The Minnesota Vikings are not one of the oldest or most successful franchises in the National Football League, but there was a time when the Purple and Gold won a lot of football games.
In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s the Vikings were an elite football team that dominated the postseason. They made their presence known with that hard hitting defense that was known as the “Purple People Eaters.” From 1969-1976 the Vikings would appear in four Super Bowls. Unfortunately for Minnesota fans, the Vikings were unable to win any of of the four.
From 1961-1981, the Vikings played their home games at Metropolitan Stadium, an outdoor stadium where the Vikings and Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, played freezing cold football games, rainy games, windy games and more. During that 20 year time span playing at Metropolitan Stadium, the Vikings would win nine playoff games and make four Super Bowl appearances.
Then in 1982, the Vikings began playing at Hubert Humphrey Metrodome, and the team’s success fell rapidly.
Since moving inside into their warm and cozy dome, the Vikings have not made a single Super Bowl appearance. Does weather play a factor come playoff time? Of course it does, because the NFL playoffs are in January when the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling, especially in Minnesota. The Vikings late season preparation is terrible because once they leave the dome and go to snowy New Jersey, Windy San Francisco, or a freezing cold Lambeau Field it’s a culture shock. The old Vikings team used to be able to adapt to it.
What makes this so bad for the Vikings is that they play in the NFC North. This division features teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, who are very used to playing in the outdoor elements. The only two franchises in the NFC North that have a Super Bowl are the ones that play outdoors, and the two that play in a dome don’t have a single Super Bowl. Weird coincidence?
The New Vikings Stadium is scheduled to open for play in 2016. From the outside it looks really cool, but it will provide little to no homefield advantage whatsoever. Other players and coaches are afraid to go to certain stadiums because of the heat, snow, wind, and temperature. This is great news for their division rivals, the Bears and Packers, who will continue to host a dome team annually who is unprepared for such temperatures.