The Minnesota Vikings stuck with embattled kicker Blair Walsh. Through his disastrous 27-yard field goal miss against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 playoffs; through nine games of the 2016 season that saw him boot just 75 percent of his kicks and miss four (four!) extra points.
Now a member of those very Seahawks, Blair Walsh stuck it to the Vikings during an exhibition game Friday. After the 27-year-old specialist drilled a 52-yarder through the uprights at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, he threw some major shade at his former team, taunting the Vikings bench by pointing directly at it.
Apparently the animosity is mutual.
"It was in jest because they were just taunting me," Walsh said following his team's 20-13 victory. "And I hoped their taunts were in jest, but I didn’t know their intent. I don’t know, I didn’t appreciate getting really yelled at by guys who I’d been friends with for five years [from 2012-16 with the Vikings]. So my response was simply to look at them like I wasn’t having it. I felt a little bit off by the taunting and I didn’t like it. I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t frustrated, I just wanted to let them know that I’m here."
Damn, kicker beef!
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had kind words for Walsh, who connected on two of three FG attempts Friday.
"I'm fired up for Blair. [The Vikings] were giving him a hard time. They were razzing him a little bit and all that. He was just having a little fun with it. He's a really good competitor. I like his mentality, and I think we are very fortunate to have him."
After his crushing playoff miss 18 months ago, Walsh accepted blame and said, "That kick’s not going to define me." Minnesotans -- or at least our first-graders -- responded with sportsmanlike support. Walsh, who's currently 4-5 on FG attempts and 8-8 on PATs in the preseason, now seems poised to be a bad-blood rival for years to come.
Vet Kai Forbath and second-year player Marshall Koehn are currently locked in a battle to kick for the Vikings in 2017. Click here to read why that team is gonna suck.