Vikings' Zimmer offers game ball to 'Alex in Anoka' for 'bad luck' message


Bad luck needs no introduction to the Minnesota sports scene. Were Bad Luck the name of a bar, it would be filled with Vikings fans.

Employees at the Bad Luck bar would include Gary Anderson, the former kicker who missed his only field goal of the 1998 dream season that wasn't in the NFC Championship loss to Atlanta; Jim Marshall – who famously scooped up a fumbled and ran the wrong way – could be a server known for seating patrons at the wrong table; and former fullback Naufahu Tahi could be the patron who reserves a table for 11, only to bring 12 guests.

Tahiwill go down in Viking lore as the 12th man in the huddle with 19 seconds remaining in regulation of the 2009-10 NFC title loss to the Saints. That penalty still hurts.

Oh, the memories...

But who needs a Bad Luck bar when Anthony Barr is on the field? The rookie linebacker, who just three years ago was a running back at UCLA, stole the show in overtime of Sunday's 19-13 win over the Buccaneers by forcing a fumble, recovering it and rumbling 27 yards to the end zone for the winning touchdown.

There is no luck with Barr. He's just skilled. Very skilled.

Or maybe Alex, a kid from Anoka with muscular dystrophy, got it right when he wrote a letter to the Vikings saying they couldn't lose because they already used up all of their bad luck.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer referenced Alex's note during his postgame speech to the team on Sunday.

"Thank you for letting me watch your practice last Saturday, it was fun," Alex's message to the team said, as read by Zimmer in a video on "The players were nice to me and signed my Viking helmet. My grandpa said to expect good luck for you because you have used up all your bad luck already."

The note drew a round of laughs from the Vikings, who were celebrating only their third win of the season – one week after the Buffalo Bills provided them with another dose of bad luck.

Zimmer offered game balls to Alex and his grandpa, which naturally, drew a round of applause from the players.

Alex in Anoka, well done.

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