A trip to Minneapolis does not conjure bad memories for at least one New Orleans Saints player. Punter Thomas Morstead has warm feelings for the Twin Cities, despite what he suffered there individually and as a member of a Saints team that lost twice to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. You remember the Minneapolis Miracle right?

Morstead suffered torn cartilage and bruised ribs while making a touchdown-saving tackle on a punt return by Marcus Sherels in the Saints’ NFC Divisional playoff loss to the Vikings in January.

Despite suffering that injury and the pain, Morstead was also one of eight Saints players to return to the field from the post-game locker room to execute the extra-point play so the game could be officially completed.

Myself and other Vikings fans were so impressed by Morstead’s sportsmanship that the purple faithful launched a grassroots online campaign to donate to his charitable foundation, What You Give Will Grow. The campaign went viral, and Morstead presented a check for $221,143 to the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at Super Bowl LII in February.

Now Morstead wants to add another chapter to this heartwarming story. He and Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels launched a new fund-raising campaign to benefit needy families in their respective cities. The funds will be used by Morstead’s foundation and the Minneapolis-based Best Christmas Ever to help selected families in the Minneapolis and New Orleans area enjoy the holidays.

The winner of Sunday night’s game between the Saints and Vikings will determine which market receives the greater portion of the 60-40 split of funds. Morstead and his wife, Lauren, kicked off the campaign by donating $10,000 to the cause, which has a goal of raising $60,000 by the end of the day on Tuesday (Oct. 29). As of Saturday morning, the campaign had raised more than $22,000 from 240 donors. You can donate here.

One thing is for sure, there really won't be a loser for these charities no matter the score on the scoreboard local families will be the real winners.

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