"The Kings of the North!"
That's the chant, a play off of the line from the Men of the Watch on Game of Thrones, that could be heard echoing through opposite ends of the locker room and down the hall outside the door.
As the media entered the Vikings locker room for postgame interviews, Vikings players were running through the halls with us having just returned from a joint celebration with the fans still lingering in the Delta 360 Club at U.S. Bank Stadium. Donning their NFC North Champion hats and t-shirts, it was a jovial mood throughout but one still focused on the unfinished business left on the table for the season's final two weeks.
"Division champions is great," head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game. "But that's not our final goal.'
According to multiple players, Zimmer's postgame speech included a motivational phrase that they kept repeating. "We're not playing for hats, we're playing for jewelry." The phrase clearly celebrating the fact that the division was won but looking forward to the potential to fight for Super Bowl rings down the road.
The title is the Vikings 4th NFC North title and 18th divisional title and the second in the past three years.
Next week, the Vikings will face off against the Green Bay Packers for a game that will hold little value to the opposition. The Division is clinched, the playoffs are out of the picture and Rodgers may not even play. But for the Vikings, another Eagles win today leaves more to be desired down the road. There's still a top two seed and potential overall number one available and with that comes home field advantages through various parts of the playoffs.
It's not the final goal, but it's a big step in the right direction.