Staring at a 1-2-1 start to their 2018 reason and facing the possibility of their season being lost, the Minnesota Vikings got some motivation last Friday from someone who knows a thing or two about not quitting.
The team got a pre-departure speech from Olympic Gold Medalist (and Minnesota native) Jessie Diggins. In the most recent Winter Olympics, Diggins teamed with Kikkan Randall to win the gold medal in the Women’s Team Sprint event in cross-country skiing. It was the first ever Olympic medal for an American cross-country skier, and if you want to see how close it was, you can watch the video of it here.
(We can’t embed the video here. Thanks, NBC.)
One player that was definitely impressed. . .and motivated. . .by the speech was defensive end Stephen Weatherly, who was set to make his third NFL start in place of Everson Griffen.
“She said she doesn’t know much about football; she definitely doesn’t know what it’s like to go out there and try to maul someone,” Weatherly said. “But one thing she does know is the preparation, and what it’s like when you’re in your moment, for your sport, and there’s that crucial time, and you’ve given everything you have up to that point — but you need more. Everyone has felt that, at every position, when we feel like we’ve given it all, but now that crucial point is coming up. What will you do?”
Weatherly made what might have been the biggest play of Sunday’s game, crashing through the Philadelphia offensive line and hitting Carson Wentz. Wentz coughed up the ball and it floated into the arms of Linval Joseph, who rambled for a 64-yard touchdown and a lead that the Vikings didn’t relinquish.
If memory serves me correctly, there were quite a few other Minnesotans that took home gold medals at the most recent Winter Olympics. If having them speak to the Vikings can get them to perform the way they did on Sunday, maybe the team should continue this trend of bringing them in to speak on Fridays. I don’t know how much it would help, but it doesn’t appear as though it would hurt.