers men’s basketball team has now lost to Nebraska and Northwestern, two teams that started slowly but are now playing well. Coach Richard Pitino said part of the reason for the two losses is the fact that Andre Hollins has been sidelined by an ankle injury.

“We need him back; 16 points. He’s one of the better guards in the league,” Pitino said following Saturday’s 55-54 loss to Northwestern at Williams Arena. “It’s silly for us to think that it’s going to be easy to replace a guy who scored 1,000 points and could be one of the all-time leading scorers in school history.

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Kansas City - LP: B. Finnegan 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 11
Detroit 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
Montreal 3
New Jersey 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Dallas 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 7
Detroit 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Minnesota 7
Florida 1 FINAL(OT)
Arizona 2
Washington 3 FINAL
Calgary 1
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 FINAL
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 59 FINAL
Washington St 37
Texas-El Paso 34 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 31 FINAL
Colorado State 45
Syracuse 6 FINAL
(21) Clemson 16
Texas State 22 FINAL
ULM 18
(3) Ole Miss 7 FINAL
(24) LSU 10
(4) Alabama 34 FINAL
Tennessee 20
So Carolina 35 FINAL
(5) Auburn 42
(13) Ohio State 31 FINAL
Penn State 24
(20) USC 21 FINAL
(19) Utah 24
(14) Arizona State 24 FINAL
Washington 10
Nevada 26 FINAL
Hawaii 18
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Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
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Iowa
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Texas A&M
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Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
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Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
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Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
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New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
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(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
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(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
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(6) Oregon
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Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
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Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
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FC Dallas 0
Colorado 0 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 28 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon
 
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