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The Minneapolis Miracle

Stefon Diggs scoring the game winning touchdown, January 14, 2018, Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Chat Sports

By Diana Humble

January 14 was a brisk, Minneapolis night in US Bank stadium, and one that would stay with Vikings fans long after the playoff season came to a close. The nail-biting quarterfinal was culminated in one final Hail Mary pass from quarterback Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs that would go down in sports history as what Vikings radio commentator, Paul Allen, coined the Minneapolis Miracle.

There were 25

seconds left in the game when New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz made a 43 yard field goal, thrusting the Saints into a 24-23 lead. The Vikings knew their chances of battling back into kicker Kai Forbath’s field goal range were slim to none, but they charged forward nonetheless. Time ticked as the Vikings squandered their first and second downs. 10 seconds were left in the game as Keenum took his final snap of the game. He spotted Diggs along the right sideline and sent a bullet straight into his hands. Diggs snatched the ball at the 33 yard line with no defender in sight. Time expired as Diggs dashed into the endzone.

Coaching staff and the press stormed the field as the Saints retreated to their locker room. Then, somewhat comically, the referees halted the festivities and demanded the field be cleared. In order to finalize the game’s score, the Vikings had to attempt the extra point kick. Eight Saints, only three of which defensive players, returned to the field. The ball was snapped and promptly grounded, thus ending the game. Keenum, who was on the field for the attempt, led the 66,000 Vikings fans packed into US Bank stadium in the legendary Skol chant.

However, the impact of the Minneapolis Miracle reached far past the end of the game. During the final conversion attempt the Saints’ injured kicker, Thomas Morstead, was the first to return to the field. Fox 9 reports that Vikings fans were so inspired by his grit and sportsmanship that in the days following over $170,000 was raised for his charity, What You Give Will Grow. ABC News also reports that the Vikings have filed to trademark the phrases “Minneapolis Miracle” and “Minnesota Miracle.” #MinneapolisMiracle was trending on Twitter hours after the game ended, and Vikings fans unearthed newfound hope for a home Super Bowl.

Tragically, the Vikings season came to an end a week later in a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but the events of January 14 were enough to solidify the season as one of the best in Minnesota Vikings history.