That was the final play of an inexplicable 29-24 Vikings win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday. Just as I was ready to once again lament how we Vikings fans can't have nice things, this 61-yard bomb from QB Case Keenum to WR Stefon Diggs seemed to assuage the feelings of ever present misery over the Vikings' past playoff failures.
All that said, while this game was great theater, I feel it will end up meaning little if the Vikes don't even make the Super Bowl. That may sound harsh, but opportunities like this are so rare outside of New England. Nevertheless, we as fans can re-live this at least until the Vikings' NFC title game matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday evening.
Some may surmise that I am probably engaging in schadenfreude given what the Saints did to my favorite squad back in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. And while I was disgusted to learn later on that some Saints players deliberately injured the ankle of Vikes QB Brett Favre, I honestly didn't even consider taking pleasure in the emotional pain likely felt by New Orleans players and their fans today. However, when Saints head coach Sean Payton (who's been in the position since 2006) said post game that a loss such as this will take a while to get over, all I could say is "Trust us, coach. We know."
In the end, my favorite tweet of the evening came from Steve Gleason, the former Saints special teams player who has been living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) since about 2011.
Congratulations to the Vikings. I'm so in shock I can't move.— Steve Gleason (@TeamGleason) January 15, 2018
I guess when one has endured all that Gleason has, one's favorite NFL team losing a game in heartbreaking fashion can easily be met with a little levity.