"WE WON TOGETHER, WE DREAMED TOGETHER, WE HOPED TOGETHER AND WE LOST TOGETHER."
'Desire, dedication and determination' was the mantra that led the 1998 Minnesota Vikings to break the NFL's single-season scoring record, but left them short of the league's ultimate stage. America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1998 Minnesota Vikings debuts Thursday, Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. ET in high definition exclusively on NFL Network.
America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1998 Minnesota Vikings chronicles a team which posted the NFL's best regular-season record before losing in the NFC Championship Game. Their story is told by former head coach Dennis Green, wide receiver Cris Carter, and defensive tackle John Randle. America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1998 Minnesota Vikings is narrated by Golden Globe-winning actor James Gandolfini.
The Missing Rings, the latest installment of the Emmy Award-winning America's Game series, tells the stories behind the story of extraordinary teams with one fatal flaw -- they did not win the Super Bowl. Each episode is a 60-minute documentary (available in high definition) featuring key members of the team telling their behind-the-scenes accounts. With classic NFL Films action combined with news clips and photos, highlights from team radio broadcasts, footage from inside team meeting rooms, sideline audio and other exclusive features, America's Game provides an epic and intimate portrait of extraordinary teams, in one groundbreaking series.
Below are excerpts from America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1998 Minnesota Vikings:
"Desire, dedication and determination are the three D's and they're really for me the essence of life."
"I'm going to establish that I'm every bit as good as anyone else. And if I'm not as good as someone else, it's not because of my race. It's going to be about my limitations as an individual and what I can accomplish." - On receiving hate mail
"If we won the game, I'd go fishing early Monday morning. If we lost the game, I wouldn't go fishing at all. And so that year, I went fishing a lot."
"That was the lowest moment. That day I got waived. I was no one - no team, no number, no identity." - On being waived by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1989
"That was a game that I can truly say from a quality team, we embarrassed them." - On beating the Packers in Lambeau on Monday Night Football
"We used to call him 'muscle.' From his temples to his ankles, that's all there was - one big muscle. When they say, 'give everything from out of your ability and put it out there,' John Randle was it. I can say I respected no other player more than him."
"When I would step on the field, I felt like I was somebody else. This other person just took over." - On his playing persona
"Some of the guys were looking at Brett Favre like he was the Dalai Lama." - On facing Brett Favre and the Packers on Monday Night Football
"We get to the big show and you just don't know what we're going to do. There were guys who were misfits, guys who just got this second chance." - On making it to the NFC Championship Game
"It's like driving down the street and you get every green light for the next ten miles and you are just cruising along, smooth and all of a sudden a light turns red and you get side swiped." - On losing in the NFC Championship Game
On rookie WR Randy Moss:
"Once we drafted him, we we're concerned about his personality because we knew that he was just a young kid. People were concerned about how hard we were. So when people knew he was coming with me, it was 'okay, now he's either going to work or he's going to quit.'" - Carter on working out Moss following the draft
"I really wanted to put a mark on his memory that he would never, ever forget as far as what it was going to take to be great. After a few workouts, I called Dennis Green and told him that (Moss) is the most unbelievable athlete that I have ever seen." - Carter on working out with Moss following the draft
"I was telling Randy privately that he was the best I had ever seen." - Carter on Moss
"He re-invented the 'bomb' in the National Football League." - Green on Moss
On Green as a coach:
"He felt like sometimes he didn't get the right shot. He felt like people didn't believe in him. That was the kind of person he was. He believed in people." - Carter
On breaking the NFL's single-season scoring record:
"It's not like we set out to break the NFL record, but once we got close, we knew we were going to break it because no one could stop us." - Carter
On losing 1998 NFC Championship:
"I felt like everybody in the stands was looking at me. And I felt like I let my whole team down." - Randle on sitting out the Falcons' game-winning overtime drive due to injury.
"Walking off that field and losing like that…I didn't even know if I wanted to play football again. I just felt like I would never win after that." - Carter
"Shock? You can't afford to be shocked in football, but I was sure surprised." - Green on Gary Anderson missing his first field goal in two years.