Of everything that happened in Minnesota's 27-23 preseason loss to the Bills Thursday night, nothing compares to reality that the curse of Vikings kickers has dug its claws deep into Kaare Vedvik's soul.
Vedvik, acquired midway through the preseason when the Vikings sent a valuable fifth-round draft pick to the Ravens, was a kicking machine before arriving in Minnesota's cursed land.
The Norwegion-born dual threat punter/kicker made 12-of-13 field-goal attempts in preseason games the last two years with Baltimore, but in two games with the Vikings he has been unreliable, or more likely, he's infected with a curse that kickers can't seem to shake in Minnesota.
Vedvik missed from 43 and 54 yards, respectively, against the Cardinals, and then missed a 37-yarder against the Bills Thursday night before finally hitting a 27-yard chip shot late in the game.
He was also the punter on the field for Buffalo's game-changing 79-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Dan Bailey, meanwhile, appears to have locked down a job on the 53-man roster as he made kicks from 43 and 54 yards. Bailey suffered through the Vikings kicking curse in his first year in Minnesota in 2018, and it's unclear if the curse show itself again during the regular season, although we all know it likely will.
"I don’t know if I’m disappointed in it," head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game. “I know that he [Vedvik] hit one. He’s a talented kid, and Bailey came in and kicked well. We’ll just have to evaluate it and see."
Minnesota traded for Vedvik because Bailey and punter Matt Wile weren't playing well at all during training camp and the first two weeks of preseason. Ever since Vedvik arrived, Bailey and Wile have performed much better.
The ugly reality Minnesota faces now is that they'll either have to cut Wile and make Vedvik the punter and kickoff specialist, keep all three kickers and cut another player who they could've otherwise kept, or cut Vedvik in a move that would essentially be the same as throwing a fifth-round draft pick in the garbage.
Roster cuts needed to be finalized by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Curse first appeared January 1999
The curse first arrived in Minnesota in January 1999, taking hold of Gary Anderson's soul in the NFC Championship loss to the Atlanta Falcons. No one has heard from Anderson since.
Aaron Elling, Morten Andersen and Paul Edinger experienced curse-like symptoms during their short stays in Minnesota. Ryan Longwell appeared to break the curse from 2006 to 2011, making 135 of 153 field goals, but the curse returned after two great years from Blair Walsh in 2012 and 2013.
The curse sucked the life out of Walsh in 2014 and he hasn't been the same since. He's now competing, and struggling, for a job with the Falcons.
It then infected Kai Forbath and Bailey, and has now overtaken Vedvik, the sixth official victim of the curse.