Editor Note: Over the next several weeks we will be bringing you a couple of features that will help you get to know our writers. “Our Favorite Falcons Memories” is exactly like it sounds. Each week come back to the blog and we will introduce you to another one of our favorite memories and tell you why exactly it is etched into our brains.
On January 17, 1999 I was supposed to be shredding snow on the slopes in Winter Park, Colorado. Instead, on that Sunday morning I could be found at a local pub in the aforementioned picturesque snowcapped town preparing for the greatest moment in Falcons’ history.
Sitting at a lofted table, on an unobstructed theatre style screen, me and six other friends watched as the Atlanta Falcons stunned almost everyone in the sports world as they went on the road to Minneapolis, Minnesota and upset the heavily favored Vikings in the 1998 NFC Championship game. The game had it all as the Falcons took the opening drive for a touchdown, stormed back after surrendering the next 20 points, a last minute touchdown drive to tie the score, and a long field goal drive for the win in overtime.
Moreover, all the stars showed up. Quarterback Chris Chandler threw for just under 350 yards and three touchdowns. Wide Receiver Terrence Mathis had six receptions for 73 yards with two touchdowns and counterpart Tony Martin had five receptions for 129 yards. Additionally, running back Jamal Anderson added 100 yards to the offense on 23 carries and six receptions with a touchdown. To top it all off, Morten Anderson, one of the NFL’s all time greatest kickers connected on three field goals, his last a dramatic 38 yard game winner in overtime.
The Vikings followed a 15-1 regular season by soundly disposing the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional round and were set to host the Falcons in the vaunted Metrodome, a massive structure building housing a raucous fan base that combined serve as one of the NFL’s best home field advantages. Throughout the 1998 season the Vikings had used that advantage, along with a vastly talented football team, to beat visiting opponents by an average of 23 points per game.
Currently, 11 years later, I still have vivid memories of the dawning of day, glistening off the fresh powder and the setting of the sun over a field deconstructed by snowmobiles. Two pristine moments surrounding one the most unique sports experiences and memorable outcomes a fan can have.
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