Lil Kirko Meets Big Kirko
A soon-to-be eight-year-old Minnesota Vikings fan is acting as a de facto mascot — or embodiment — of the team, as the franchise has a 9-2 record at the start of December.
It’s all positive vibes after the Vikings rebounded from a 40-3 drubbing by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11 by defeating the New England Patriots 33-26 on Thanksgiving night. And no symbol of “positive vibes” is more stellar than Lincoln Gustafson of Iowa.
He’s Little Lil Kirko, a young man who stole the spotlight at U.S. Bank Stadium on a national holiday. Under the bright lights of primetime football, Gustafson was presented on the Vikings big screen at the glass palace, and fans took notice — so much so that he stole the screen multiple times throughout the game.
And Gustafson is coming back to U.S. Bank Stadium — on his birthday Sunday, if that can be believed. The Vikings orchestrated a video call between Kirk Cousins, the CEO of the Kirko persona, and Gustafson this week.
Where did Gustafson discover the idea of shirtlessness and oodles of iciness around his neck? Simple — Kirk Cousins himself.
With the unquenchable encouragement of teammates, Cousins has been flaunting various chains around his neck after road wins. It’s the new thing, as Minnesota continues to win on the road, and Vikings players fling expensive hardware onto QB1 during plane rides back to Minneapolis.
Gustafson evidently enjoyed the schtick, patterning his attire and drip after Cousins — en route to a suspenseful Vikings win over New England. Cousins called Gustafson’s outfit “tremendous” after the game, leading to what appears to be a budding relationship between the youngster and the franchise.
While Lil Kiro Gustafson provides the purple sorcery from inside the stadium, Cousins and the Vikings hope to down the Jets, an upstart team slated as three-point underdogs this weekend. New York’s defense ranks fourth in the NFL per defensive DVOA, but that is unlikely to matter with the Kirkos in the building.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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