Christian Ponder and the 5 Most Deflating Moments in Minnesota Vikings History

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IMay 16, 2011

Christian Ponder and the 5 Most Deflating Moments in Minnesota Vikings History

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Christian Ponder of Florida State looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Every National League Football team has its fair share of moments in which they—and their fan base—consider deflating.

    The Vikings, however, have quite a few to mention.

    Whether it comes on the heels of high hopes dashed—the Christian Ponder draft pick to some, for instance—or just flat out embarrassing moments, the next five highlights show the darker side of football and Vikings historic archiving.

    I mention Ponder here because many fans had many ideas of who they wanted  the Vikings to draft at QB, and instead wound up with Ponder, just to clarify.

    Let's take a look at the 5 most deflating moments in Vikings history.

5. The Troy Williamson “Solution”:

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    DENVER - DECEMBER 30:  Troy Williamson #82 of the Monnesota Vikings drops a wide pass reception in the second quarter of the football game at Invesco Field at Mile High December 30, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    After trading Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders (as if that wasn’t deflating enough) the Vikings were in need of some sort of replacement.

    Drafting Troy Williamson with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft seemed like a good idea at the time, but became a deflating venture to say the least.

    In the 2006-2007 offseason, after dropping an alarming 11 balls (tied second that year), Williamson quickly blamed his terrible hand-eye coordination on bad depth perception—a reason that seemed more like a scapegoat than anything else.

    What’s so deflating about this is the obvious: the Vikings thought they at least had a serviceable replacement for Moss, but instead had anything but the fact.

    Williamson was later traded to the Jaguars where he has done even less, and now there are strong rumors that the Lions could be interested in whatever it is they think he has to offer.

4. The 2010 Season:

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    DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 02:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the bench while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    I can’t imagine getting much argument with this one, as last year’s season was one of the more deflating moments in Vikings history hands down.

    The season began with a bevy of curiosities thanks to Brett Favre’s dubious back-drop life and cell phone activities, which of course, was also compounded by what exactly Favre was going to do with his career which seemingly was an every year fiasco.

    But the team in general was built to contend, and many thought the 2010 season was the year.

    Between poor play from Favre and WR Percy Harvin (in the beginning of the year) and a total team collapse, what looked to be so promising turned into a deflating season.

3. Jim Marshall’s “wrong Way” TD:

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    OK, before we begin I want you all to remember the name Roy Riegels.

    Now, in what was one of the more embarrassing moments in Vikings history, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall (a member of the Purple People Eaters, might I add) recovered a fumble and ran it back 66 yards the wrong way right into his own end zone in 1964 against the 49ers..

    That’s not the worst part.

    Marshall thought he scored a touchdown for the Vikings, which is why he preceded to throw the ball away in celebration. The ball landed out of bounds which resulted in a safety for the 49ers.

    The only good part was the fact that the Vikings did win the game 27-22, on a Carl Eller touchdown return of a fumble caused by—yup you guessed it—Jim Marshall.

    Now about that name I asked you to remember.

    Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegels, stating, "Welcome to the club." Riegels was a player for the University of California Berkeley who ran back his own recovered fumble the wrong way against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 1929 Rose Bowl.

2. Vikings 1998-99 NFC Championship Loss to the Falcons:

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    26 Dec 1998:  Kicker Gary Anderson #1 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the Tennessee Oilers at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Vikings defeated the Oilers 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran  /Allsport
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    One of the most deflating moments in recent Vikings history has got to be “The Miss”.

    Gary Andersen—a kicker who was perfect all season long for the Vikings—kicked a 38-yard field goal with 3:22 left in the first overtime to give the Vikings the lead only to kick another 38-yard field goal shortly thereafter with 2:07 left and miss it by a foot.

    The Falcons would turn around, drive down the field and advance to their first Super Bowl in 33 years.

    "We shocked the world! We shocked the world! Atlanta's on fire, we're going to Miami," said Jessie Tuggle, "No one thought we would be where we are right now, playing in the NFC championship. But not only did we come here to play in it, we came here to win it."

    Many fans will vehemently argue that even though the Falcons kept it close, the Vikings not only out played them, but were also the better team on the field.

    Another reason why this moment was so deflating.

1. The “Love Boat Scandal”:

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    On October 6, 2005 on Lake Minnetonka, seventeen members of the Minnesota Vikings football team were involved in one of the most famous deflating moments in Vikings history.

    Essentially, there were stiff accusations that some of the players engaged in sexual conduct with prostitutes who were flown in from Atlanta and Florida.

    The players in question were quarterback Daunte Culpepper, Fred Smoot, Mewelde Moore, Pat Williams, Bryant McKinnie, Nate Burleson, Ralph Brown, Troy Williamson, Travis Taylor, Kevin Williams, Jermaine Wiggins, Lance Johnstone, Moe Williams, Ken Irvin and Willie Offord.

    Allegedly two boats were rented and some, but not all of the players performed sexual acts in front of crew members.

    Apparently, a woman called police around 9:20pm on October 6 to report that "seven black men" had urinated in her yard after exiting a "big shuttle bus limousine," according to the transcript. The woman later mentioned that the men were "sitting at Al and Alma's," the name of the charter cruise company that the Vikings players were later alleged to have used for the party.

    With this story comes a whole host of graphic details that we really don’t need to get into here as the event was embarrassing and deflating enough.

    Have a moment that you want to share? Leave it below in the comment box.

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