BEST LOSER (1999)
Someone should write a thank-you note to Gary Anderson. Thanks for making an incredible 106 of your 107 attempts at extra points and field goals in your first year as a Viking; for nonetheless refusing to sign "Mr. Perfect" on your autograph, even when fans begged you; for admitting that, after a season of feeling 14 years younger than your age of 39, you suddenly felt 11 years older. For that moment, after the fatal missed 38-yarder in the NFC championship game, when we all knew--though no one would admit it--that Nike and Gatorade and ESPN are wrong: It's not just how hard you push. It's luck. Fate. Whatever awaits, as the Star Tribune's Don Banks put it, on "the other side of perfect." Thanks.