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Editor's column: Relish the win

The Stevens County Times poster made for the May takeover of Morris by the Minnesota Vikings. The takeover was a reward for the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta football team being selected the Minnesota State Football Program of the Year in a program sponsored by the Vikings and Innovative Office Solutions.

We have two cartoons ready for the Jan. 27 Stevens County Times. Both are cartoons related to the Jan. 21 Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles game.

We're hoping to use the victory cartoon. But, being Vikings fans, we aren't counting on it. Even after last week's Minnesota Miracle touchdown pass and catch in the final 10 seconds of the game, we are still hesitant to be hopeful for a victory.

As for me, individually, I don't think the wonderful touchdown in the final 10 seconds erases all the pain of heartbreak of the past 40 plus years. I'm still stinging from the push-off by Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson on Minnesota Viking Nate Wright in the 1975 divisional playoff game. The Vikings lost a chance to lose (yes I said lose) another Super Bowl with Pearson's touchdown.

Yet, that touchdown in the final 10 seconds is something to relish. I remember being in Minneapolis after the Minnesota Twins clinched a postseason playoff spot in 1987. Cheering people poured into the streets from the Metrodome, bars and their homes to celebrate. We drove home with a Gary Gaetti commemorative concession cup attached to the hood ornament.

Here's what is was like for one local fan who was at the Jan. 21 Viking game. Amy Doll Wohlers was at the game and like a true Vikings fans, she wasn't overly optimistic.

"When we got the ball back with 25 seconds, I knew there was enough time left to win. But we had been in that situation so many times before, and had been disappointed," Doll Wohlers said.

Even Vikings fans familiar with heartbreak can rally themselves for the final seconds and hope, as Doll Wohlers did. "The entire stadium was standing. I sat down with my head in my hands. I just couldn't take the loss. I already had that familiar crushing feeling in my chest. But then I thought "if this had been Green Bay back in the days of (quarterback Brett) Favre, the fans would have calmly said 'no problem'." I figured we could do it, so I stood up to watch the last play."

Fans in the stadium and fans at home were standing, on the edge of their seats or no doubt covering their faces waiting for the final seconds to tick away. But then, something happened. Something unfamiliar to Vikings fans. It was the Vikings that caught the pass and scored. The winning touchdown wasn't caught by the other team. The Vikings did not miss a field goal. The Vikings would win.

Doll Wohlers wasn't quite sure she could believe it.

"When Diggs pulled in the ball, then stumbled but got up and ran, it took my brain a moment to fully comprehend what had happened," Doll Wohlers said. "The stadium erupted! I remember screaming over and over, to no one in particular - and to everyone: 'We won! I can't believe it! We won!'"

Doll Wohlers also did something many Vikings fans can relate to.

"And then I cried for a minute. The rush of emotions from despair to extreme elation was too much," she said.

But isn't it great those were mostly tears of joy? Skol. Bring it home.