Ten seconds left. Third down, 10 yards to go. Down by one.
You know the rest, and you probably also know by now the play — unbelievably so — has “Seven Heaven” in its name. Two words some of you may never forget.
We wanted to put together a collection of instant memories, quotes that have lasting power and just odd or funny recollections of what might be the best play in the Vikings’ 57-year history.
Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs, and he took it the rest of the way for a 61-yard touchdown as time expired. The full name for the play, according to Mike Zimmer, is “Buffalo Right, Seven Heaven.” Buffalo often refers to receivers being bunched together, as was the case on this play, on the right side. A “seven route” is often one of the deeper routes of a multiple-route package, routinely to the corner. Diggs did just that. And heaven only knows where the “heaven” came from — but it sure was fitting.
Some sleep-deprived editors gathered up interesting nuggets throughout the day Monday for this piece, hoping to capture Minnesota’s new “Where were you when …” moment. Here it is:
What. Just. Happened?
Let’s start this reflection with the man who crossed the goal line: “It’s a storybook ending — and it never ends that way. Usually, it’s reality. It’s real life. Things go, you walk home and worry about tomorrow. But today had other plans. I give it all to God, because things like this just don’t happen.” — Stefon Diggs.
As Joe Buck called it on Fox:
“Keenum steps into it.
Pass is …
Vikings win it!”
During Sunday night’s peak moments, viewers’ Apple Watch devices equipped with heart rate monitoring were sending them alerts. One person wrote on social media: “Apple Watch thinks I’m having a heart attack #SKOL”.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., tweets:
“I just ran on the field and threw my helmet. I had to go back and find it.” — safety Harrison Smith.
Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper usually spends her time trying to help others. Sunday night, according to her Twitter, she was in serious self-help mode:
A Deadspin commenter shared this hilarious nugget: “My Fitbit congratulated me for doing sixteen minutes on the elliptical during the game. There’s no elliptical in my house.”
At Target Center, the Wolves were warming up to take on Portland when the touchdown was broadcast on the giant video board over the court. The early arriving fans went nuts, and several players pointed and reacted.
In St. Paul, barely anyone was seated inside the arena for “O Canada” before the Wild’s game against Vancouver. A much larger crowd was watching the game on concourse TVs when Diggs scored, unleashing a roar that could be heard around the rink, adding a strange burst of jubilant crowd reaction during our neighbor’s national anthem. Later, the “Skol!” chant broke out as the game begun.
“I just dropped my helmet and ran onto the field. Anyone who would hug me, I would hug them. Just tears of happiness and such jubilation between everyone was really cool.” — Vikings guard Jeremiah Sirles.
In Mike Zimmer’s opinion, practice makes perfect: “I said to one of the guys on the sideline, ‘We’ve been practicing all these situations through OTAs and training camp and even during the season.’ We actually practice that one every week.”
Let’s close Sunday’s action with a quote from tight end Kyle Rudolph, who articulated in the locker room the feeling some Vikings fans had the moment they got done screaming: “It’s just the beginning. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. It’d be a shame to let something like that go to waste by us not showing up.”
Monday: Party on, Minnesota
At the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast Monday morning at the Minneapolis Armory, actor and keynote speaker David Oyelowo, who portrayed King in the movie “Selma,” said he would be remiss to begin speaking without noting what had happened the previous night. He held up his hands, sporting giant mittens in Vikings purple, emblazoned with the words “Bold North.”
The crowd went wild.
Touchdown towels were waved at the annual MLK celebration at the Ordway.
“I woke up this morning definitely thinking it must’ve been a dream. I checked on Twitter and realized, ‘Oh, that’s real life — we’re good to go.’ ” — fullback C.J. Ham, a Duluth native.
The front page headline in the Times-Picayune of New Orleans was three giant words long, one word on each of the three lines, in thick black type:
The New Orleans Advocate was shorter: “DAT HURTS”
Drew Pearson (yes, that Drew Pearson) shared his thoughts with ESPN: “The next thing I know, [Diggs] is taking off down the sideline, and I’m kind of imagining that this is the way Cowboys fans felt back in the day; that this game is over and the next thing you know, you make a play and everybody’s going crazy, pandemonium. It becomes a moment you never forget.”
(Yeah, never forget … Minnesota can relate, Drew.)
Diggs, by the way, was asked about Pearson. “1975? I was still swimming then.”
“Honestly, that game took a lot out of me, so I was ready to go just lay down and not move and hang out with the family. That’s what I did. Didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but just kind of laid in bed and thought about the game and all that.” — Receiver Adam Thielen, a Detroit Lakes native.
The Star Tribune’s Michael Rand wrote that this was the greatest Vikings game in franchise’s 57-year history. Agree? Disagree? Head for your keyboard and let him know.
“They break your heart every time” is what Rebecca Lobo texted her husband, Steve Rushin, as the Saints kicked their final field goal, the Minnesota author wrote in a Sports Illustrated piece published Monday. His kicker to his story: “Most of the time they break your heart. But not every time. Not every time.”
Brendan Koop of Ham Lake tweeted a photo of his left leg:
He continued, “It felt like a huge weight landed on the back of my leg and I looked around trying to see who or what fell on me, but nothing was there. Then I kept yelling asking whether he stepped out of bounds or whether there were any flags. Then the cold sweat came … it’s all a blur.”
Get well, Brendan, and try to stay seated this Sunday.
How many times had Thielen seen the replay by midday? “Hundreds. People tweeting at you and Instagram and Facebook, you see people’s posts. ... I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing that play for a long time.”