Before a packed gymnasium of purple-clad fans in Shakopee Wednesday night, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum challenged residents to “love thy neighbor.”
Fresh off a devastating 38-7 NFC Championship loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, Keenum acknowledged that the Vikings season hadn’t ended as planned. “It wasn’t the best experience. We had a tough time on the field,” Keenum said during a short keynote address at Shakopee High School. “But our wives had a tough time in the stands.”
They returned to Minneapolis on the day of a snowstorm, but awoke to find that neighbors had shoveled his driveway. The gesture made him realize the generosity of Minnesota fans — a stark juxtaposition between rowdy Eagles fans.
“So step it up,” he urged at the NFL-sponsored Football Family Festival. “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
The free interactive fan event offered a chance for Minnesotans to hobnob with players, get autographs and test their football skills.
Phineas Rop, a 17-year-old senior, stayed after school for several hours to get in line early and be the first to garner an autograph from Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo. He walked away grinning after Sendejo signed his collectors football that’s still in the box. “I’m trying to get everyone, but it might take me a while.”
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648