At the 2018 ESPY Awards, held in Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater, the “Minneapolis Miracle,” a touchdown on Vikings’s WR Stefon Diggs’s 61-yard catch-and-run that defeated the Saints in the final seconds of a divisional round playoff game, was awarded this year’s Best Moment.
Other nominees for the award were No.16 seed Maryland-Baltimore County’s victory over No.1 seed Virginia in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights’s Stanley Cup Final appearance, and Arike Ogunbowale's buzzer-beater that won the Notre Dame women a national title.
Until this week, Saints fans had associated this distinction with a fond memory. In 2007, Steve Gleason and the team received the honor for Gleason’s famous punt block against the Falcons in the first game held in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. Now, in the hearts of Black and Gold faithful, a harrowing nightmare presides over a euphoric reminiscence.
The agony of the “Minneapolis Miracle” persists in New Orleans. When recalling the sequence, what hasn’t lingered, however, in the memories of outside observers is how Minnesota squandered a 17-point halftime deficit to lose a commanding lead before their final drive. Also lost in the lore of the miracle was the 31-point shellacking the Philadelphia Eagles handed the Vikings the following week, thwarting the Vikes’s ambitions of becoming the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home city.
Only a Super Bowl victory could rid the Saints of the stench of the “Minneapolis Miracle.” The team will embark on that quest when training camp opens July 26.