COLUMN: A tale of two Sooners
Sunday night’s NFC Championship game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints was a showcase of two former Sooners who had very different nights.
“Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?” was chorus-like chant after former Sooner kicker and current Saint Garrett Hartley drilled the game-winning 40-yard field goal attempt that lifted the Saints to the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will carry much of the blame for his team’s heartbreaking loss..
Averaging more than five yards per carry, Peterson was the go-to guy in almost any situation, despite his newfound tendency to fumble, until this season.
During the NFC Championship Adrian Peterson’s polar performance might be the unfortunate lasting image in the minds of Vikings fans.
Coughing up the football two times and being tackled for a loss on several different plays, Peterson tried to rebound by running harder and faster than ever before, but it was too late.
Although Peterson finished the game with 122 yards and three touchdowns, his careless mistakes with the football only excited the passionate New Orleans crowd of 71,276.
Hartley kicked the game-winning field goal in what had to be one of, if not the biggest games of his life to send the Saints’ to their first Super Bowl in team history.
Hartley, who attended Southlake Carroll High School in the suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth and then OU, came into the NFC title game 10 of 12 on field goals this season, making all but one attempt under 50 yards.
Two Sooners were prominently featured on the national stage, but the one who most would consider to be the lesser came out on top Sunday night in New Orleans.