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in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 31.10.2018 07:28
von hongwei28 • 476 Beiträge

Their minds still racing with childlike exuberance over the stunning last-snap victory that sent them to the NFC championship game Authentic Mason Rudolph Jersey , many of the Minnesota Vikings remained awake several hours past midnight.

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes replayed the video clip of the winning touchdown ”about a thousand times” at home, searing the image of Stefon Diggs leaping to catch the pass from Case Keenum and sprinting for the end zone into his memory forever so the details of the sequence that beat New Orleans were no longer foggy.

Ten seconds left.

Trailing by one point.

Sixty-one yards to go.

The outcome that produced the 29-24 victory was so improbable that the Vikings were predictably continuing to process their status as the first team in NFL history to score a winning touchdown on the final play of regulation in a postseason game.

”The Minneapolis Miracle”, as it was dubbed in trending on social media, was as unfathomable as the name sounds.

”We still can’t believe it in the locker room,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. ”I woke up this morning and made sure it wasn’t a dream.”

The Vikings were about a field-goal favorite on the early betting lines to beat the Eagles on Sunday and become the first team to play a Super Bowl on home turf.

”I believe anything is possible at any moment, as you can see what happened yesterday,” Rhodes said.

Such an emotional ending carries the potential to distract from preparation for and focus on the next game at Philadelphia, when the winner’s high will be worn off and the Vikings will be in an unfriendly stadium without the advantages and comforts of their own place.

They wouldn’t have advanced this far without an unassuming attitude, though, so they were quick on Monday to dismiss the danger of savoring the moment too long.

”I think it took a little bit longer yesterday to probably get over it, but, no, today I think guys are ready,” Thielen said. ”We know how tough this game’s going to be for us, and we know that we still have a long ways to go.”

For those anxiously and impatiently long-waiting fans of one of the NFL’s most agonized franchises, the victory on Sunday was evidence that whatever curse existed in their minds might no longer be relevant.

Sure, most of these players endured the missed 27-yard field-goal try by Blair Walsh in the closing seconds of the wild-card round defeat two years ago against Seattle.

Defensive end Brian Robison, at least, was on the 2009 team that lost in overtime at New Orleans in the NFC championship game.

Except for Thielen and the handful of Minnesota natives on the roster, though, those crushing losses of the past that helped shape Vikings lore have not been a part of this team’s experience, let alone the lives of most of the players.

”We’re not playing to make up for anything,” Thielen said. ”We’re just playing to win football games.”

To beat the Eagles, the Vikings have some more work to do. They won’t have the crowd noise or the fast surface, for one.

They’ll have to face a defense just as strong if not stronger than the Saints. That’s why coach Mike Zimmer, who let his guard down during an uncharacteristically playful postgame news conference , was all business at the podium inside the team’s practice facility on Monday.

”We can’t make these mistakes in playoff games or we’ll be going home,” Zimmer said. ”There’s always good and always bad in some of the games, but we made some critical errors in that game that could have gotten us beat.”



Billy Connors Authentic Chukwuma Okorafor Jersey , a three-time New York Yankees pitching coach and confidant of late owner George Steinbrenner, has died. He was 76.

The Yankees said Wednesday that Connors died Saturday. The team held a moment of silence before their game Wednesday night against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium.

”A close and trusted friend of my family for many years,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. ”Billy contributed to the organization in countless ways over his long career as a pitching coach, executive and advisor.”

Connors coached the Yankees from 1989-90, 1994-95 and 2000, and was vice president of player personnel from 1996-2012. He was instrumental in the development of Yankees pitchers Orlando Hernandez, Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang and Mariano Rivera.

Steinbrenner and Connors would go over pitching plans not only at the team’s spring training complex in Tampa, Florida, but also while regularly watching Tampa Bay Lightning hockey games in the Boss’ suite.

A native of Schenectady, New York, Connors played baseball and basketball at Syracuse and was member of the Schenectady team that won the Little League World Series in 1954.

Connors spent three seasons in the major leagues, starting with the Cubs in 1966 and then with the New York Mets the following two years. He was 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in one start and 25 relief appearances.

Connors became a Mets batting practice pitcher in 1971 and was a minor league pitching instructor for New York from 1972-76. He spent 17 years in the big leagues as a pitching coach, working for the Chicago Cubs from 1982-86, and also spent time with Kansas City and Seattle.

He was with the Cubs when they won the NL East championship in 1984, the teams’ first postseason trip since winning the 1945 NL pennant. Rick Sutcliffe, acquired in a mid-season trade from Cleveland, went 16-1 to capture the NL Cy Young Award.

Connors also helped the Royals win the 1980 AL pennant.

Former Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott shared a story about Connors’ on Twitter.

”Sadly, our family once lost a beloved dog in an accident,” Abbott wrote. ”I was with the Yankees and on the road in Anaheim when it happened. Our pitching coach, Billy Connors, told me I needed to be at the ballpark early the next day. I arrived to the Yankee clubhouse to find the cutest brown and white Springer Spaniel, ribbon around its neck, frolicking with the players. Billy with a smile on his face. He had driven around Southern CA all morning in search of this puppy. We lived with `Billy’ the Springer Spaniel for 12 years, never forgetting the smile on Billy’s face that day in Anaheim.”

Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, at his induction ceremony, discussed the important role Connors played in his career. Atlanta scout Tom ”T-Bone” Giordano scouted Connors as a high school player and the pair became long-time friends.

”Lost a dear friend and a heck of guy,” the 92-year-old Giordano said. ”A great baseball man.”

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