As the news broke of kicker Blair Walsh being released by the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, much of the tone around the Vikings community centered around feelings of relief and happiness. Minnesota fan’s from all over took to social media to express their excitement with the team’s decision to cut their struggling kicker.
@Vikings ABOUT TIME
— JB (@NotJustinBarnes) November 15, 2016
— Nick (@BG8403) November 16, 2016
— 7-3/5-4/2-8/2-0 (@NolesVikesMavs) November 15, 2016
@Vikings Never though this day would come ??
— Thomas Edwards (@thomasewards7_) November 16, 2016
@Vikings better than Christmas morning.
— Kyle Foxton (@kfox9611) November 15, 2016
Yes, it was a move that likely needed to be made. But some seemed to forget the actual joy he brought to the Vikings and their fans during his five seasons with the team.
What about his very first NFL game with Minnesota back in 2012? Without Walsh kicking four field goals, including a 55-yarder to tie the game and the 38-yard game-winner in overtime, the Vikings would have opened that year with a loss at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
How about later that season when Minnesota played the Green Bay Packers in a Week 17 showdown that the Vikings needed to win in order to clinch a playoff berth? His 29-yard field goal with time expiring gave Minnesota a thrilling 37-34 win over their rival and a trip into the playoffs just one year after finishing with a record of 3-13.
Everyone seemed pretty happy with him after that kick.
During the 2013 season that that the Vikings would love to forget, Walsh still had himself a handful of impressive moments. Without their kicker, Minnesota likely would have finished that year with a 3-13 record for the second time in three seasons.
In his career with the Vikings, sometimes he was the only way the team was able to put points up on the board. While he was in Minnesota, Walsh’s leg accounted for half or more of the Vikings’ final points during 12 different games.
Being a kicker is arguably one of the more tougher jobs in the NFL. Obviously not due to the physical aspects of the position, but the beating a a kicker’s mind takes during their time in the league is hard to compare with any other player that takes that football field.
Unfortunately for Walsh, his nerves seemed to get the best of him recently and he no longer has a job on an NFL roster.
So for those celebrating and toasting to the kicker’s dismissal, they must realize that Walsh’s exit does not automatically equal blue skies and rainbows for the remainder of the season. His replacement is no guarantee either.
Instead of questioning why the kicker was unable to pull himself together after a devastating miss in last year’s playoffs, maybe people should start wondering why head coach Mike Zimmer and rest of the team did not do more to improve the mental state of their fragile kicker.