I know there have been a lot of player protests when it comes to the National Football League, but Vikings quarterback Case Keenum is an exception. He has never once kneeled for the national anthem. Case Keenum is also a stalwart Christian who truly prizes his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
He made this abundantly clear while speaking with reporters after having just thrown a finishing touchdown pass during a game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, according to The Daily Wire.
“It’s probably going to go down as the third best moment of my life, behind giving my life to Jesus Christ and marrying my wife,” he said.
Listen to his full statement below, or fast-forward to around the 40-second mark for his remarks about Jesus:
This wonderful moment, which Keenum ranked up there with accepting Jesus as his savior, involved him leading the Vikings to victory against the Saints by throwing what The Daily Wire described as “a last-ditch 61-yard touchdown strike.”
The Vikings had been losing 23-24 with only 10 seconds left in the game. Then, Keenum made his final play: He launched the ball toward wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
— TheRenderNFL (@TheRenderNFL) January 15, 2018
Amazing, though still not quite as amazing as Keenum’s unabashed Christian faith, which, according to Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, is the real deal.
“A lot of people can talk about their faith. When you live it every day and act on the word of God, it’s pretty cool to see. He doesn’t just talk; he acts upon it and leads by example. It helps me become a better person of faith,” he said an interview with Bleacher Report last week, referencing Keenum’s faith.
But just to be clear, Keenum’s not the only proud Christian on the team:
Apparently, this team is brimming with godliness, and maybe, just maybe, that’s why the Minnesota Vikings are now headed to their first NFC championship since 2009.
Speaking of godliness. Frequent Fort Myers visitor Millie Wall, 99, became a national social media sensation over the weekend when her beloved Minnesota Vikings won a playoff game.
Midway through the third quarter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited Millie Wall at her seat.
Wall, who was born July 4, 1918, received two Super Bowl tickets from Goodell.
If the Vikings defeat the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday, she intends to attend the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in her hometown Minneapolis. If the Vikings fall, she will stay home and give her tickets to family, according to Jim Wall, the middle of her five sons.
Three of her grown children have homes in Lee County: Jim in Fort Myers, Chuck in Bonita Springs and Curtis in Fort Myers Beach. That allows her to make annual trips to Fort Myers to watch her beloved Minnesota Twins during spring training. Rick and Bill Wall live in Minnesota.
“She used to have a Styrofoam brick with the Minnesota Vikings logo on it,” Jim Wall said. “And she would throw the Styrofoam brick at the TV anytime they made a bad play. She got so tired of getting up and getting it, that she tied a string to the end of it.”
“The other storyline is she believes the key to her long life is at least one screwdriver a day. She did have a screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) while she was at the game.”
Jim Wall and his four brothers marveled at the swiftness with which their mother, who turns 100 on July 4, grabbed national attention on Twitter, Facebook, TV and radio airwaves.
“Hail Mary,” the football term for a desperation, long touchdown pass attempt, became “Hail Millie.”
“There were hashtags,” Jim Wall said of social media. #MillieMiracle, #SendMillietoPhillie, and #HailMillie were among them.
“Every news media known to man picked it up,” Wall said. “She was on the front page of the sports section for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She was on the front page for the Variety section for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Local TV stations picked it up. The Associated Press picked it up across the United States.
“I was getting calls from Denver, from Texas, from California, from all over the United States. And of course, social media went absolutely viral.”
The seeds for Millie Wall’s sudden celebrity status were planted two years ago when the Vikings opened U.S. Bank Stadium.
“She went to an open house,” Jim Wall said. “She was 97-years old. She got on TV. She ended up saying something like, ‘This place is beautiful. The Vikings better get to the Super Bowl pretty quick. I don’t have that much time.’”
Millie’s niece submitted the video to the Vikings about 10 days ago. The Vikings responded by getting Millie two tickets to the playoff game. She attended with her granddaughter, Ashley Wall. The Vikings sent them a limousine. There were 26 family members to send them off to the stadium from a pregame party.
For Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Millie wrote:
“Dear Coach Zimmer, players and staff, just a simple note to let you know how happy you have made me and all your dedicated fans. I will say a prayer for you all that you play your very best and are able to bring it home, for yourselves and your fans. SKOL! Sincerely, Mille Wall.
What a great fan and what a great quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings! Sounds like they both have one thing in common – a strong religious background. #KeepTheFaith