Minnesota sports are on the rise right now. The Twins ended a six-year postseason drought last fall, the Timberwolves appear destined to end their own 13-season playoff dry spell this spring and the Wild have made five straight postseasons.

And of course, the Vikings were within one game of an NFC title.

Although the Vikings are not playing in the Super Bowl, their fans will always remember the 2017 season for the "Minneapolis Miracle." In particular, one fan, Zach Parise, will remember the play for his inability to watch it as it happened.

Parise, 33, a Twin Cities native, came home to play for the Wild in 2012 after sevens seasons with New Jersey. Before the Wild hosted the Canucks on Jan. 14, Parise and his teammates were in the locker room watching the Vikings-Saints divisional playoff game. When the players took the ice for their own game, they had a pretty good idea how the football game had ended because the Saints had just taken the lead.

They were wrong.

"Right before we went out for the game, New Orleans scored, so we thought it was done, we thought it was over," Parise remembers. "And then we're standing there during the Canadian anthem and no one really was in the bowl watching as we're getting ready to start the game, which is unusual. Usually, it's sold out right way, but no one was down there. Then, all of a sudden, during the anthem, the place, from the concourse, just erupts. And we're thinking, 'There’s no way. Like, how did this happen?' And then someone radioed down that the Vikes got a touchdown and we didn’t see it, obviously, but it was awesome. You just got immediate chills right through your body, you knew right away, 'Oh my God, they pulled it off somehow.'"

Parise admits that even he had a moment of childhood giddiness that made it hard to focus on the game at hand. His teammates didn't have to be from Minnesota to feel that emotion.

"We're fans," he says. "Whether they are from Minnesota or not, all the guys on our team were cheering for the Vikes. Your mind was somewhere else for a bit, just with the excitement and then they showed the replay on the jumbotron. The place went nuts and it was a really cool moment."

Parise spoke to ThePostGame on Super Bowl Radio Row at Mall of America on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk. Parise recently returned to the ice after missing the first 39 games of the Wild's season due to back surgery.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.

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