Vikings kicker visits 1st graders who sent empathy notes

With just seconds left in the game and trailing by one point, the Minnesota Vikings lost all hope of victory when kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal Sunday.

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Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) misses a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at TCF Bank Stadium. Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports

That's when a suburban Twin Cities teacher decided she would make this a teachable moment, reports CBS News' Jamie Yuccas.

"What does it mean to have empathy?" Sarah Myhre, a teacher at Northpoint Elementary School in Blaine, Minnesota, asked her class.

Her students made cards for Walsh, each one containing words of encouragement only a 1st grader could imagine.

"Keep on tryin. We love you so much," one student said.

"Don't give up, you're still No. 1," another said.

"You are the best and maybe you need to practice. Love, Cody," a student said.

When those kind words reached Walsh, he decided to make a special trip to thank the kids himself.

"I'm here to tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seriously. That really cheered me up a lot," Walsh said.

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Blair Walsh with the 1st graders in Blaine, Minnesota

He made time to answer the kids' questions.

"Do you have a guinea pig?" a student asked.

"A guinea pig? No," he answered, as the classroom burst into laughter.

He also signed footballs and playing cards for his new friends, giving everyone a lesson in second chances.

"These kids don't know me. They don't know anything about me, they just know I'm a Vikings player. So for them to show that kindness and empathy for me is remarkable," Walsh said.

Since Sunday, Walsh has taught his own lesson in responsibility and has not made any excuses for missing the kick. He told the students that he'll pick himself up and try harder next season.