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Monday (That doesn't happen with the Vikings) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: December 31, 2012 - 9:00 AM

In the Vikings games of normal reality, the floating pass Christian Ponder wobbles up after being hit doesn't fall into the arms of Jarius Wright, helping a late first-half TD drive. The throw across the body with the score tied 27-27 doesn't slip through a Packers defenders hands and become a crucial touchdown instead of a backbreaking interception. Adrian Peterson isn't ruled down upon further review after initially being ruled to have fumbled at a critical juncture. Every negative play isn't followed by a positive play -- just more negative plays. Deep balls are a foot too long. When something great happens, surely there is a penalty. And when a can't-miss kicker steps up to boot the clinching field goal, he somehow misses.

We have seen it all. What we have not seen, at least that we can remember, is a game like the one we saw Sunday -- a game in which expectations were heightened because of so many factors (rivalry and playoff implications being chief among them), one that involves massive tension ... and a Vikings victory?

Fellow Vikings agonizer Drew Magary was texting frantically during the game yesterday. His final words: "I've never felt anything quite like it."

So true. And the really weird part? We never felt that impending sense of doom -- or at least if we did, we didn't let it overcome us. In fact, with the Vikings facing 3rd-and-11 at the 2-minute warning and the score tied 34-34, which was basically their season on the line because you KNOW Green Bay was going to score if they got the ball back, we actually said this out loud to numerous people: "No. Don't worry. Something good is going to happen here."

And it did. And it did. It happened for the fans, including two guys in the Vikings onesies (one pictured), who said their entire household full of roommates received those as gifts this year. It happened for Peterson, who fell just short of the single-season NFL rushing record but who BETTER have sewn up the NFL MVP award with yet another jaw-dropping performance. It happened for Christian Ponder. We all doubted him, and for good reason. But for one game, at the very least, he made all the plays he had to make.

The rub, of course, is that now the Vikings have to play the Packers again -- this time in Lambeau, this time in the playoffs. Know what? Doesn't matter. Anything that happens beyond what happened yesterday is a bonus and should be treated as such. That was the absolute most exhilarating Minnesota sports victory since Game 163. It is immediately in the top 5 of most fun games we have ever watched. Savor it. Enjoy it. These things just don't happen here, especially to the Vikings.


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