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Bob Angelo

Thoughts On The Game
  • Writer's pictureBob Angelo

Giants vs. Vikings: Battle of the "Cardiac Kids"

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

It’s hard for me to write about the Minnesota Vikings.

From 1992 until my 2018 retirement, I worked with the Vikings more than any other NFL team. My closet is full of Vikings' shirts and jerseys. I did extended stints at their Mankato training camp and their Eden Prairie headquarters. One year I travelled on their team charter to Japan for a pre-season game!

Even in retirement, I text their media relations executive Bob Hagan when I see something on Red Zone that thrills me—or upsets me. Sometimes both.

Their 2022 season nearly caused me to stroke out! Eleven wins and no defeats in one-score games. Crushing big-margin losses that seemingly took no long-term toll. Thirteen regular season wins, tying their second best all-time total. Talk about “Cardiac Kids.”

This Saturday they host the New York Giants, another team that won a lot of close games. Back on Christmas Eve, Minnesota needed a last-second, 61-yard field goal to earn a 27-24 victory over New York. Par for both teams' courses!

Brian Daboll has worked wonders with the 2022 Giants.

Daniel Jones is playing with poise and confidence as he approaches his option year. He’ll be making a lot more money in 2023. Saquon Barley (from Penn State) is an offensive force again. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux and teammates Dexter Lawrence and Julian Love anchor an improving Giants defense. The entire program appears better than it’s been in years.

But this is the Vikings game to win—or lose! And this franchise, a winless 0-4 in 1970’s Super Bowls, has experienced both in recent years.

The 2009 team needed a field goal in the closing seconds of the NFC Championship game to earn the franchise's fifth Super Bowl berth. Instead, Brett Favre threw an interception.

The 2015 team also needed a field goal—a 27 yarder—to advance in the playoffs. Blair Walsh hooked it left.

The 2017 team needed a miracle to advance in the post-season. Quarterback Case Keenum and wide receiver Stefon Diggs delivered: a stunning 61-yard, last-second catch and run that dispatched the Saints 29-24, a play now known in the Twin Cities and elsewhere as the Minnesota Miracle.

The following week, Philadelphia ran the Vikings off the field 38-7, advancing to then winning Super Bowl LII (52).

Which Vikings team will show up this Sunday? Who can say? But recent history suggests that the game won’t be decided until the fourth quarter’s final possession—again!

Such is the nature of “Cardiac Kids.”

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