Minnesota Vikings Kicker Blair Walsh Is a Boca Raton Native | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Vikings Kicker and Boca Native Blair Walsh Misses Game-Winning Field Goal

Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh made more field goals than any other kicker in the National Football League this year, but he will not be remembered for this. Instead, Walsh will now live in Bill Buckner-esque infamy as the guy who, with one kick, blew the entire Vikings season yesterday, when he missed a game-winning, 27-yard field goal. Yup, that's the sort of chip shot high schoolers make with regularity.

Yesterday's NFC Wild Card game pitted the debatably cursed Vikings against the Seattle Seahawks. The Vikings led 9-0 for most of the game. Then Seattle rallied in the fourth quarter, put up ten unanswered points, and found itself sitting with a one-point lead with mere minutes left in the game. The season was on the line. The Viking offense proceeded to march down the field and left Walsh, who had already made three field goals that day, in position to knock down a simple one with 26 seconds to go. Walsh needed to do little more than tap the ball through the uprights to send his team to the next round of the playoffs.

Instead, Walsh missed left.

Naturally, it turns out Walsh is from the cursed lands of South Florida, where any professional athlete who touches a football is, for whatever reason, sentenced to a thousand years of ineptitude. (See: Dolphins, Miami.)

He is from Boca Raton and went to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Walsh, like many NFL kickers, began his athletic career as a standout soccer player for Cardinal Gibbons before a friend recommended he try kicking field goals. "I had never kicked a football, never even thought about it," Walsh told the paper in 2012. He was later named to USA Today's All-USA First Team. His father, Joseph Walsh, is a dentist in Boca Raton.

After graduating, Walsh played for the University of Georgia's football team, where he set an NCAA record after kicking at least one field goal in 45 straight games. He was later named to Georgia's "Team of the Decade." After the Vikings drafted him in 2012, Walsh was voted onto both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.

Despite the accolades, it seems Walsh will, however, have some trouble living this down.

Earlier today, Fox Sports reported that YouTuber "Koleman Jones" had posted a video of a mechanic, in heavy winter gear, re-creating the circumstances of Walsh's kick — and nailing it.

But Floridians, however, seemed to have a lot more sympathy for him online.

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Jerry Iannelli is a staff writer for Miami New Times. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.
Contact: Jerry Iannelli

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