1st-graders to Vikings kicker: Buck up, it's OK

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) After many Minnesota Vikings fans ripped kicker Blair Walsh for missing a 27-yard field goal that could have given the team a win in Sunday's playoff game, some first-graders used it as a lesson in empathy.

Walsh's miss in a 10-9 loss to Seattle drew intense vitriol on social media, with some fans inviting him to leave the state - and worse.

Judie Offerdahl, a teacher at Northpoint Elementary in suburban Blaine, saw a teachable moment for her first-graders, so the students grabbed their magic markers and started drawing and writing.

''Dear Blair Walsh,'' one wrote. ''I know it can be hard to get through things that are sad, but you have to try and try again. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.''

Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson tells the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1OhODfA ) the team will make sure Walsh gets the letters.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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