In 1999: Normally, a 14-2 team advancing to the Super Bowl wouldn’t shock anyone, but when the Atlanta Falcons faced the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, few expected Atlanta to move on. The Vikings were, 15-1 and one of the most dominant regular season teams in recent memory. Minnesota, led by rookie Randy Moss and a rejuvenated Randall Cunningham rolled up a league-record 556 points and was rarely challenged. Still, the Falcons decided to take the field anyway as 11-point underdogs in the noisy Metrodome. The Vikings had a chance to ice it in the fourth quarter, but Gary Anderson missed a 38-yard field goal (his very first miss of the year) that would’ve put them up by 10. Instead of being down by 10 with 2:00 minutes left, the Falcons were able to force overtime with a Chris Chandler (who outgained Cunningham 340-266) to Terrance Mathis (who scored twice to Moss’ one TD) touchdown with :49 left. The Falcons defense bogged down the Vikings in overtime and Morten Andersen kicked the game-winner to send the Dirty Birds to the Super Bowl for the first time, where Eugene Robinson was arrested for propositioning a prositute and the Falcons were beaten by the Broncos. (For those who might not remember the Dirty Bird, lucky you. It was cool like the Macarena was cool.)
In 1997: Normally getting kicked in your bag just nets a lot of pain and embarrassment. And chances are, you probably deserved it. But when Eugene Amos, an in-house photographer at Minnesota’s Target Center had the audacity to be in the way of a diving Dennis Rodman, his pain turned into a winning lottery ticket. Rodman, then a member of the Chicago Bulls, was scrambling for a loose ball, collided with a prone Amos under the basket and introduced himself Nike-first into Amos’ crotch. The NBA kicked Rodman harder, but in his wallet. He was fined $25,000 and was suspended for 11 games. Rodman also agreed to pay Amos $200,000. Since the suspension was without pay, Rodman cost himself over $1 million dollars and an infinite number of stupid points, even for him.