During the Wild Card round of the playoffs, Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a chip shot field goal in the closing seconds of the game, costing his team a victory which would have propelled them into the next round of the postseason. When his seemingly easy-to-make 27 field goal hooked wide left, he became the goat and was blamed by many fans for the 10-9 loss to the Seahawks.
It was the worst moment of Walsh’s professional career, for sure. Instead of being the hero, he was the subject of taunts.
But a group of first grade students at Northpoint Elementary in nearby Blaine, Minnesota wanted to let Walsh know that everything would be okay, and they didn’t blame him for costing the team a win. The students wrote letters to Walsh, mostly of encouragement.
One boy wrote, “I’m sorry that they cursed you.”
Another student wrote: “Keep on trying! Puppies are cute!”
Deeply touched by the students’ hand-written notes and drawings, by the end of the week Walsh arranged to visit Northpoint to visit with the 1st graders and other students at the suburban school.
Walsh told Vikings.com, the team’s official Web site, “These kids really made a difference in my life, so I’m glad I can come in here and brighten their day.”
Also according to the team site, Walsh “participated in a question-and-answer session with the students, including one who asked if he had a guinea pig. The answer is no, but his family does have a 14-year old poodle named Murphy.”
Walsh spoke to the students about the remaining positive and always persevering. He talked about his life and about his football career. He went room-to-room throughout the school to visit with all the students and sign autographs.
It was a great life lesson for those kids. And all of us at 5PointsBlue salute Blair Walsh for turning lemons into lemonade. He has taken the worst moment of his pro career and turned it into a teachable moment for an impressionable group of youngsters. That makes him an All Pro is our book!