Vikings fan who took viral photo of Kirk Cousins ​​describes ‘special’ moment

When Emilie LeCompte and her 9-year-old son Quinn arrived at the Minnesota Vikings practice facility on Monday for the team’s annual trick-or-treating event, Quinn told his mother how cool it would be if quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​were there.

LeCompte told Quinn she didn’t think Cousins ​​would be in attendance. After all, just a day earlier, Cousins ​​had suffered a non-contact injury in the fourth quarter of the Vikings’ 24-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The injury immediately looked like a torn Achilles tendon, and an MRI on Monday morning confirmed the bad news.

So LeCompte tried to keep Quinn’s expectations low.

“I thought, ‘Bud, I don’t think that’s going to happen. You watched the game yesterday,’” LeCompte said Newsweek. “He says, ‘I know. It would just be really cool.’”

But when LeCompte and Quinn entered the facility with a group of friends, they spotted someone who looked like Cousins ​​with his leg propped up on a scooter. In fact, the 35-year-old and his wife were present outside of the event.

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins ​​of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Cousins ​​took a moment to sign autographs for young fans, a day after his Achilles tendon injury ended his season.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

LeCompte asked a security guard if they could approach Cousins.

“I don’t think they understood where we wanted to go, but they said, ‘Yeah, you can go there,'” she said.

Thrilled by their good fortune, the two went to Cousins’s and spoke briefly with his wife while he finished another conversation. Then they got a chance to talk to Quinn’s favorite player.

“The kids’ faces were in awe, standing right in front of him,” LeCompte said. “He was so nice and friendly and just very personable when dealing with the children.”

The conversation didn’t last long (LeCompte said she felt guilty “the whole time” since Cousins ​​was at the event with his family), but they expressed sympathy for his injury and told him that they were sorry for his would pray for recovery.

“We were just talking about how excited the guys were to watch the game and it was a fantastic game until the moment he got injured,” LeCompte said. “Kirk said something to the effect of, ‘Yeah, but it was a great game, wasn’t it? A win is a win.”

She continued, “I was in awe that my son actually met him, and these kids just didn’t know what to say to him at all.”

As the group turned to leave, Quinn was still holding a soccer ball and a marker that he had brought to the event to collect autographs. LeCompte told him he had to ask Cousins ​​“for at least one.”

“So my shy, soccer-loving boy says, ‘Kirk, would you mind signing my soccer, please?'” LeCompte said. “And he said, ‘Of course,’ and signed. The other children then felt that they had enough courage to get their things signed…The look on my son’s face for the rest of the night showed that he was only nine.”

LeCompte took a photo of Cousins ​​signing Quinn’s football and sent it to her brother, Blair Reynolds. LeCompte’s husband is a Packers fan, but Quinn was drawn to the Vikings because he lives in Minnesota (with a little urging from his uncle).

“It’s just so fun to have something that you can connect with a kid who’s like 39 years younger than me,” Reynolds said Newsweek. “The ability to have something in common and talk to a kid who knows every stat and every player — that excitement makes you excited, too. That’s really cool.”

Reynolds said he enjoys taking Quinn to Vikings games, even though he wasn’t at Monday’s event. But he posted the photo of Quinn’s autograph on Twitter on Monday night. When he saw it go viral on Tuesday morning, he was shocked.

Still, Reynolds was happy to have his high opinion of Cousins’ character confirmed.

“For me, the photo was a lesson you can learn as a child,” Reynolds said. “As kids grow up, they’re going to have bad days, whether it’s an injury like Cousins ​​did, or a bad day at work, or a bad day at school, or a bad day at home. How do you react to that? How Kirk answered is a great example not only for a 9 year old, but also for me and other adults – to see that even on one of your worst days you can still make a difference.

“I think that’s why I wanted to release it.”

LeCompte was impressed by how down-to-earth Cousins ​​behaved despite the circumstances.

“When you come in and see a professional football player not in his best moment, I was very sad that the game took such a turn,” she said. “I don’t know, he just seemed like a normal guy. On the one hand he was a soccer player, my son’s idol, on the other hand he was just a normal guy who had an injury and was just so nice to the kids. It was just a special moment.”

Reynolds said he was happy to have a player like Cousins ​​representing the Vikings.

“In Minnesota, we are deeply proud of the people who represent us, and I can’t think of a better representative of Minnesota sports right now than Kirk Cousins,” he said. “He’s just a stand-up guy, has a strong belief system and the way he interacts with people is phenomenal.”