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Dave Roepke, Published January 23 2010

Minnesota Vikings: Locals lock in tickets for title game

Any Minnesota Vikings fan with designs on watching the NFC title game in the original high-def – real life – better already have those plans clinched up.

Because the fanatics like Jeremy Tomlinson started looking for tickets almost as soon as possible, as in right after his dad texted him during halftime of the divisional playoff win last Sunday. When you want to represent in enemy territory, speed is essential.

Tomlinson, 32, of Fargo, said he logged on to the Saints’ team Web site to get tickets as Minnesota was polishing off Dallas.

He and his father are set to go, along with his two brothers and girlfriend. It was not cheap – about $700 apiece just for the seats.

“We just swallowed the pill. It might be another nine years before they’re (in the NFC championship) again,” said Tomlinson, a regional sales director for AFLAC. “We’re just kind of caught up in the moment.”

Luke Cole’s parents lagged behind Tomlinson but not by much. He got a call from them in the fourth quarter last Sunday, wondering if he wanted to go to New Orleans to see the Saints game with his uncle.

“I was in shock for awhile. Now it’s just waiting,” he said.

Think it’s tough waiting to see the same from your couch? Try waiting to see it surrounded by legions of Who Datters. Concentrating on school? Yeah, right.

“Obviously, it’s been very hard,” said Cole, a 22-year-old studying graphic design at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Angie Hunt, a 30-year-old Eide Bailly accountant, did take a little longer to pull the trigger. She didn’t sign on for her charter flight to the game with two friends from college until Tuesday.

The delay was understandable. The college buds – Thief River Falls, Minn., residents who own an all-purple RV for Metrodome tailgating – had been thinking Super Bowl tickets.

“Then they realized it was maybe out of their price range,” Hunt said.

It was especially sweet for Hunt to snag tickets to Sunday’s game because she had passed on a ticket to the blowout against the Cowboys. Instead, she let her brother, a huge Dallas fan, take the seat.

Hunt said she’s pumped for the game but a little hesitant to be cheering the road team in what’s bound to be a wild atmosphere.

“I’m kind of excited and nervous all at the same time,” she said.

Tomlinson said he was also a shade worried and might go so far as to avoid wearing a Vikings jersey.

“I hear they have the highest murder rate in the nation. I think I might just go incognito,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535