Walter Mondale, Casey Carlson, Jesse James: Minnesota's biggest choke artists
In 1990, Republican Rudy Boschwitz had already served 12 years in the U.S. Senate, winning each of his two terms by 17-percent margins. The incumbent was a prohibitive favorite to nail down a third term, especially when his DFL opponent turned out to be a political neophyte, a little-known college professor named Paul Wellstone. But Boschwitz's seemingly invincible lead began to melt in the face of a masterful grassroots campaign by Wellstone, who mobilized college students and the politically disenfranchised and created pointedly funny, quirky campaign ads that boosted his profile with voters. Despite outspending Wellstone 7 to 1, Boschwitz lost the election by a mere 2 percent of the votes.
The year is 1999. January. The Vikings, led by Randy Moss, boast the highest octane offense the NFL has ever seen (34.8 points per contest). They find themselves where everyone expected them to be: The NFC Championship game -- Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota. Just over two minutes remaining in regulation. A rollercoaster of a game. It comes down to a field goal. Vikings fans think to themselves, "Perfect. Gary Anderson hasn't missed a single field goal ALL FREAKIN' SEASON." As he measures his steps for a 38-yard chip-shot, the Vikngs' first Super Bowl appearance in 22 years is a foregone conclusion. Dude could punch this one through blindfolded. Here's the snap. Anderson strides toward the ball. The hold looks good. And it's... wide left? Wide left! WIDE LEFT!! He shanked it! Fuck everything, Anderson shanked it!! The Vikings went on to lose in overtime. Sound familiar?