“If no one scores, the game could go on for days and days,” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. “You’d like to have a winner and a loser, but you’ve already played four grueling quarters. Playing one extra quarter, that should determine a winner.”
The NFL changed its overtime rules in 2012. Now if the team that takes possession first in overtime doesn’t score a touchdown, the other team gets at least one possession. So when the Packers kicked a field goal to take a 26-23 lead in overtime, the Vikings were given a chance to tie or win, and they tied it.
“Never been part of a tie,” said running back Toby Gerhart. “It’s really weird. We played hard, we didn’t get the win, we didn’t lose. It’s a weird kind of limbo feeling.”
It might have been the worst possible outcome for Vikings fans. Those interested in immediate gratification craved a victory over their most important and intimate rival. Those interested in franchise improvement wanted a loss that would improve the Vikings’ draft status, perhaps even lead them toward the first pick in a quarterback-rich draft.
The Vikings gave them neither. If this result was a Thanksgiving meal, it would be turkey broth.
“Maybe ties should go to a field-goal-kicking contest,” Greenway said.
He was kidding. Or so cold and tired he couldn’t think straight.
“I know one thing,” Greenway said to his teammates. “We’re all gonna be sick all week after this.”
Greenway took a hot shower and came back to his locker swaddled — can the word “swaddled” be used in reference to a linebacker? — in towels. About 12 towels.
He carried a drink. Not champagne for celebration, not a beer in which to cry.
“Hot chocolate,” he said. “Soothing.”
The Vikings may want to bathe in it all week.
Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • email@example.com