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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Blair Walsh puts miss in perspective, thankful for support from Burleson, others

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Blair Walsh isn’t the first, and won’t be the last.

Knowing that, and having his outlook reinforced by the outpouring of support has helped Walsh put his playoff-losing miss into perspective. The good messages stood out over the noise of the bad, Walsh said. Specifically, a social media post from former NFL receiver Nate Burleson, a third-round pick by the Vikings in 2003, stood out to Walsh after he pushed a 27-yard field goal attempt wide left in a one-point loss to Seattle on Sunday.

Burleson’s message was “pretty unbelievable,” Walsh said Monday, adding the personal support he received also hit closest to home.

“A lot of the family and close personal friends messages, they kind of hit home the most because you know them the closest,” Walsh said before cleaning out his locker. “But I saw Nate Burleson had something really nice to say, which was pretty unbelievable. Some other guys around the league who have been there and done that said some nice things to me. I think that kind of goes back to what I said before: I’ve kind of earned that respect from other people, that I’m somebody who has been very consistent in this league and has done a lot of good things. Yesterday was not a shining moment for me, and it’s nice to see people come out and support you when something like that happens.”

In today’s instant-reaction and instant-access world, throngs of angry fans took to social media platforms like Twitter to express their displeasure. One Tweet simply read ‘Blair Walsh, die’ minutes after the miss. They didn’t know, at the time on Sunday afternoon, he was sobbing from disappointment as the 26-year-old kicker came to terms with missing one of the biggest field goals of his young career.

But as Walsh scrolled through his phone inside the locker room of TCF Bank Stadium, he said he tried to avoid the anonymous critics that all too often turn to threats.

“I’m not hopping on Twitter for anything, really,” Walsh said. “I’ve always used social media very lightly, here and there. I know it’s a big part of our culture, and I understand it, and everybody has a right to their opinions. They really do. But like we talked about before, the people who are going to say the mean things, they’re not the people in life you want to associate with.”

Search Walsh’s Twitter mentions now and the public support far outweighs any backlash.

“There’s so many great Minnesota Vikings fans and so many great NFL fans who are passionate and nice and understanding, and that’s amazing,” he said. “I think that shows a lot about people.”

His season really came full circle. After missing more field goals than he made in the preseason, Walsh had a redemptive year as he led the NFL with 34 field goals made and posted his best conversion rate (87.2 percent) since his Pro Bowl rookie season. He made game-winning kicks against the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams. Walsh kicked the rock through three times for a 9-0 lead on the Seahawks, before making the miss that adds to the Vikings’ playoff infamy.

Less than a day later, Walsh put the entire year into perspective.

“Yesterday, it just didn’t happen for me,” Walsh said. “But you’ll get over it, and I’ll be more confident going into next year. I know that sounds crazy, but this will drive me to work even harder. I had those struggles early on in the year, but finished on a really good streak and a really high note, and for it to kind of end that way in the playoffs, that was tough. But I’m confident in my abilities, and I know that I can continue to be elite at this level.”

?To @blairwalsh_3 (@blairwalsh3 twitter) I know today seems like a dark day in your athletic career but you will bounce back better & stronger from this brotha. You have kicked game winners before and will make game winners in the future. And not to mention you were a huge part of why the Vikes were in the game with 3 field goals so hold your head high. ?Now to all the so called fans who have taking to social media to put him down, curse out and threaten him & his family please take a long look in the mirror. If ya’ll had your mistakes on grand display for the world to see, would you want thousands of people tearing you down with harsh words & threats? No! We have to be a little bit more sensitive to one another in the moments in which we fail. If we can’t lean on each other to encourage us through the dark times than we are lost as a society. Trust me there is nobody that feels worse than Blair Walsh right now so let’s try to build him up instead of destroy. Much brighter days ahead BW! #SpreadLove #BuildNotDestroy ~Nate Burleson

A photo posted by Nate Burleson (@nateburleson) on Jan 10, 2016 at 6:29pm PST

The post Blair Walsh puts miss in perspective, thankful for support from Burleson, others appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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