Blair Walsh kicked for the Minnesota Vikings for nearly five seasons and holds a number of franchise records: longest field goal made; most field goals of at least 50 yards in a game, season and career; and most points by a rookie in a single season. But the Vikings cut him after he missed four field goals and four extra points through 10 weeks of the 2016 season (he also missed a crucial 27-yard field goal attempt in Minnesota’s wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks the previous season).
This offseason, Walsh signed with the Seattle Seahawks, who just happened to host the Vikings in a preseason game Friday night. And so we got a chance to witness a rarity among NFL celebrations: the kicker taunt.
Walsh kicked a pair of 52-yard field goals in the second half, and after each one he gestured toward the Vikings’ sideline. Here’s one of them, from the third quarter:
Blair Walsh hits 52-yard field goal then points and stares down former coach Vikings' Mike Zimmer on the sidelines pic.twitter.com/3NXDUaalCK
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 19, 2017
Walsh said he was simply standing up for himself.
“I simply was just responding to getting taunted,” Walsh said, per ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia. “I didn’t say anything. When you’ve got guys who were your teammates for five years yelling at you when you’re trying to kick, it’s just odd. And I hope they were in jest. And I hope they didn’t mean it because I didn’t mean anything with mine, but it was definitely not out of nowhere.”
Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll has no problem with what Walsh did.
“I’m fired up for Blair. … They were giving him a hard time,” Carroll said. “They were razzing him a little bit and all that. He was just having a little fun with it. He’s a really good competitor. I like his mentality, and I think we are very fortunate to have him.”
Walsh made 2 of 3 field goal attempts Friday night and 2 for 2 on extra points. The missed field goal, a 53-yarder, bounced off the crossbar and is his lone errant kick of the preseason.