Do the Vikings labor under the curse of the gridiron billy goat or Bambino? Those are the notorious — whether believable or not — curses of the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.
Is it the Curse of the Dutchman? The Vikings' first coach Norm "the Dutchman" Van Brocklin infamously disliked Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton's penchant for scrambling out of the pocket. The tactical feud ended in Tarkenton demanding a trade.
The Vikings have played in and lost four Super Bowls, the most recent of them a generation or two ago in 1977. And there was a 1999 loss in the NFC Championship Game, when the Vikings led until the Atlanta Falcons drove for a touchdown in the last two minutes to tie and then win 30-27 in overtime after Gary Anderson missed a 38-yard field goal to win.
In 2010, Brett Favre brought the Vikings within seconds of a Super Bowl berth and a magical ending to his Hall of Fame career. But the Vikings lost to the New Orleans Saints.
The Vikings added another heartbreaking loss to their annals of futility Sunday afternoon after Blair Walsh missed a 27-year field goal that would have put them ahead in the playoff game's closing seconds.
Some familiar names pondered the question Monday, the morning after the Vikings snatched defeat from victory. Are The Purple cursed?
Joe Friedberg, defense lawyer who spends his leisure time at the racetrack betting on his ponies:
"No, and I don't think the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox are cursed. It falls under the category of [stuff] happens. Although I did get pissed when an opponent in a civil case put the gris-gris on me."
The woman was toying with trinkets and amulets to give him the bad mojo. It didn't work. Friedberg said he won.
Duane Benson, former NFL player and state senator:
"No. They're a pretty damn good team. You take 32 teams and at least 25 would trade places with them. They've been to a few Super Bowls and didn't get over the hump. … Their rotation is coming. Wait until next year, eh?"
Pete Orput, Washington County Attorney:
"Oh yes I do because multiple times the organization has threatened to leave unless we build them another factory. Then they price Joe Lunchbucket out of the game."
He held up the move from the Metropolitan Stadium to the Metrodome in 1982 and the move into U.S. Bank Stadium in August as the examples. Both times he recalled ownership's subtle or not threat to fans that they would move the team. "They've got bad karma," Orput said.
Barb Johnson, Minneapolis City Council President:
"Noooooooo. I felt so bad for that poor kicker, but I don't believe in that kind of stuff. They had a really good season. It seems to me they're really gelling as a team. Maybe they'll get better next year."
Kathy Lantry, St. Paul City Planning Director:
"No. I do not. I think that Blair Walsh muffed a kick. We're not cursed, it's just that [stuff] happens."
Sondra Samuels, Northside Achievement Zone CEO:
"No. I don't think they're cursed — and not blessed either."
Walt Dziedzic, former Minneapolis City Council and Parks Board Member who played three seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers:
"They just had a little bit of bad luck... We won two World Series there's no curse there — in the broader sports community. I think they're [the Vikings] a good team with great leadership. Wait until next year."