Saints coach caught on camera giving Vikings fans ultimate insult seconds before losing


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The Vikings’ shocking last-second comeback over the Saints on Sunday was as sweet a victory as any team can possibly have.

Somehow, someway two days after the game, the victory got even sweeter after Minnesota learned what Saints coach Sean Payton did shortly before Stefon Diggs’ touchdown pass from Case Keenum.

Cameras caught Payton mocking Vikings fans by doing their “Skol Clap” on the sideline.

Former Vikings player Ben Leber, who now works for the Minneapolis radio station KFAN-FM, said Payton was doing the clap sometime after New Orleans took a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds left.

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The Skol clap/chant is a relatively new phenomenon; the Vikings started doing it when they opened U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016. Fans raise their hands above their heads to clap while yelling “Skol.”

The celebration was borrowed from Iceland’s national soccer team, which used the celebration during its run at the UEFA European Championship in 2016.

We all know what happened after Payton’s premature celebration: Keenum hooked up with Diggs on a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expired on a play now being dubbed the “Minneapolis Miracle.”

The play not only sent the Vikings to their first NFC championship game since 2009, but it also made NFL history: It marked the only time in postseason history that a go-ahead touchdown was scored with no time left on the clock in regulation.

On Tuesday, Payton held his season-ending press conference and he was asked about doing the Skol clap. He said he was just having fun with some Vikings fans.

“There was just a group of fans; it was good playoff fun,” Payton said.

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This certainly isn’t the first time Payton’s sideline antics have come under scrutiny. In a December game vs. the Falcons, Payton signaled the “choke” sign to Devonta Freeman in reference to Atlanta choking away the Super Bowl last season.

As Vikings and Falcons fans would point out, New Orleans went on to lose both of those games in which Payton mocked fans or players of the opposing team.

After Minnesota fans learned of Payton’s mocking clap, they then decided to mock the Saints and their “Who Dat?” chant.

We’ll get a rematch between these teams in short order; the Vikings will host the Saints in 2018.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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