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BwareDWare94

How it Happened: From a Numb Fan's Perspective

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Let me lay out the setting--a 2 bedroom apartment in a town of less than 1500 people, -12 outside with a -20 or more windchill. I look out my window and see blowing snow obscuring my pickup and other vehicles, along with a pair of hay bales to my right next to the top of the hill. I'm on the edge of town so the sun set bleeds purple and orange and blue into the western horizon. It's deadly cold outside but the view is breathtaking, as it is all winter long in North Dakota. Inside I finish an incredible Vietnam novel entitled Matterhorn in the middle of the Jaguars/Steelers game. I make some basic bachelor food. I do my laundry. I play the intro to "In My Arms Instead" by Randy Rogers Band on my guitar. I follow the Shoutbox as many of us often do on Sundays, a form of invisible but nation-wide camaraderie we're all accustomed to while we sit by ourselves and enjoy the game we all love so much.

You all know my history at this site. When I first arrived referees were akin to Hitler, Stalin, and Lucifer. I've known for years how overbearing it was, and how embarrassing it was for me. That being said, let's flip the script a full 180. Now, I don't hardly speak during games while I'm watching them, by myself or with family/friends. My neighbors won't hear me yelling. A loss, no matter how important the game is, won't ruin my day. I watch calmly and don't really have that much invested in how the games turn out. There will be the usual empty pit feeling of a loss, but an hour later and I'm reading a book, strumming on my guitar, or playing pool with friends at a local bar. During the game I might state my opinions in the shoutbox or in game threads, but TGP has become something of a safe outlet for such things. I can get out of hand from time to time and those small moments are now twice as embarrassing as the old meltdowns used to be. It's not the embarrassment that drove me to changing my reactions so much, but the realization that i just didn't want to care that much about a fucking game. So yeah, I've mellowed considerably. And I love it.

 

With that 180 flip in place, let me outline how this game went for me. 7-0 after a stop of the Saints. Hey cool, we're here to play. 10-0, another stop. Awesome. 17-0, stops galore and 2 picks of Drew Brees--OK we're probably going to win this game. I'm not jumping around, but I am excited, and I'm having fun discussing the game with guys like Thanatos and Ben and SteVo and a few others in the Shoutbox. Then Forbath misses a makeable FG going into half and the dread sets in. Not the all-encompassing dread of of the past, but a newfound, beaten-into-the-hearts of Vikings fans dread that just says "here we go again."

And that dread plays out--Keenum makes inexcusable mistakes on two consecutive drives to start the second half and all of a sudden it's a ball game. The Saints claw back. Michael Thomas gets in the head of my boy X and scores a touchdown. X gets hurt on the next drive and sits out while Thomas reminds us that Terence Newman is indeed 39 fucking years old. Honest to god I'm not sure Newman moved until Thomas was catching the ball. #23 looked 39 years old on that play. Then, X is back the following series. Thomas is under control, but Brees is Brees and he finds Kamara on a beautiful throw on a route that Eric Kendricks covered beautifully but what else can he do? It's 21-20. Case leads a FG drive, but he and Shurmur mishandle the clock. Badly. 23-21 with too much time to play. The Saints come back on the march, but X makes Thomas disappear, because that's what X does. Unfortunately, Mackenzie Alexander gets bullied and gives up a 4th and 10 to the forgotten Willie Snead. The Saints get into FG range, and Lutz puts them up with less than 30 seconds left.

By this point I'd swapped my Vikings shirt (long sleeved NFL Shop with Rhodes 29 on the back) for my Wild shirt ( short sleeved with Dubnyk 40). I'm not defeated so much as just accepting of the probabilities. Then Case drops back on 3rd down, throws a dart down the right sideline, and Stefon Diggs makes perhaps the biggest play in Vikings history.

 

The play was appropriately dubbed The Minneapolis Miracle by Vikings play-by-play guy Paul Allen 10 seconds after it happened in one of the greatest radio calls I've ever heard (NFL Live played it to end their show).

I'm silent on my couch, stunned, thinking "did he step out of bounds? Dear god I hope he didn't step out bounds!" Replays show it's real. The Vikings have won in arguably the most stunning finish in recent playoff history, if not playoff history altogether. These things don't happen. They just don't happen. The poor kid for the Saints was just trying to avoid costing his team the game with either a DPI penalty or some kind of personal foul if he hits Diggs illegally. That's all Marcus Williams was trying to do--not lose his team the game, but it results in #14 in purple scampering down the sidelines for the winning score, fittingly reminding us that while Adam Thielen has stolen the show as Minnesota's best receiver in 2017-18, Stefon Diggs was a known commodity who is a star in his own right.

After all these years of real, at times unexplainable misfortune, the Vikings had something go their way.

I said a numb fan's perspective because I almost feel like I didn't experience this as much as I should have, but I think it's just the shock of it happening in the first place. I'm still in disbelief. It's incredible to know that something good happened for this team, finally. The rest of the playoffs be damned. Whatever happens be damned. Good fortune came to the Vikings for once. It's unbelievable.

 

How did this crazy play unfold for you?

Edited by BwareDWare94

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Paul Allen is an incredible radio play-by-play man, and to hear Pete Bursich, a former Vikings player who is the color analyst, get so excited is something special to me. If the radio call and TV broadcast synched up, I'd mute the TV and listen to Paul Allen (or PA, as we call him) every single week.

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could somebody please explain to me what Williams was trying to do there?

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It looked like he went for the tackle too soon. Like he was committed to letting Diggs catch the ball and stop him in bounds.

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It looked like he went for the tackle too soon. Like he was committwced to letting Diggs catch the ball and stop him in bounds.

exhibit A in why you don't put your head down when making a tackle

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Yeah, I didn't really have a problem with Payton prior to Sunday but he was a cunt all fucking game. He can go fuck himself. Brees is still my boy though.

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I really dislike Payton. I WAS kinda bad rooting for them though so we could play a team I actively dislike. This Vikings team is likeable and feels like a team of destiny.

 

That finish was amazing

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^same. Since Carson isn't playing it's going to be easier to be all Vikes on Sunday but if the Eagles defense pulls it off it won't be awful for me. Granted, the Vikings are playing for a home Super Bowl so maybe it will be harder than I realize if they lose.

 

I'm kind of wondering what the NFL will do if the Vikings have a significant home field advantage if they play in the Super Bowl. We have the best indoor football stadium on the planet, imo, so I hope the venue convinces them to come back.

Edited by BwareDWare94

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Sean Payton was confronted about it at his press conference and photos were released. He confirmed that he was mocking fans with the chant and called it "good playoff fun".

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I mean I enjoy that some people are more feisty from positions of authority--the broom thing in the locker room from the week before was hilarious. This doesn't really stir the pot for me. I just enjoy that not only did we end up scoring a TD to win, but that we likely would have a chance at a field goal if Diggs had had go go out of bounds. I enjoy when cockiness backfires

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could somebody please explain to me what Williams was trying to do there?

Got paid.Did his job.

It's so obvious.its so plain.

It's the truth. Just another made for tv ending.

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Sean Payton was confronted about it at his press conference and photos were released. He confirmed that he was mocking fans with the chant and called it "good playoff fun".

 

Backpedal or is he telling the truth?

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Completely agree re: 2nd DPI. That was complete bullshit. The Vikings likely get a FG out of that possession anyway, but I was glad they didnt get 6 off what was a clear horrible call. Diggs was holding Crawford's hand there, was absolutely not DPI in any way at all, in fact it was OPI, I thought, if anything.

 

I will tell you what happened in the second half is at least partly because of the loss of Andrew Sendejo. Michael Thomas took him out of the game with a dirty hit that appeared to be unintentional- he wasn't looking at him, but man it sure looked bad- but the way they mocked him afterwards made Rhodes lose it and he overcommitted on the first TD pass to MT. After that the Vikes defense just wasnt the same. If Sendejo can't go on Sunday, that will be a big loss for the Vikes.

 

Morstead's story is awesome, dude is one tough fucker, went back out there injured and kept on punting the rest of the game, then was the first guy back on the field for the XP. All the respect in the world for him, none at all for this fucking moron of a head coach:

 

https://twitter.com/cyvonne1229/status/953120731688308736

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If I was a fan of neither team playing I don't like either DPI call against Crowley, and as a Vikings fan they definitely bothered my conscience. As a matter of fact, neither was DPI. The first could have been Defensive Holding, if anything. The second was the referee reacting to what the play looked like, which officials can't be doing. See a penalty absolutely or just keep your flag in your pocket. Bad no-calls are not nearly as problematic as bad calls. It was an atrocious penalty.

Thank you, Eefluxx, for the congratulations. I too really enjoyed the matchups between Rhodes/Thomas and Thielen/Lattimore.

 

Yeah losing Sendejo completely changes the defense. He has progressed so much in coverage that it allows Zimmer to let Harrison Smith play a kind of hybrid S/LB/Pass rusher position. Moving Harrison Smith all over the field is a product of Sendejo improving, Xavier needing almost no help in coverage, and Trae Waynes developing from an extremely raw CB prospect to one of the best tackling CBs in the league and he only gets better in coverage. Rhodes takes somebody out of the game. Waynes usually minimizes the speed guy (unless the speed guy is the #1). If Waynes covers a slower WR2 I don't even worry about him out there.

Xavier Rhodes got so emotional (I'm not mad at him at all, his teammate was on the field, clearly unconscious for a stretch of time, with his nerves making his one arm shake--it was fucking scary) over the Sendejo situation and the following touchdown against him seemed to open the floodgates. I don't know if the Thomas hit was dirty or not, but I highly doubt it was unintentional. Then on the next possession, X went into the tent after a hit to the head which allowed an easy second touchdown to Thomas. I think we might hold NO to a field goal if Rhodes can stay on Thomas.

Xavier Rhodes was absolutely incredible on the Saints final drive. To record 2 passes defensed on one possession is extremely rare, especially against an elite #1 WR. Xavier Rhodes stood tallest of all of Minnesota defensive players last Sunday, even with the TD he allowed, which we can at least partially attribute to extreme emotion. Rhodes/Thomas was absolutely riveting.

 

Drew Brees played the best half of his NFL career in the second half last Sunday. While it was my team he was annihilating, it still hit me at just how amazing he played for those 30 minutes. I like to think a healthy Sendejo allows us to stop some of that but that's not a sure thing.

 

Thomas Morestead is such a high quality individual. The story about the donations back and forth is very heart-warming.

Lastly--the Saints are absolutely set at some positions for the foreseeable future. Armstead and Ramczyk are absolutely studs and I was extremely impressed with how they handled Griffin and Hunter in this game. The secondary is well built and it's a shame a fluke play ended the game. I would feel better about this victory if we'd have had to kick the FG to win it. Yes, the Minnesota Miracle seems fitting considering all the shit luck we've faced over the years, but there absolutely is a tackiness that smart fans like us can't shake when a game ends like that. It almost feels unearned.

 

I think the Saints win the Super Bowl next season if they stay healthy. The NFC South is going to be a bloodbath, though. Whoever comes out of that division is going to be so battle tested.

Edited by BwareDWare94

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Backpedal or is he telling the truth?

Probably the truth. Us fans do the same thing. I remember when I played ball we used to say and do worse. Just people over analyzing every little thing about sports. Nothing to see here. lol

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