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They still love Blair Walsh in Minnesota, at least the first-graders do

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10:  Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings misses a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Seattle Seahawks defeat the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 10 to 9.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

Blair Walsh doesn’t have to look far around Minnesota to find people who aren’t currently fans of his work.

But thanks to an inspired first-grade teacher, he’s going to be surrounded by fans today.

Via Claude Peck of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Vikings kicker is visiting a class of first-graders who wrote him letters of support after he missed a potential game-winning field goal last week against the Seahawks.

Northpoint Elementary teacher Judie Offerdahl asked her class to write letters and draw pictures to take Walsh’s mind off the fact he missed a 27-yarder which would have sent the Vikings onto the divisional round.

“Dear Blair Walsh,” wrote one student. “I know that it can be hard to get through things that are sad. But you have to try and try again. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. One time I made a mistake when I was doing a cartwheel. I felt embarrassed. You can still help the Vikings win the Super Bowl next year. Your fan, Sophia Doffin.”

Walsh is going to see the class today, giving them a chance to take pictures and sign autographs.

But by learning to express some support and empathy instead of just sending hate-filled screeds on social media like the alleged adults that fill the internet, the kids have already proven to be winners this postseason.

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54 Responses to “They still love Blair Walsh in Minnesota, at least the first-graders do”
  1. rlpftt says: Jan 14, 2016 10:30 AM

    Again, It’s not Walsh’s fault they lost the game.

    Main reason Beaterson’s fumble and then the other major problem is that their bust QB can’t throw a pass and make a big play. Teddy baby hands is incapable of making a big play to win the game. You d0n’t win in the playoffs kicking four FG’s….obviously.

  2. romophobic says: Jan 14, 2016 10:31 AM

    “But by learning to express some support and empathy instead of just sending hate-filled screeds on social media like the alleged adults that fill the internet, the kids have already proven to be winners this postseason.”

    If you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be on social media. Which begs the question; why would first graders be on the internet?

  3. buhbay1c says: Jan 14, 2016 10:37 AM

    Pete Carroll has also scheduled a visit to explain that Sherman’s pressure caused the miss, and then each student will get a pack of Juicy Fruit.

  4. ariani1985 says: Jan 14, 2016 10:37 AM

    Not only did we humiliate green Bay the last game but our school system blows them out of the water to!

  5. genericcommenter says: Jan 14, 2016 10:40 AM

    Which begs the question; why would first graders be on the internet?
    ————————————–

    The world is on the internet. Most kids use it for school. My kids were computer savvy by age 3. They had ipads in kindergarten. That doesn’t mean they are on inappropriate online hangouts with alleged adults or anything.

  6. son681 says: Jan 14, 2016 10:40 AM

    1 and done

  7. ee00ee says: Jan 14, 2016 10:43 AM

    What a wonderful story. That teacher should be educator of the year.

  8. 2dimesandanickelback says: Jan 14, 2016 10:43 AM

    “Dear Blair Walsh,” wrote one student. “I know that it can be hard to get through things that are sad. But you have to try and try again. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. One time I made a mistake when I was doing a cartwheel. I felt embarrassed. You can still help the Vikings win the Super Bowl next year. Your fan, Sophia Doffin.”

    Might as well just fast-forward to the end of the day now because I’m probably not going to hear anything better and kinder than this. Kids are sweet.

  9. chriskap11 says: Jan 14, 2016 10:43 AM

    Blair Walsh helped win games throughout the year. It is easy to point the finger at one play but during that 60 minutes there where drop balls, missed holes for running, unmade tackles, blown coverages…,,,,

    One man does not win or lose that game

  10. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 14, 2016 10:45 AM

    Class move by Walsh to visit the first-graders, too. I would feel like hiding in a cave until training camp.

  11. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 14, 2016 10:46 AM

    rlpftt says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:30 AM

    You d0n’t win in the playoffs kicking four FG’s….obviously.
    _______

    No, you don’t win in the playoffs kicking three field goals. If they had kicked four field goals, they would have won.

  12. wazu says: Jan 14, 2016 10:46 AM

    Walsh was responsible for all of the Viking points on Sunday.

  13. ocgunslinger says: Jan 14, 2016 10:51 AM

    Blair Walsh stood in that locker room and took every reporters question after the game. Blair showed more class than I have ever seen in similar situations. He is a class act and incidentally scored the only points for the Vikings that day. Class act!!!

  14. purpleguy says: Jan 14, 2016 10:51 AM

    I had to chuckle at the letter that said something like: “We all make mistakes. Puppies are cute.”

  15. yyc2phx says: Jan 14, 2016 10:52 AM

    I like the direction the team is going.. This D will be dominating for years…TBW is the unknown…2016 will tell you if the kid has it or not…They will need to draft a RB, QB, G, LB… Make better use of TE

  16. keleko5 says: Jan 14, 2016 10:54 AM

    I hope one of the children challenges him to a game of paper-triangle snap football. You know how the kid wins already.

  17. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 14, 2016 10:55 AM

    You know, people in Minnesota are very forgiving. I don’t know of anyone who harbors ill will toward Walsh and we all feel empathy for how horrible he must feel. But now everyone is bending over backwards to absolve him from any blame for the loss. Of course there were other plays during the game that could have changed the outcome, but those were earlier in the game. Who knows what would have happened if the circumstances had been different? The fact is, if Walsh makes the field goal, the Vikings win the game. You don’t know if they would have won if they had scored a touchdown in the first quarter or if Peterson wouldn’t have fumbled. You know they win if Walsh makes a chip shot field goal.

    Blair, we love you and we want you back next year. But you’re right that you made the key mistake in the game to lose it. That mistake will make you better. It does no one any good by pretending that it didn’t matter.

    As Zimmer said, “It’s a chip shot. He has to make it.”

  18. 1969nflchampionskansascitychiefs says: Jan 14, 2016 10:56 AM

    This still won’t change the fact that the Vikings have ZERO Championships.

    ZERO.

  19. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 14, 2016 11:03 AM

    wazu says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:46 AM

    Walsh was responsible for all of the Viking points on Sunday.
    _________

    Really? So it was Walsh who made the tackles, Walsh who made the interception, Walsh who forced the punts to get himself good field position? It was Walsh who returned the punts and kickoffs? It was Walsh who made the throws, the catches, and the runs to get himself close enough to attempt the field goals? It was Walsh who blocked, snapped, and held for himself?

    And here I thought the Packers were a one-man team.

  20. nflpoker says: Jan 14, 2016 11:06 AM

    1969nflchampionskansascitychiefs says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:56 AM
    This still won’t change the fact that the Vikings have ZERO Championships.

    ZERO.

    —————————————————————–
    In the game of class and empathy:

    First graders – 7

    1969nflchampionskansacity chiefs – 0

  21. jh82208 says: Jan 14, 2016 11:06 AM

    Very cool on those kids’ part and a great lesson from that teacher. About that kick though. Blair Walsh did make three previous kicks so good on him. Remember he’s paid $3,000,000 a year to do so. This guy isn’t some scrub 5th kicker of the year for some non playoff team. This dude made the pro bowl his rookie year so yes us Vikings fans expect him to make a game winning 27 yard field goal. For those saying it wasn’t his fault they lost, well you’re wrong. Many factors went into losing that game but ultimately in a game of inches Mr. Walsh was about 5 feet to the left.

  22. tedmurph says: Jan 14, 2016 11:07 AM

    I hope the community follows that example. There are too many examples in sports of guys like SNorwood, BBuckner, DMoore, etc, having their lives ruined by nutjob fans and bitter, losing gamblers. At the end of the day, it’s just a freakin’ game.

  23. gbbvan says: Jan 14, 2016 11:18 AM

    I feel a bit of sympathy for Walsh, but none for the jealous envious big-mouthed queen fans!

    That game ending was the sweetest thing I’ve seen since the Favre INT!

  24. vikingforlife says: Jan 14, 2016 11:21 AM

    The people bringing up Zimmer and Peterson, blah, blah, blah… are missing the whole point of this story! It is about forgiveness, empathy, and learning to get through hard times. It’s a shame that first graders know how to handle it better than most adults! I sure hope Blair knows that ALL Viking fans are not like the ones that have bashed him on social media.

  25. nflpoker says: Jan 14, 2016 11:26 AM

    I can’t believe it. This is an article about some first class kids, and the haters, etc. just won’t go away.

  26. davikes says: Jan 14, 2016 11:27 AM

    Counting on a kicker to go 4-4 in sub zero weather is not a winning formula. Two of Walsh’s kicks were over 40 yards. Seattle didn’t even try from that distance, and went for it on 4th down instead. Zimmer knows the offense has to get better next year. The team exceeded expectations this year by winning the North, which is great. Next year they will go farther.

  27. imsorryyoufeelthatway7 says: Jan 14, 2016 11:27 AM

    I saw this and it melted my heart. i’m sure there are those certain fans out there are giving him death threats (sigh). I hope that most Minnesota fans echo the kids thoughts.

  28. realityonetwo says: Jan 14, 2016 11:29 AM

    Maybe, just maybe, if the Vikings’ inept offense could have scored a touchdown on the drives that led to Walsh’s three field goals, he wouldn’t have had to make the one he missed.

  29. thebirdofprey says: Jan 14, 2016 11:33 AM

    Blair Walsh put up all Vikings points on one of the coldest football days. I think he handled it better than anyone could handle that terrible situation. Even though its tough I see many Viking fans fully behind him in their team.

    Russel Wilson threw the game ending INT in the Super Bowl at 2 yard line. It sucked, fans were pissed for a bit but we looked forward to the many chances to compete for other championships. Vikings are a young talented team with a bright future.

  30. sdspec says: Jan 14, 2016 11:46 AM

    laces out

  31. Same Ol' 1 and Done Vikes says: Jan 14, 2016 11:59 AM

    They should love him. He’s the only one who could score any points in that game. And the long snapper and holder were also clearly nervous about the operation or the pressure. If that wasn’t the case, the snap wouldn’t have required the holder to turn the laces, which he was too afraid to do anyways.

  32. f1restarter says: Jan 14, 2016 12:11 PM

    As a Green Bay fan I feel doubly sympathetic for Blair Walsh.

    Not only for his epic playoff choke job, but just for being a Minnesota Viking.

  33. granadafan says: Jan 14, 2016 12:24 PM

    If you teach kids to feel empathy and compassion instead of bigotry and hatred, then they will grow up to be better people. It’s a pity that some of the meat heads will undoubtedly claim that this teacher is contributing to the “wussification” of America and being too “PC”.

    Kudos to the teach for teaching an extremely valuable lesson to our children. Many adults ought to take this lesson to heart as well.

  34. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jan 14, 2016 12:27 PM

    Vike fans could learn a thing or two or three from these kids.

  35. cantescapekarma says: Jan 14, 2016 12:43 PM

    Hey Vikings fans. Bills fan here. Just wanted to say we feel your pain here in Buffalo. Now, just imagine that the missed kick sailed wide right, and instead of costing you a wild card game, it cost you a Super Bowl win… Yup, we definitely feel your pain. lol

  36. Bill's got balls! says: Jan 14, 2016 12:50 PM

    rlpftt says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:30 AM

    You d0n’t win in the playoffs kicking four FG’s….obviously.

    But Indianapolis beat the Ravens kicking five field goals in the divisional round the year the Colts won the Superbowl. Final score 15-6.

  37. nokoolaid4thiscowboy says: Jan 14, 2016 12:55 PM

    Kids are awesome!

  38. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Jan 14, 2016 12:55 PM

    Wisconsin could learn a thing or two or three from these kids.

  39. atthemurph says: Jan 14, 2016 1:32 PM

    “They still love Blair Walsh in Minnesota, at least the first-graders do”.

    I thought all Vikings fans were first graders.

  40. worstfranchiseinprofessionalsports says: Jan 14, 2016 2:02 PM

    Nice gesture by these kids, but they better get accustomed to many more future Viking failures. Hopefully they won’t be scarred for life by being a Vikings fan.

  41. vikingforlife says: Jan 14, 2016 2:21 PM

    You just can’t fix stupid.

  42. powersnatch0102 says: Jan 14, 2016 2:34 PM

    These kids have way more class than the packer trolls who roam these boards. And not sure who polled every Minnesotan to see who holds ill will toward Blair, but I don’t know a single one. Great news story though.

  43. headwoundharry says: Jan 14, 2016 2:41 PM

    Clarice, have the Queens stopped screaming?

  44. allight59 says: Jan 14, 2016 2:53 PM

    Most Packer fans can’t relate…they never made it through first grade….

  45. h0metownzero says: Jan 14, 2016 3:42 PM

    The kids really love watching little Teddy running around out there – trying to play football.

  46. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 14, 2016 3:46 PM

    Walsh released the following heartfelt response through his publicist.

    “Shanks for the support, kids.”

  47. jbdvks says: Jan 14, 2016 4:16 PM

    laces out

    1 and done

    squad ice fishing

    .

  48. mark1021 says: Jan 14, 2016 5:43 PM

    ariani1985 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:37 AM

    Not only did we humiliate green Bay the last game but our school system blows them out of the water to!

    ——————

    Typical Viking fan that can’t even troll without missing wide left. If you want to brag about your edumacation, you need to learn the difference between “to” and “too”. The word you were looking for was “too”. Maybe by the time you get out of grade school, you might be able to tell the difference. Your school system must be very proud of you.

  49. gtodriver says: Jan 14, 2016 6:07 PM

    In Green Bay, Packer fans have been known to kill the dogs of team members when things go wrong.

    In Minnesota, even first graders have more common sense.

  50. stellarperformance says: Jan 14, 2016 6:43 PM

    gtodriver says:
    Jan 14, 2016 6:07 PM
    In Green Bay, Packer fans have been known to kill the dogs of team members when things go wrong.
    /////////////////////////////////////////

    Man, you really love lying don’t you?

  51. gtodriver says: Jan 14, 2016 7:31 PM

    Stellar

    There are multiple reported instances of Packer members dogs that have been shot.

    Just like the last time you called me a liar, it is you that is lying.

    Don’t you ever tell the truth?

  52. stellarperformance says: Jan 14, 2016 8:07 PM

    gtodriver says:
    Jan 14, 2016 7:31 PM
    There are multiple reported instances of Packer members dogs that have been shot.
    ///////////////////////////////////////////

    Name one. We’ll wait.

    You might be trying to get mileage out of Dan Devine’s dog. Don’t bother. A nearby farmer shot it because it was killing his chickens.

    Not a fan. Not a player.

    Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  53. gopackgocausecowboysblow says: Jan 15, 2016 8:58 PM

    Please let the Viking fans be a troll,
    They really don’t have anywhere to go,
    Cause while the Vikings went 1 and done,
    The PACKERS are still playing on!

    GO PACK GO!

  54. lp5710 says: Jan 16, 2016 6:57 PM

    great article this week in SI magazine about the Vikings and their decades of losing, hard to name the worst loss being there were so many, after I read it I now understand the hate toward the Packers from Ariani, leatherface and cody and the rest of the Viking faithful.

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