Kicker Blair Walsh is finally out of a job in Minnesota, and the collective Vikings fanbase breathes a sigh of relief.
Walsh goes without even a shred of civility from his now former team. When head coach Mike Zimmer was asked a question about why the team decided to bring in free-agent kickers for a tryout last week, he responded simply, “You haven’t been watching all year?”
Vikings fans have been watching, and what they’ve seen has been pretty ugly. Walsh missed four of 16 attempted field goals this season, and missed four of 19 extra point attempts. Three of those missed kicks—two field goals and an extra point—happened in Week 1. It became clear after Week 9 that Zimmer and the Vikings were just about at their breaking point with Walsh, and he botched yet another extra point attempt in their loss to Washington this week.
Walsh’s career started brightly—he set an NFL record as a rookie in 2012 by hitting 10-of-10 field goal attempts from 50 yards or more—but he will ultimately be remembered as the guy who missed a chip-shot field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card game last season, costing his team a playoff win in heartbreaking fashion.
It’s clear now that Walsh never really got over that miss, despite the best efforts of local first graders.