NFL Network pondered the question this weekend as to which were the best teams never to win a Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Vikings fans, they were much too well-represented on the top-10 list. Two of the five teams the network profiled in its "Missing Rings" series of great teams denied Super Bowl victories were Vikings – the 1969 team and the 1998 team. Both of those two found prominent spaces in the ranking of the top 10 teams of all-time that didn't win a title. The 1969 Vikings finished fourth in the poll and the 1998 Vikings finished second.
Seven of the teams lost in the Super Bowl – the 1969 Vikings, the 2007 Patriots (No. 1), the 1968 Colts (No. 3), the 2001 Rams (No. 5), the 1990 Bills (No. 6), the 1983 Redskins (No. 8) and the 1967 Raiders (No. 9).
The three teams that lost in the conference playoffs without advancing to the Super Bowl were the 1998 Vikings, the 1992 49ers (No. 7) and the 1986 Bears (No. 10).
The inability for the Vikings franchise to win a championship in 50 years – technically, they won the NFL Championship in 1969 before losing to AFL champion Kansas City in Super Bowl IV – has been the bane of Vikings fans for much of that span. A total of 18 NFL franchises have won championships, but despite four chances over the years, the Vikings never have. Making it even more frustrating is that the 1998 team, which didn't make it to the Super Bowl, is viewed by many as the best team in franchise history.
The pain that still remains for some fans more than the 2009 season-ending loss to the Saints. In the 2009 version, the Vikings dominated statistically, but history will view the 2009 team as very good, but not great. For those teams who hold the dubious distinction of being the best teams not to win a title, the pain is even more pronounced. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they were the only team to be represented twice on the list.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.