I’ve been trying to find words all day to describe my feelings after last night’s dramatic football game. I was one of those fans with tears in my eyes. I’ve been a Minnesota Vikings fan my entire life, and they’ve never given me the feeling of euphoria I experienced last night. Never!
The Vikings are always the team that are the victim of the other team’s playoff miracles. The playoffs always end with the other team celebrating on the field and the Viking players hanging their heads in despair. Always!
Last night not only appeared like it was going to be another typical ending for the Vikings in the playoffs, it felt like it was going to be one of those really bad ones, you know, the kind that is included in NFL films, the kind we are forced to watch over and over again because everyone else thinks it’s so unbelievable!
A national TV audience watched Drew Brees shrug off two early interceptions before he start picking apart the #1 defense in the league. NFL films were salivating as the game came down to the mighty Saints offense versus the smothering Viking defense for one last drive. Who would emerge victorious? The Vikings defense didn’t break, but they bent enough to allow what appeared to be a game winning field goal. Everyone was silent as they began processing that “socked in the gut” feeling which is so familiar to Viking fans. This was going to be a bad one!
The Vikings had 25 seconds left, no timeouts remaining and at least 40 yards to gain for a field goal attempt; an utterly impossible scenario. Teams never win when in this type of situation; it’s always hopeless and fans knew it.
With a blank stare, I watched the Viking offense trot onto the field. They had to at least try, but fans knew the outcome of the game had already been decided. NFL films were boxing up their cameras and the Saints players were already tweeting about their dramatic victory when Case Keenum called together one last huddle. He said the play would be “Seven Heaven” then looked each of his receivers in the eye and said I’m going to give one of you the opportunity to win this game!
The honor ended up going to Stefon Diggs, whose reception is now known as the Minneapolis Miracle! Diggs leaped and snagged Keenum’s pass out of the air before coming down virtually untouched, then continuing down the sideline to the end zone, scoring on a 61-yard touchdown pass! US Bank Stadium, as well as homes and watering holes all over Minnesota and the Dakotas, exploded into absolute hysteria!
The 2017 Saints playoff game is one I’ll never forget. For the first time in history, it was the Vikings who were on the receiving end of a playoff miracle instead of being the victims. I have a lot of bad Vikings playoff memories that I’ll never forget, but at least now there’s one good one in there too, and it feels wonderful!