But Here’s the Kicker!: Observations from the Vikings Latest Heartbreaker


Vikings Mast

And here I’d thought “the play” had already happened.

If you watched Sunday’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, you know the one.

It was in the fourth quarter, when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson went Muppet and mishandled a snap. You saw that, right? You saw him run 15 yards backward to get the ball, slide around, slither past a few Vikings, and hurl a YOLO that one of his receivers somehow got under. You saw that, right, and you saw them score two plays later? That was when I gave up the first time.

My family, our priest, and I were on our way out of the Tamarack Tap Room with four minutes left in the game. Really quickly: I enjoyed the Tamarack Tap Room. Their happy hour beer specials are inconceivable! The buffalo wings could have been spicier, but they did the job well. The cheese curds come with a smoked blueberry ketchup, unexampled, delicious. Excellent service. I’ll be back.

Anyhow, four minutes.

Seattle was up 10-9; and, though I’d given up, I wanted to be sure so I sat back down at the bar to catch the conclusion … but wait, were the Vikings coming back?

The Vikings forced Seattle to punt. The air got heavy and sweet in the tap room, like we were inhaling cheesecake.

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater connected with tight end Kyle Rudolph for a big gain. In front of me, a bald man wearing a worn Robert Griffith jersey jumped up, raised his fists high, then dipped back into his seat and buried his face in his hands. A crowd of Vikings fans on the far end of the bar began dancing.

I took another sip of my beer. Is this … gonna happen?

Adrian Peterson run. Seattle timeout. Adrian Peterson run. Seattle timeout.

Three waitresses huddled together just to my right. They were all wearing plaid, nails painted purple. One of them looked about to pass out.

Adrian Peterson run. Fourth down. 40 second and ticking down. Vikings call time out. 26 seconds.

The Vikings were at the Seattle 9-yard line. Kicker Blair Walsh — who had scored all of Minnesota’s 9 points, and was 33-for-34 lifetime on kicks this close — stepped out onto the field. Elation was swelling, but contained, as if ready to burst out of a balloon.

Then, this:

In the taproom, it was the sound of 100 hearts breaking at once. What little air was left in the room was used for cursing Blair Walsh. “Cut him!” “That’s his only damn job!”

The waitress who’d been serving my family in the dining room approached and put her hand on my shoulder.

I can’t believe that just happened!” She said.
I can,” I said.

I checked Facebook. Memes were flooding my feed, but one friend summed up my mood perfectly:

Vikings Tear Facebook

I checked on Deadspin writer and very witty Vikings fan Drew Magary. He was tweeting about the Golden Globes, so I assume he’s alive.






Meanwhile, Vikings placeholder Jeff Locke’s Wikipedia page was temporarily changed:

Back in the taproom, the server in the Packers jersey was catching hell from a table a few feet away. Forks clanged, hands banged against table tops, and F-bombs were thrown here and there. One fan threw a gift on the floor, covering his vicinity in packaging fuzz. Good time to settle up, methinks.

I got home and saw this message from my buddy Slick Nick:

Nick Message

I slipped on my robe, poured a small glass of bourbon, and began walking the afterlife of the 15-16 Vikings.


STILL GOT TIME? Brighten your day with my timeline piece of the Vikings’ win over the Packers a week ago and how the Vikings used the general putridness of today’s NFL to make stars of their young standouts.



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