What a difference an off-season makes. By the time the 1997 Vikings had finished drop-kicking six of their last eight games, including a quiet 38-22 loss to the 49ers in the divisional playoff round, many local fans and sportswriters seemed convinced the team was light-years away from being a Super Bowl contender and that head coach Dennis "Hostile Takeover" Green was a borderline nutcase. Meanwhile, the Vikes were up for sale, with all kinds of faraway cities panting for a franchise. And offensive coordinator Brian Billick, appearing desperate to scurry away from this rudderless organization, resigned to pursue the same job with the Cowboys, a move that NFL commissioner Paul... More >>>