Vikings fans weren’t just demoralized by the team’s loss in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday in Philadelphia. They were dissed.
Eagles fans threw beer at Minnesota fans. They taunted them. They even carried a banner with an expletive taunting Millie Wall, the 99-year-old lifelong Vikings fan who is going to the Super Bowl courtesy of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Now some Philadelphia fans are trying to make amends. “A flood of donations are coming in from @Eagles fans today to the MZF,” said a tweet from the Mike Zimmer Foundation. “Most of them apologizing for how their fans treated Vikings.”
By Wednesday afternoon, more than $11,000 had come in to the foundation created to honor the Vikings coach’s late wife, Vikki Zimmer, who died in 2009. The foundation provides opportunities for Minnesota youths.
“The NFL is filled with passionate fans that just want their team to win,” said Zimmer’s daughter and foundation spokeswoman Corri Zimmer White. “We may not have gotten the warmest welcome in Philly or the outcome that we wanted, but it’s cool to see when football fans from different teams come together to do some good.”
In a separate effort, Farmington resident Jessica Leibrock implored Vikings fans to take the high road and contribute to a GoFundMe campaign called “Vikings Brotherly Love.” She challenged fans to raise $38,000, a thousand dollars for each point the Eagles scored in their 38-7 victory. Leibrock and her husband started the page as a way to cope with the lopsided loss and the “awful behavior” she saw on the news and in social media videos. “Let’s respond with kindness, especially to people who don’t deserve it,” she said.
As of Wednesday, the effort had raised more than $12,000, some coming from Eagles fans. The money will go to the Eagles Charitable Foundation, which has served more than a million low-income children in the Philadelphia area.
“This is a great gesture by a classy Vikings fan base after a heartbreaking loss,” wrote donor Philly Skins Fan, who gave $38. “Philly is a great town with great people despite the knuckleheads who made it rough on visitors from Minnesota this Sunday. ”
In an e-mail, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney lamented the antics of “a few disrespectful clowns.”
The two campaigns come a week after hundreds of Vikings fans rallied to support a charity led by New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead after the “Minnesota Miracle” Jan. 14. Morstead was the first Saints player to return to the field for a meaningless extra point after the winning pass from the Vikings’ Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs as time ran out.