VIKINGS TAKEOVER: Paul Allen, KFAN Radio ‘take over’ Marshall
MARSHALL — It was a moment in sports history that Paul Allen will never forget.
Like everybody else in Minnesota, the play-by-play announcer for the Vikings on KFAN was hoping for a miracle against the New Orleans Saints in the National Football Conference playoffs in January.
The Vikings had taken a 17-0 lead in the first half. But the Saints battled back and the Vikings found themselves down 24-23 with 25 seconds left on the clock.
After a false start penalty by the Vikings, Keenum threw a completed pass to Diggs to their own 39-yard line, then threw two straight incompletions to set up a third-and-10 with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
“It was earlier in that drive I told my radio partner, Pete Bercich, the situation we are in right now, we are going to need a Minneapolis Miracle,” Allen said. He had just finished a three-hour KFAN show inside the Wooden Nickel Friday morning as part of the “Vikings Takeover” for the community of Marshall.
“And I just kind of remember that I said that 10 seconds ago, and (Case) Keenum throws to (Stefon) Diggs and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Allen said.
Keenum’s pass was slightly high, but Diggs jumped up to catch it and raced down the sideline to the end zone to win the game.
“It’s the first time in my career that I experienced something like that,” Allen said. “The energy displayed by analyst Pete Bercich pumped me up. The crowd in front of us was trying to jump into the play-by-play booth. The coaches next to me were punching their fist at me. It was a situation that — it was unbelievable. I just loved every single minute of it.”
Allen spent a lot of time Friday from the radio show to afterwards emceeing the business luncheon at Brau Brothers praising the enthusiasm in Marshall.
“I love these town takeovers,” he said. “Marshall was very embracing with everything we did. The radio show was fun and the head coach (Terry Bahlmann) of the football team was great. It’s a great part of the state.
The radio show drew a large crowd inside the Wooden Nickel. Even a couple Packers fans showed up.
“It was a great show,” Ted Geary said. He sat at a table in front of Allen with his son — both wearing Packers jerseys.
“I listen to Paul Allen and the KFAN shows all the time so it was fun to catch and see them in person and have them come to Marshall,” Ted Geary said. He also said he didn’t mind being singled out by Allen at the beginning of the show.
“He hammered us pretty good. The first five minutes was berating the Packers fans,” he said.
“Up in Minnesota, being a Packers fan you get ridiculed all the time, so I’m used to it by now. It’s awesome. I love it,” Ben Geary said.
At a nearby table, Giles Schoolmeester was wearing his Vikings jersey.
“It was pretty awesome,” he said. “Got to see it (radio show) live instead of hearing it on the radio. He actually did a really great job covering the draft and how they (Vikings) were looking at getting beforehand and everything.”