Minneapolis Miracle Shifts Narrative to Hope Instead of Doom
My family started the trash talk early. My response to my mother was "Just stop. The narrative never changes." Two seconds later, I was on the floor screaming my head off.
The normal group that I watch games with were all gathered together in my basement. 17-0 at halftime and all of us sat around excited, but still partly uncomfortable with another half remaining. Andrew, who is normally a little more on the realistic side, belted out the the narrative we all knew could be coming.
"17 points isn't enough against Drew Brees."
You could have sworn that the Vikings lost the game after Kai Forbath missed a 49-yard field goal to end the first half and then the Saints scoring a touchdown early in the third quarter. It felt like the tide was turning. The anticipation, yelling, and excitement was shifting to a little more of a somber tone. In the back of my mind, I sat calmly and told myself the defense wasn't going to let them back in and that everything was fine.
You know that gif of the dog sipping coffee in a burning house around him saying everything is fine?
Yep that was me...or at least how I was trying to feel.
Truth be told, I've grown away from letting games bother me like they used to. We even joked that my wife probably wouldn't have been with me, or married me, if I took games as seriously as I did in the past. Vikings games would dictate my upcoming week and that started to change for me following the 2009 loss to New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game.
But last night? It was setting up to hurt. Bad...Again.
I had the headline ready in my mind. Add it to the list with Gary Anderson, 41-0, Favre's interception, and the Shank at the Bank. This one would be referred to as the "17-0" game.
Then, of course, the unthinkable happened. My basement exploded with excitement with seven life-long Vikings fans unable to process anything that just happened.
I won't lie to you. I was overcome with joyous emotion. I am thankful that my wife didn't catch our reaction as it was filled with a lot of expletives and some tears.
It was the complete opposite of the narrative of the playoff history of the Minnesota Vikings. It went from impending doom and knowing what was ahead to a celebration. All within an instant.
It's difficult to try to move forward after a win like that and to realize that there's another game ahead. This week will be fueled by the emotion of the Saints win, but part of me is happy now that they have to go to Philadelphia. No, it isn't about the Eagles offense, defense, or special teams as the reason why I'm happy about it. It isn't about the fact that they are playing a "down Eagles team" because, frankly, they're actually a great team. It's about the fact that the Vikings have to reset the emotion. They have to leave home and travel to a tough place to play against a very good Eagles team that people have been writing off.
But what was first deemed as an impossible thought, now seems like something that could be in reach. Hope has returned. The darkness still partly haunts, but it feels like this team has placed it in the rearview mirror.
Miracles do happen.
And now it's on to Philadelphia.