Sportress of Blogitude

Minnesota first-graders sent sympathy letters to Blair Walsh (vid)

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Blair Walsh became the latest goat in Minnesota Vikings playoff history after he shanked a 27-yard field goal attempt that would have given his team a 12-10 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the game and a near-certain playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

The Vikings kicker, who humbly owned up to his epic gaffe with class and dignity, had converted field goals from 47, 43 and 22 yards earlier in the game, scores that gave the Vikings a chance at winning in the first place. Still, and not surprisingly, Walsh was vilified on social media by devastated Minnesota fans for his tragically untimely miss.

But one group of young Vikings fans instead opted to send letters of encouragement to the beleaguered kicker as a emotional salve to the hate mail and spiteful tweets and mocking social media mentions that became commonplace in the wake of the shocking loss.

First grade students at Northpoint Elementary in Blaine, Minn., drew up letters in which they expressed sympathy for what Walsh undoubtedly is going through, a story that was covered by Twin Cities’ KARE 11 photojournalist Ben Garvin in the following video.

Via the Star Tribune:

“Dear Blair Walsh,” wrote one. “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.”

Jacob DePoint really empathized. “One time I had the same problem as you and we lost the divisional playoffs,” he wrote. “You rock.”

The class’ teacher, Judie Offerdahl (providing the photo below), referred to the project as a “good teachable moment for the kids.”

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Offerdahl intends on sending the letters to Walsh and the team’s executive director of communications, Jeff Anderson, says the Vikings will make sure Walsh receives them.

“I know he will appreciate them very much,” he said.

No matter how horrible Walsh must feel this week, gestures like this must mean the world to him.