Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph looked before he Leaped
By: By Tom Powers, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Superior Telegram
GREEN BAY -- Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph fulfilled his childhood fantasy by scoring a touchdown and then doing a Lambeau Leap.
"Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to do a Lambeau Leap, so I figured this was a great opportunity," Rudolph said. "I just made sure I found some Vikings fans so I didn't get covered in beer. The purple stuck out with all the green and yellow. So I made sure I found the purple."
With 12:18 to play in the second quarter, Rudolph caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder. Then he made a beeline toward a couple of purple and white jerseys in the first row of the end-zone seats. In the grand Packer tradition, he jumped backwards into the first row and let the fans embrace him.
"To get a touchdown and do a Lambeau Leap, it was very exciting," he said.
He wasn't the first Viking to try that move in Green Bay but he was by far the most successful.
In 2006, then-Vikings defensive back Fred Smoot intercepted a Brett Favre pass and returned it for a touchdown. He then attempted a Lambeau Leap but was physically rejected by Packers fans. Never known for making the smartest decisions, Smoot attempted to jump into a sea of green and yellow jerseys.
They wouldn't let him in, blocking him with elbows and forearms. All Smoot got for his trouble was a steady shower of beer.
Rudolph was smart enough to pick out a few friendly jerseys before the contest -- just in case. In fact, the word is he had notified
some of his pals back at Notre Dame that he would attempt the Leap if he were fortunate enough to score a touchdown.
"They know me well enough," he said with a chuckle.
However, he was rather subdued in the postgame locker room as the Vikings lost a tough one to the Packers. That took a little luster off of any personal accomplishment.
"It's frustrating when you let a game like that get away, when you have a lead in the second half, especially a division game," Rudolph said. "The Packers are a great team, especially the way they played in the second half. But we've got to finish better."
Rudolph was by far the Vikings' most active receiver with six catches for 51 yards.
"The biggest thing for us is just knowing that we have the talent on offense to be really successful," he said. "Coach (Bill) Musgrave puts us in great situations. We've just got to get back on the winning side."
(c)2012 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)/Distributed by MCT Information Services