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Vikings Thru Time

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I wanted to do something to help some of the younger fans on here understand the history of our great team. So I was thinking that maybe some of us older fans could post about some the greats from the past. And I don't mean just stats but maybe a story about them that you heard or saw. I've been a fan of football for 33 years and I've been a Vikings fan for as long. I just think it might be fun.

I'll start in honor of the passing of Chris Doleman. I remember I was about 9 years old and I really go into collecting football cards and I remember I got a Chris Doleman Gameday card and I thought it was the best thing ever. That was right around the time he led the league in sacks with 21. So I thought I was the coolest person ever.

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This is a great idea Vikings209!  Thanks for starting this off.

My Dad was a Chicago Bears fan.  One Sunday, in the fall of 1968, when I was 7, I came into the living room of our modest home in Richmond, VA and noticed that my Dad was watching the Bears.  There opponent that day was the Minnesota Vikings.  I remember watching the Vikings beat the Bears, but what really drew my attention was the play of Viking QB Joe Kapp.  I remember thinking that he was not like any other football player, or any other athlete for that matter, that I had seen before.  He wasn't gifted with a great arm or athletic prowess.  Yet, I could tell, even at 7 years old, he was all heart.  He would've chopped off an ear, or plucked out an eye for a first down!  His teammates responded to him and the Vikings won a lot of games that year.

Because Kapp brought my attention to the Vikings, I began to notice other players on the team of that era...like Bill Brown, Wally Hilgenberg, Mick Tinglehoff, Gene Washington, Bob Grimm, Roy Winston, Paul Krause, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and especially Alan Page.  Page is my all-time favorite Viking.  Yet, I can honestly say, if it hadn't been for the play of Joe Kapp, I might have followed my Dad as a Bears fan, or followed most football fans in Virginia and become a Redskins fan.  But, I was hooked on the Vikings and have been a fan, through thick and thin, for almost 52 years!  One of these days I will see the Purple and Gold win the Super Bowl...and I will remember sitting on that living room couch with my Dad, watching Joe Kapp and the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears and having my first meaningful connection with sports.

Edited by Virginia Viking

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34 minutes ago, Virginia Viking said:

This is a great idea Vikings209!  Thanks for starting this off.

My Dad was a Chicago Bears fan.  One Sunday, in the fall of 1968, when I was 7, I came into the living room of our modest home in Richmond, VA and noticed that my Dad was watching the Bears.  There opponent that day was the Minnesota Vikings.  I remember watching the Vikings beat the Bears, but what really drew my attention was the play of Viking QB Joe Kapp.  I remember thinking that he was not like any other football player, or any other athlete for that matter, that I had seen before.  He wasn't gifted with a great arm or athletic prowess.  Yet, I could tell, even at 7 years old, he was all heart.  He would've chopped off an ear, or plucked out an eye for a first down!  His teammates responded to him and the Vikings won a lot of games that year.

Because Kapp brought my attention to the Vikings, I began to notice other players on the team of that era...like Bill Brown, Wally Hilgenberg, Mick Tinglehoff, Gene Washington, Bob Grimm, Roy Winston, Paul Krause, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and especially Alan Page.  Page is my all-time favorite Viking.  Yet, I can honestly say, if it hadn't been for the play of Joe Kapp, I might have followed my Dad as a Bears fan, or followed most football fans in Virginia and become a Redskins fan.  But, I was hooked on the Vikings and have been a fan, through thick and thin, for almost 52 years!  One of these days I will see the Purple and Gold win the Super Bowl...and I will remember sitting on that living room couch with my Dad, watching Joe Kapp and the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears and having my first meaningful connection with sports.

In high school I got to meet Joe Kapp he was speaking during Spanish heritage month and what it was like being Mexican-American growing up in the 40s and 50s . He was a pretty nice guy and signed an old jersey that my stepmom had. He was her favorite player. 

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I went to high school in the mid 70s in the western suburbs while the purple people eaters were taking the Vikings to four Super Bowls. It wasn't uncommon to run into players during that time. I loaded groceries from Lund's into Alan Page and his wife's car numerous times. I played in a charity basketball game against Bobby Bryant, Brent McClanahan and others. Met both Chuck Foreman and Greg Coleman on separate occasions at the mall. But maybe the coolest experience was meeting nearly the whole team in a Minneapolis airport food court on Christmas day 1999. I was traveling with my 14 year old daughter and she calmed my nerves as we spoke with Randall Cunningham, Robert Smith, and John Randle while getting a slice of pizza. Randle had everyone laughing. These larger than life celebrities made us feel every bit as special as them, and I will never forget it or root for another team in any sport with as much joy and respect as I do for the Vikings!

Edited by DisplacedViking

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10 hours ago, Virginia Viking said:

This is a great idea Vikings209!  Thanks for starting this off.

My Dad was a Chicago Bears fan.  One Sunday, in the fall of 1968, when I was 7, I came into the living room of our modest home in Richmond, VA and noticed that my Dad was watching the Bears.  There opponent that day was the Minnesota Vikings.  I remember watching the Vikings beat the Bears, but what really drew my attention was the play of Viking QB Joe Kapp.  I remember thinking that he was not like any other football player, or any other athlete for that matter, that I had seen before.  He wasn't gifted with a great arm or athletic prowess.  Yet, I could tell, even at 7 years old, he was all heart.  He would've chopped off an ear, or plucked out an eye for a first down!  His teammates responded to him and the Vikings won a lot of games that year.

Because Kapp brought my attention to the Vikings, I began to notice other players on the team of that era...like Bill Brown, Wally Hilgenberg, Mick Tinglehoff, Gene Washington, Bob Grimm, Roy Winston, Paul Krause, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and especially Alan Page.  Page is my all-time favorite Viking.  Yet, I can honestly say, if it hadn't been for the play of Joe Kapp, I might have followed my Dad as a Bears fan, or followed most football fans in Virginia and become a Redskins fan.  But, I was hooked on the Vikings and have been a fan, through thick and thin, for almost 52 years!  One of these days I will see the Purple and Gold win the Super Bowl...and I will remember sitting on that living room couch with my Dad, watching Joe Kapp and the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears and having my first meaningful connection with sports.

Bill Brown was just like you described Joe Kapp.  And he wasn't that way because he followed Kapp's lead.  Like Kapp, he was born that way.  I became a Vikings fan when they were awarded the franchise at the beginning of the '60s, and have been one ever since, despite moving to Europe in 1972.  Thank goodness for The Internet.  I saw all  the great ones,  Page, Eller, Marshall, Tarkington, Brown, Foreman, Kapp, Randle, Doleman, Krause, Cunningham. Peterson, Moss, Carter.....etc.  I've followed The NFL and CFL since about 1950, when almost everyone played 2-way (both a position on offence, and one on defence).  And I have to say that "The Purple People Eaters" were the very best front four in football history.  But the players, nowadays, are stronger, quicker, faster, have more stamina, are more skilled than ever before.  I played hockey for twenty years, starting before Hockey Canada even started requiring all youth players to use helmets ('64).  We didn't have weight machines for training.  We had to use free weights.  Weight-gaining nutrition shakes didn't exist.  I got strong by lifting 100 lb. potato sacks at my father's store.  For football players it was similar.

One thing I CAN say, however, is that great players from any era would have been great in any other, IF they had had the more modern training methods, equipment, etc. of the more modern times.

Fran Tarkington, Alan Page, John Randle, and Jim Marshall are my Vikings' Mount Rushmore

 

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The only former Minnesota Viking I've ever met in person was Bill Brown.  I may have told the story before (it may have been when Bill passed away a little while ago), but my grandmother was in the hospital, had to have been some time in the late 90s, at Abbott-Northwestern.  When I went to visit her, my grandfather introduced me to Bill, as he knew him from when he had been an usher at Met Stadium sometime in the 60s.  Bill was there visiting his daughter (Rich Gannon's wife) who was there I believe either giving birth to one of their daughters or some other reason.  Bill was one of the nicest people I have met.    

My most vivid early memory of the VIkings though (and it must be due to the traumatic nature of it) was that dreadful 1984 season with Les Steckel as the head coach.  I was around 10-11 years old and was just devastated at how the entire team had just given up.  I even gave up....I became a Rams and Seahawks fan for the next 2 years (mainly because of Dickerson and Curt Warner).  It was only the magical run to the NFC Championship Game in '87 with that win over the 49ers that brought me back.  I haven't left again.  

Edited by swede700

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