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The Minnesota Vikings Have Finally Reached the Super Bowl -- Well, Kind Of

The Seattle Seahawks Rise Has Been Fueled by Several Players with Ties to the Team

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COMMENTARY | Minnesota hasn't had its share of glorious moments in the Super Bowl. The Vikings are one of two teams in NFL history -- along with the Buffalo Bills -- that have lost in the big game four times. They've also been pummeled in those appearances with the ultimate humiliation coming in Super Bowl XI when Jack Tatum decapitated Sammy White.

As if it were bad enough to be on the receiving end of a hit that had Roger Goodell issuing a fine from his crib, the Vikings haven't returned to the Super Bowl since 1978. Since then, the closest Minnesota has came to Super Bowl Sunday was when Prince performed for the Super Bowl XLI halftime show.

However, as the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos prepare to fight on a snowy tundra for Super Bowl XLVIII, there is a strong connection to the Vikings and their NFC counterparts.

Heading into the February 2 matchup, the Seahawks will have six members of their team who spent time with the Vikings organization. Some of these players won't be in the spotlight on Super Bowl Sunday, but they've all played a significant role in turning Seattle around under Pete Carroll.

The first domino to fall was that of Sidney Rice. Although he's been put on injured reserve with a torn ACL, Rice was the first to make the migration to Seattle. While he hasn't been able to find the form that allowed him to catch 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns from the arm of Brett Favre in 2009, he was able to put together a solid 2012 before his latest injury.

Following Rice was the arrival of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. After being one of the scapegoats in Brad Childress' failed "Kick A** Offense" experiment, Bevell has found a home in Seattle where he's made Russell Wilson one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in football -- with his former project Tarvaris Jackson backing him up.

The Seahawks even took a couple of key special teamers from Minnesota. Heath Farwell was one of the Vikings' most effective tacklers on kickoff and punt coverage and has resumed that role with Seattle, but the more impressive story has been Steven Hauschka.

Hauschka began his career in Minnesota as a training camp kicker behind Ryan Longwell, but always showed an impressive leg. After stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos, he too has made Seattle his home and become one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL.

Even with all this purple flowing through the Seahawks veins, the most important ex-Viking hasn't been mentioned. That could be Percy Harvin.

It's been a rough season for Harvin that has been derailed by a hip injury, but he figures to be full blast come Super Bowl Sunday. If the Seahawks can get him involved, Minnesota might not only have a presence at the Super Bowl, but they'll have the MVP.

It's a rough reminder of the talent that has walked out of Winter Park the past couple of seasons, but this could go to show that it's all about coaching in today's NFL. With a new sheriff in Mike Zimmer, the Vikings could find themselves in this position in the near future, but until then, they'll have to watch as several familiar faces battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

Chris Schad is a lifelong Vikings follower that has seen triumph and heartbreak for the franchise over 27 seasons. His work has also been published on Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.

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