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The Guy I Want on My Side in a Street Fight -- All Hail, the Intimadator...Carl Eller


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When I was a kid, the original Purple People Eaters (Larsen, Page, Marshal and Eller) were like characters out of Greek Mythology.  Page was like Zeus...all, lightening and fury.  Marshall was Ares, the god of war and strategy.  Larsen was Atlas...he held the line together on his big, strong shoulders.  Carl Eller, though...he was Hades, the god of the underworld.  Dark, foreboding, dangerous would be good words to describe Eller. He was 6'6" 250 pounds of speed and meanness coming off the edge and around or through offensive tackles zeroing in on the quarterback or ball carrier.

After being drafted by he Vikings in 1964, Eller was elected to 6 pro bowls; he was first team all-pro 5 times and 2nd team twice.  He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1971.  He is in the Vikings Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He had 7 seasons where he rung up double digit sacks.  He recorded 1136.5 sacks for his career.

His post-football career has had its ups and downs.  Eller has had substance abuse issues that led to several arrests and at least on 60 day sentence to jail. Yet, he's turned his issues into a net positive by becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor, opening up several treatment centers in poorer areas with the highest rate of incarceration for drug offenses.  He wants to treat people's substance problems in a professional and caring way before they wind up spending time behind bars.

Carl Eller has done a lot on the football field and off that has been positive...with a determined scowl and growl.  All Hail, Carl Eller!

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