Can we find some sympathy for our neighbors to the north? No, not those neighbors. Locate the Wisconsin Dells on a map, then take a left. Correct: Much, much easier to be nice to Minnesotans.
Seattle advanced with a 10-9 victory Sunday after Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal in the final seconds of their wild-card game.
Add that log to the bonfire of past Vikings’ disappointments. You might have heard that they lost four Super Bowls in the 1970s and haven’t played in the big game since 1977. They might have made the 1999 Super Bowl had Gary Anderson not missed a 38-yard field goal with two minutes, 18 seconds left in the NFC Championship Game.
Walsh’s stage wasn’t as big as Anderson’s, but his pratfall seemed bigger.
“It’s a chip shot,’’ Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He’s got to make it.’’
He does. You can blame the frigid conditions, and you can say the holder failed to turn the laces away from Walsh on the kick. But 27 yards is the football equivalent of miniature golf, no matter how fast the windmill is spinning in front of the hole.
“I didn’t come through for us, and that hurts,’’ Walsh said.
He broke down crying.
That’s what you risk when you sign up to be a kicker. Walsh made three field goals in the game, one with the laces facing him, and nobody will remember any of them. They’ll remember the miss.
When you sign up to play for the Vikings, you sign up for disappointment. A decent amount of success, but a lot of pain when it matters.
A moment of silence for our neighbors to the north. No, not them. The other ones.