Or, in all likelihood, a fan of a certain team from a village on the west bank of Lake Michigan

VIDEO: People reacting to the happiest moment of their lives, which you will enjoy if you're not a Saints fan

By —— Bio and Archives--January 17, 2018

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VIDEO: People reacting to the happiest moment of their lives, which you will enjoy if you're not a Saints fan
This is pretty much a personal indulgence on my part, but you have to give me credit for waiting three days to do it.

If you read this column much, or know me at all, you know that I am a huge Vikings fan. Have been since I was 8. I’m now 51, which means I’ve lived through the Super Bowl IX loss, the Pearson pushoff, the Super Bowl XI loss, Darrin Nelson’s drop on the goal line, the Gary Anderson miss, whatever that Cris Dishman play was, 12 men in the huddle, the Blair Walsh miss . . .

It’s remarkable that I’m a happy, optimistic and well-adjusted adult after all that. I’m not even from Minnesota. I’ve never lived there. But the Vikings captured my heart early on, and my love for this team has coincided with some of the most heart-rendering moments you can imagine in a person’s life.

The default psychosis of the Vikings fan is that, no matter how certainly we should win, we will blow it. Somehow. Some way. We will blow it. I refuse to align with this thinking because it’s no way to think and it’s no way to live. But I will tell you it’s hard not to think about it when you’ve blown a 17-0 halftime lead and, with 10 seconds left, things are looking about as bleak as they can look.

What you’re about to see is a wonderful representation of what happened at that amazing moment on Sunday evening. I am not in the video, but what you see is right in line with what happened at our home. It was dark and desperate. Doom hovered over us. Here we go again.

And then:

I don’t think the human pysche is designed to go from that level of despair to such intense exhilaration so quickly. The mind can’t process it. Such a dramatic emotional turn has no understood protocol, so the only thing you can do is jump up and down, scream like a girl and yell “Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God . . .”

And so it was at our place.

My son Tony has happily joined me as a Vikings fan, and as it happened was wearing a Stefon Diggs #14 jersey as we watched the game. My wife is a reformed Cowboys fan who won’t make it official, but roots for the Vikings “because it makes you guys happy when they win.” Good enough for me.

Tony and I agreed that the 4th and 10 play on the Saints final possession was, essentially, the game. They weren’t yet in plausible field goal range and had to go for it. If we stopped them, we took over on downs and we could run out the clock. If they got the first down, they would be in easy field goal range and only an unlikely miss by Saints kicker Wil Lutz could save us. So when Drew Brees hit Willie Snead for the 13-yard completion that kept the Saints’ drive alive, our expressions were grim.

I stood up. I walked over to the kitchen. I said nothing. I tried to maintain a stoic expression. I got cookies out of the oven. (Hey, they were ready. There was no sense letting them burn because another gut-wrenching Vikings playoff loss loomed.) I came back toward the couch. My wife tried not to stare at me because she’s been through this too many times.

Continued below...

Lutz made the kick to give the Saints 24-23 lead. There were only 26 seconds left.

I knew when the Vikings took the ensuing kickoff that their only realistic chance was to get the ball to around the 30 or 35 yard line of the Saints, get the ball out of bounds and hope that Kai Forbath - who is good but not an ice-cold mortal lock - could hit the field goal. But with such little time left on the clock and so far to go, there was almost no margin for error. Tony and I stood feet from the TV, watching. The Vikings picked up 15 yards, then an incompletion. Then another. On third down with only 10 seconds left - and no timeouts - so much would have to go right. A receiver would not only have to catch a pass at least 20 yards downfield, but he would have to somehow come down in bounds and then get out of bounds while there would surely be at least a couple of Saints defenders trying to tackle him inbounds to allow the clock to run out.

It wasn’t impossible, but it would be hard.

We watched as Keenum lofted the pass, and as Diggs went up to catch it. I don’t think I even said anything, but I was thinking, “Get out of bounds!”

Then we saw him take off running, inexplicably with no one anywhere near him on the pursuit. Tony looked at me. My eyes became as big as the moon.

“Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” I will not lie to you. I was screaming like a girl. I had no idea my voice could go that high. I couldn’t do it right now if I tried.

Diggs crossed the goal line. My son weighs about 190 pounds. I easily lifted him up like he was still 4 years old, and jumped up and down with him in my arms. My wife had her hands out, imploring us to cool it until we were sure there were no flags, or that they weren’t going to say Diggs stepped out of bounds. I was thinking about all this as well, but no one on the field seemed to be worried about it, and there was an official standing in the end zone signaling touchdown. The screen graphics called the 29-24 score a final. The Saints looked shellshocked.

It had really happened.

Why should you care about any of this? Maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe it isn’t relevant to you. I sometimes lament that people don’t express their love for God like they express their love for their teams. But there’s nothing wrong with the latter. It’s just that we should do the former as well, even more fully.

This is really just a story about people suddenly becoming unbelievably happy, and I was one of them. And after watching the video of that touchdown probably 400 times since Sunday night, I thought I should finally tell you my story. And the story of those in that video too. All of us.

I hope you experience a moment like this in your life too, and I hope it’s meaningful, and I hope it never really leaves you - like I don’t think this one will ever really leave me.



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Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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