I am sure that Viking fans are experiencing a great deal of pain over their failure to achieve a spot in Sunday's Super Bowl.

As a Packer fan, I know the feeling well, but 20 years ago I learned a valuable lesson that I would like to share with Viking fans to ease their pain.

In January 1998, I was sitting in the Minneapolis Airport waiting for my return flight home to La Crosse. Having spent a King's ransom for a ticket to Super Bowl 32 in San Diego, I was still angry that the Packers lost the game.

Then I met an 8-year old lad named Max from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Max and his family were returning home from a trip to Disney World -- courtesy of The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Then it dawned on me that all I had lost was a football game, but young Max was fighting for his life.

Suddenly, the Packers' Super Bowl loss had no importance to me. I will never forget the look of love and pride on the face of Max's father as he knelt on one knee to help Max with a stubborn coat zipper.

I don't know if Max survived, but I like to think that he did.

Hang in there, Viking fans. You have a wonderful coach in Mike Zimmer.

Harry Turner, La Crosse

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