That's a wrap for Metrodome
Gerrard Diaz, firstname.lastname@example.org
One last dance in the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome.
On Sunday the Green Bay Packers will bid adieu to the Metrodome, as the Minnesota Vikings play their last season in the stadium that has been their home since 1982.
“There’s been a lot of great games there, I’ll say that,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “There’s so many good memories, there’s some tough ones, too. It’s a very difficult place to play, always has been.”
The Packers have a respectable 14-16 record in the Metrodome, including plenty of good and bad memories.
The first Packers-Vikings game at the Metrodome was played Nov. 13, 1983, and pitted coaches Bart Starr and Bud Grant against each other. The Packers won 29-21.
The Packers had plenty of success in the 1980s, but in the 1990s the Metrodome became a haunted house. That decade featured infamous names such as Terrell Buckley and T.J. Rubley and the Packers finding ever more creative ways to hand games to their division rivals. Given a chance to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs in Week 17 in 1993, the Packers lost 27-7.
The 2000s featured some better memories for the green and gold. Brett Favre broke Dan Marino’s touchdown passing record in 2007 with his 16-yard pass to Greg Jennings for touchdown 421.
Favre returned in 2009 as a Viking and handed the Packers, and new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a 30-23 loss. A year later, though, Rodgers and the Packers had their revenge, beating Favre and Vikings 31-3 as the crowd chanted for the firing of Vikings coach Brad Childress. A day later Childress was fired.
The collapse of the Metrodome’s roof during a winter storm that year seemed to seal the stadium’s fate.
Last year the Packers lost a back-and-forth game as Minnesota battled for its playoff life. A Blair Walsh 29-yard field goal gave the Vikings the 37-34 win and set up a rematch at Lambeau Field in the wild card playoff game a week later.
This year the Packers hobble into Minnesota with an ever-growing list of injuries, but the Vikings have it much worse. While the Packers (4-2) are riding a three-game winning streak, the Vikings (1-5) are coming off an embarrassing 23-7 loss to the New York Giants on Monday night and have major question marks at quarterback.
Packers defensive end B.J. Raji, who will be tasked with helping to stop NFL MVP Adrian Peterson on Sunday, said he loves playing in Metrodome atmosphere.
“I love playing on the road,” Raji said. “You versus the stadium mentality. That’s definitely a loud place. That Viking guy comes out. I enjoy playing there.”
In February, the “Hump” will be demolished to make room for a new stadium. The Vikings will play the next two seasons at TCF Bank Field until the new stadium is ready.
If the competitiveness of the Packers-Vikings rivalry over the last few decades is any indication, the new stadium is already destined for plenty of great football memories.