The votes are in and the fans have spoken.
As part of its partnership with YouTube, the NFL spent the month of June having fans vote on what three games they wanted to see broadcast on YouTube before the start of the 2016 season (the games will be released in August).
For fans of the Minnesota Vikings and fans of the NFL in general, the influx of 96 full-length games will be an opportunity for fans to relive some of the greatest games of recent history – some games much more recent than others.
Vikings fans selected three games. The first was the 1987 season playoff game between the Vikings and San Francisco 49ers in which Anthony Carter continued a magical postseason run that may never be duplicated as a receiver and return man.
The second was one that fans remember like few others – when Randy Moss got some payback on Jerry Jones for not drafting him in 1998 and Moss heads into Dallas on Thanksgiving Day to show Jones know what he was missing.
The third game was the 37-34 win over the Packers that was Christian Ponder’s finest hour – reason enough for Viking Update not to endorse that particular game.
Those aren’t the only Vikings games you can see on the YouTube series. But the other three might make you cry – Oakland winning Super Bowl XI, Atlanta’s 1998 NFC Championship Game win that brought the 15-1 season to an unexpected end and the 2009 NFC title game in which Bountygate denied Brett Favre the ultimate revenge.
As would be expected, fans can’t get enough of reliving their favorite team winning a Super Bowl, although, one way or another, any fan worth his salt would have a copy of some kind of that game. The collection includes Super Bowl wins by New England, Miami, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Denver, Oakland, Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle.
History is made by the winners, so all 96 games will be decidedly in the favor of the fans that voted it in. Not all are great games – no Dallas fan is going to watch the 44-0 pummeling they took from the 1985 Bears – but they are chosen for their own reasons.
When you get done with your Vikings games, you may want to check out these other highlights that will either bring back memories or open your eyes to the great games of yesteryear.
- The Super Bowl III win by the Jets over the Baltimore Colts that gave the AFL legitimacy.
- Super Bowl XII where the Miami Dolphins capped off their perfect 1972 season.
- The 1981 overtime playoff classic between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
- The 1981 “Freezer Bowl” game – the coldest in NFL history between San Diego and Cincinnati.
- Three Bears games from the 1985 season – a 44-0 beat-down of Dallas on Nov. 17 (everybody else hates Dallas apparently) and Chicago’s Super Bowl blowout of the Patriots. You can also see the one game they lost, thanks to Dolphins fans.
- The 1986 AFC Championship in which Denver beat Cleveland on what became known as “The Drive.”
- The Buffalo Bills defeat Houston in the wild 1992 playoff win that saw the Bills come back from a record-setting deficit for an improbable win.
- The 1994 Week 7 regular-season game in which Joe Montana led Kansas City to a win over Denver in a duel with John Elway.
- Barry Sanders topping 2,000 yards in Week 17 of the 1997 season.
- The 1998 wild card shootout between the 49ers and Packers that San Francisco won 30-27 on a last-second TD catch by Terrell Owens.
- The 1999 Music City Miracle wild card playoff game between Tennessee and Buffalo.
- A classic Monday night shootout when Tampa Bay out-dueled the Rams and their Greatest Show on Turf offense.
- The 2001 “Tuck Rule” snow game between the Patriots and Raiders.
- The 2003 Monday night epic in which Brett Favre threw four touchdowns against the Raiders the day after his father died.