MINNEAPOLIS –It was first things first for Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer after an exhilarating win over the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium.
A few minutes into his postgame media session, Zimmer pointed from the podium toward covered windows into the Delta Sky360⁰ Club.
"Hey, let's open these things up!" Zimmer said with a smile. "I said in my mind, 'If we win today, I'll open these things up.' "
The coach turned toward cheering fans outside the glass and gave them a smile, first pumping his fist in the air and then breaking into the SKOL Clap.
"You deserve it. You deserve it!" Zimmer said, pointing at the crowd.
The cheers and applause continued in the background as Zimmer proceeded to answer questions from media members, but he stopped a number of times to turn back and interact with the fans. He raised his fist again in time to a "Zim-mer! Zim-mer!" chant that broke out.
"I love it," Zimmer said, all smiles. "I love it. I love it."
He later added: "This is the best press conference ever."
Zimmer encouraged fans to travel to Philadelphia for next weekend's NFC Championship game and pulled out the SKOL Clap again before leaving the podium.
"The crowd was unbelievable today, just like these guys are here," Zimmer said. "It was the loudest environment I've ever been in. The atmosphere was the best I've ever seen. It was so loud.
"Every time the defense went out there, they started yelling and cheering. They got quiet when the offense was out there," Zimmer continued. "The crowd was, that's the best crowd I've ever witnessed. They helped us."
In the first-ever playoff game hosted at U.S. Bank Stadium, 66,612 fans waved white #BringItHome towels, started the SKOL Chant and continued to express their confidence in the Vikings when the game was on the line.
Following the magical, last-second touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs for a Vikings 29-24 win over the Saints, a number of players gave shout-outs to Minnesota fans and the role they played in Sunday's victory.
Case Keenum said he was excited for "the fans especially."
"I'm so excited that they get to be a part of something like this, that people who were here tonight get to be a part of something special," Keenum said. "I just think it's incredible. It's incredible for anybody who's a Vikings fan."
Brian Robison, the longest-tenured Viking, emphasized that the team's work is not done.
"[Today's win] is huge for this franchise, it is huge for our fan base," Robison said. "But if we don't go win next week, it is all for naught. At the end of the day, we are not here to win playoffs games – we are here to win championships. This fan base, this franchise, is thoroughly in need of one."