Points on the Purple: Dull Dome holds special memories
LIMBECK: Well Captain Purple, it's the end of an era. No, I don't mean Christian Ponder's time with the Vikings, although that also might be true. Sunday's game is not only the season finale for the Vikings, but also the team's last game in the Metrodome. You will get to view the historic contest in person while I am off celebrating the holidays. How thrilled will you be to attend the Vikings' final contest at the Dome?
FELDMAN: Is that a trick question? Will anyonemiss the Dome? Honestly, a part of me will miss it. I won't miss the building itself, but I'll miss it because of all the memories that were made inside of it. It will be like saying goodbye to your grumpy old grandpa. You didn't care much for him when you were around him, but when you look back on his life, you realize there were a lot of good times with him. We've both seen some of the biggest moments in Vikings history in that building, so it will be comforting to be at the farewell. Narrow it down to one, Helmet Hair: Favorite Vikings Dome memory?
LIMBECK:The ending of the Vikings-49ers game in 2009 was fantastic when Brett Favre hit Greg Lewis with the game-winning touchdown pass with two seconds to play. We just wrote about our memories about the Dome the other day, and I mentioned that game. But one I didn't note that probably stands out the most is when the Vikings hosted the Cowboys in a playoff game at the end of the 2009 season. The Cowboys entered the game on a hot streak and were a trendy playoff pick by a lot of the national media. I think some Vikings fans entered the game a bit nervous. But the Vikings dominated and smashed hated Dallas 34-3. I think that is my top Vikings feel-good memory. How about you?
FELDMAN: I'll stick with the 2009 season and a Monday night game that occurred in early October. It was the first time that Brett Favre ever played againstthe Packers. The atmosphere around the Dome during tailgating that afternoon wasn't festive, but it was electric. It felt like a playoff game. That intensity ramped up inside the Dome and escalated when the teams traded touchdowns twice in the first half for a 14-14 tie. Jared Allen sacked Aaron Rodgers for a safety and a 30-14 lead in the fourth quarter, then the Vikes had to hang on as Rodgers led a comeback attempt, but the Vikes won 30-23. I've been to a dozen or so Vikings-Packers games. I'll remember that one as much as any.
LIMBECK:There have been a lot of memorable games at the Dome, both in terms of joy and heartache for the Vikings. I know you have seen plenty of both. But a lot of great players have also competed with and against the Vikings in the Dome. I saw Tommy Kramer throw six TD passes against the Packers in 1986. But the greatest performance I ever saw at the Dome had to be Adrian Peterson's 296-yard rushing game against the Chargers in 2007. I saw Jared Allen also collect his 22nd sack of the season in the 2011 finale. I never saw many games involving Randy Moss at the Dome. So I'll say the most dominant Viking I ever saw play there was Peterson. Do you have a top or most memorable player?
FELDMAN: Moss had an incredible ability to take over a game when he wanted to. His rookie season, 1998, was my first as a season-ticket holder and he lit up the Metrodome. Any time a Vikings' QB dropped back to pass, there was a loud buzz as 64,000 fans watched Moss streak past defensive backs. He was unstoppable when he wanted to be. And he made one of the most amazing, athletic plays I've ever seen against Denver in 2003, when he caught a deep pass at the end of the first half and, as he was being pulled to the ground, flipped the ball over his head to Moe Williams, who trotted in for a TD. The Dome was quiet for a brief moment, then it erupted after everyone processed exactly what had happened. It'll be a long time before we see a receiver who can be as dominant as Moss.
LIMBECK:Toobad this season had to be such a dud for the Vikings. Not a lot of memories from 2013. I will say this, I was at the last Vikings game atold Met Stadium andat the conclusionmost fanshelped themselves to a souvenir or two on the way out. I know I still have a few. The Vikings lost their final game at theMet. I don't think that happens this time around as Detroit has checked out: Vikings 31, Lions 27.
FELDMAN: Sunday's game features a pair of head coaches who might not be head coaches come Monday. But the Vikings are playing at home in front of a crowd that might actually be a little nostalgic and a little fired up to be in the Dome for the final time. I have to admit, I won't be in a hurry to leave the place when the game is done. I will be in a hurry to forget this season, though the Vikes will end on a high note: Vikings 28, Lions 23.
Guy N. Limbeck and Jason Feldman are Post-Bulletin Senior Sports Reporters. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com