The NFC North grudge match lived up to its expectations. The Bears’ stout defensive front kept Dalvin Cook relatively and check, meanwhile, the Bears offense struggled, failing to muster a single touchdown as former Vikings first-rounder Cordarrelle Patterson scored the Bears’ lone touchdown on a 104-yard kickoff return.
It was a hard-fought defensive gridlock that had a causality. Bears quarterback Nick Foles was thrown to the ground by Ifeadi Odenigbo with 32 seconds left in the game as the Bears had one last shot to cut the six-point deficit. It resulted in Foles being carted off the field as backup quarterback Tyler Bray could not will the Bears to victory.
The Vikings Twitter account’s postgame graphic featured a photo of Foles on the ground with the caption “Bear, Down.” The photo is not from the play Foles was knocked out, but the connection could still be made by Bears fans who lambasted the Vikings’ Twitter following the loss.
Bear, Down pic.twitter.com/zaf8X4qKda
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 17, 2020
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‘I’m Ashamed as a Diehard Fan’
The tweet, which had over 1,000 people comment on it was met with widespread scrutiny from fans.
Nick Foles is a class act. This tweet makes @Vikings look classless. Do better.
— D. Rust (@dkrust) November 17, 2020
Foles’ injury at the time seemed severe as many fans’ knee-jerk reactions were emotionally charged. It was later determined Foles’ injury is not severe as the veteran QB dodged an injured reserve designation.
As a Bears fan, we suck and y'all 1000% deserved that win. That being said… mocking what looks to be a serious injury is not only classless, but disrespectful. Do better.
— kari (@kari143) November 17, 2020
One Vikings fan shared in the critique of the graphic in a moment of camaraderie between the two fan bases.
Vikings fan here… whether you intended it or not (I hope not) this caption & picture highlighting Foles on the ground implies that the team is making light of his potentially severe injury. It’s an extremely bad look and frankly I’m ashamed as a diehard fan of the team.
— Agador Spartacus (@sgibbles) November 17, 2020
Some fans moderated the comment feeds reminding observers that the photo was not of the play Foles was injured, but alas, it did not temper any fires among Bears fans.
That wasn’t the play where Foles got hurt. I agree, it looks bad, but they were t doing this to mock Foles
— sporksfan69 (@flyersfan720) November 17, 2020
Some fans alluded to bad blood the Vikings may hold toward Foles after the NFC Championship game in 2017, where Foles threw for 352 yards and three TDs.
They still not happy he did this pic.twitter.com/vWQH8jw7xZ
— Brendan Evans (@BrendanEvans17) November 17, 2020
While Vikings fans continue to put out fires on social media, other fans have acknowledged that the post is not representative of the fan base or franchise as a whole.
for sure. was a shot at the team's social media person, not at the fans. I can appreciate good social media trolling but this kind of crossed the line (IMO). All teams have jackasses in their fan base
— Mike Shemesh (@MikeShemesh) November 17, 2020
Packers Fans Fuel Fire
Green Bay Packers fans chimed in on the conversation, claiming the Vikings took a similar approach when Anthony Barr tackled Aaron Rodgers to the ground in 2017, which resulted in Rodgers breaking his collarbone.
That’s the photo you use… not the first time Vikings and their fans do shit like this either. Be better.
— CALEB 🧀💪 (7-2) (@CalebGoPackGo) November 17, 2020
A copy of a 2019 issue of the Star Tribune features a photo of Barr’s hit on Rodgers teasing an article of the top sports moments of the decade, however, the cover actually featured two stories: one on the top sports moments of the decade and another on the Packers-Vikings rivalry.
Expected nothing less pic.twitter.com/7hmsrwQy7A
— Thankful Kristopher. ⛵🙏🦃 #ExtendMikePettine (@BigManDanviIIe) November 17, 2020
The Milwaukee Journal confirmed the issue after the Star Tribune’s senior sports writer Michael Rand addressed the matter on social media.
Seeing a lot about this today. I think the problem is the cover design encompassed two “decade” stories: mine on the overall decade that was in MN sports and Ben Goessling on the decade of the MN/GB rivalry. I would never say the Barr hit on Rodgers was a top moment https://t.co/tl9h8Zpp0s
— RandBall (@RandBall) December 27, 2019
Regardless, the damage has been done as the NFC North continues to be home to some of the NFL’s most burgeoning rivalries.
You are a trash, classless organization that can't stay in their lane and are completely irrelevant in the landscape of the NFL; congratulations on the guaranteed money you gave to Kirk which has buried you.
— Michael Sellers (@mikesellers9) November 17, 2020
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter@trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.