Every week of the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. So let's tell the story of the Divisional Playoffs through GIFs.
Good morning, Stefon. I am you 12 hours in the future. Just a general FYI, there will be a point later today when you will suddenly know what it feels like to be a literal God. An immortal. A true giant amongst men. You will chase this feeling the rest of your life. You'll grow to view this as your life's ultimate blessing ... and its eternal curse. OK, gotta go. Don't forget to charge your phone.
Loved the helmet toss. For decades, NFL players have had their faces hidden by this clunky bit of protective equipment; their emotions -- their personality -- obscured from the millions of fans who watched them. It fed into the idea that football is a sport defined primarily by team success, not individual glory. Forget all that. Individual glory and team success don't need to be independent of one another. Sometimes a man deserves to shine.
This was not a helmet moment. Millions of Americans knew Stefon Diggs' name after this play. And because of the helmet toss, they know his face, too.
The funny thing? An official actually flagged Diggs for his celebration. Never has The Man been so ineffectual in his effort to keep the commonwealth down.
How do you think it was decided which Saints players had to run back on the field (naturally 100 yards in the opposite direction just to twist the knife that much more) for the game-ending PAT attempt? Rock, Paper, Scissors? Names in a helmet? Do people still draw straws? On the plus side, there was something stirring about Saints punter Thomas Morstead, a dude who kicked and ran around the field with broken ribs for four quarters, leading the charge of humbled nobility. Best leadership from a punter ever?
Here's one of my favorite Sports Things. Player wins game in sudden and improbable fashion then scrambles around like a madman seeking someone to celebrate with. Inevitably, an equipment manager or game-ball coordinator, or -- in the worst-case scenario -- the freaking mascot, who sees an opportunity and goes in for embrace. Here's some sideline rando latch onto Keenum before the joyous quarterback retreats back to his offensive linemen.
Speaking of the mascot:
You stay out of that tunnel, Viktor. You just stay right there.
Worst loss ever? Like ... ever?
Real question: Has anyone seen this guy since the last play? Might be worth a welfare check.
And finally, a shoutout to Grandma Millie, a lonnnnnngtimeVikings fan who waited 99 years to attend her first playoff game. This may be the best example of "better late than never" in recorded history. Late in the game, Roger Goodell made his way down to Millie's seats and invited her to attend Super Bowl LII. As if you needed another reason to root for the Vikings on Sunday.
Until next week.