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Vikings by the Numbers

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Because there are no OTA's or really anything going on for our favorite team.  I thought I would duplicate something the Daily Norseman did awhile back.  Namely, who is the best or most significant players in team history to wear jersey numbers 1-99.  It's not a poll.  Just wanting to drum up some discussion.  Today, is jersey number 1!

Vikings that have worn the number 1:

  • Benny Ricardo (1983)
  • Chuck Nelson (1986 - 1988)
  • Warren Moon (1994 - 1996)
  • Gary Anderson (1998 - 2002)
  • Jose Cortez (2003 - 2004)
  • Paul Edinger (2005)

The Vikings haven't had anyone to wear this number for long, but a couple here standout to me.  Warren Moon was a FA signing coming from the Houston Oilers.  He is in the discussion about what NFL QB's had the best arms.  Besides  having a great arm, Moon was smart and durable.  Unfortunately, he didn't have a warm personality.  He's the best to wear the number.

The most significant is Gary Anderson.  He could lay legitimate claim to being the best Viking number 1, except that he missed a field goal that might've sent the Vikings to the Super Bowl after the 1998 season.  Unfortunately, this is what Gary will be remembered for.  Otherwise, he was a stellar kicker.

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I did like Chuck Nelson though....mediocre kicker, certainly, but I liked him.  :D

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Do you consider off-field behavior and/or post playing career behavior in the assessment of best or most significant?

Also, should their playing careers outside a Vikings uniform be considered? If so, Moon and Anderson were both among the best at their positions. However, they might not have been among the best at their positions when limited to the time period in which they wore the jersey.

Anderson had a FG percentage on 100% in the '98 regular season. That is an impressive accomplishment. After the '98 season in a Viking uniform he also held the record for point in a regular season. We all know about Anderson's game against the Falcons in the playoff.

Moon went to the Pro Bowl once wearing Vikings purple. I don't know that he did a lot of other notable things while wearing the jersey. He did have a remarkable career overall and was always underrated IMO. He did settle a sexual harassment case brought by a Vikings cheerleader out of court. Moon was also arrested for domestic violence in '95. After Moon's time with the Viking she had a couple other legal issues.

Picking the best #1 between these two would depend on the criteria used. If I was to wear a #1 Vikings jersey and could have either name on the back it would be a tough decision. Honestly, I wouldn't want to wear either of them. I would rather wear any of the other four names you listed; those four names do not have high profile black marks associated with the name.

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How was Anderson missing one kick a black mark?  The Vikings still had a 7-pt lead even missing the kick.  He didn't set the team up to fail on defense.  That loss was on Denny, not Anderson.  Never was on him, never will be.  Gary Anderson was amazing, especially for his age at the time.

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18 minutes ago, swede700 said:

How was Anderson missing one kick a black mark?  The Vikings still had a 7-pt lead even missing the kick.  He didn't set the team up to fail on defense.  That loss was on Denny, not Anderson.  Never was on him, never will be.  Gary Anderson was amazing, especially for his age at the time.

I tend to agree with you.  However, I don't know if it's the media or a segment of fans, but Anderson will always be scapegoated for that loss.  It's the same dynamic that associates the name Jim Marshall with running the wrong way. You ask people who were Vikings fans or media what they remember most about Gary Anderson...most of the answers are going to be missing the field goal in the '98 NFC Championship game.

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21 minutes ago, swede700 said:

How was Anderson missing one kick a black mark?  The Vikings still had a 7-pt lead even missing the kick.  He didn't set the team up to fail on defense.  That loss was on Denny, not Anderson.  Never was on him, never will be.  Gary Anderson was amazing, especially for his age at the time.

Whether or not you personally, or anyone else for that matter, see it as a black mark is pretty irrelevant in my opinion. Gary Anderson's name will forever be tied to that game and to that loss. The look on his face after missing that kick is an iconic moment in Vikings history, and really set the stage for the rest of the collapse afterward.

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13 minutes ago, JDBrocks said:

Whether or not you personally, or anyone else for that matter, see it as a black mark is pretty irrelevant in my opinion. Gary Anderson's name will forever be tied to that game and to that loss. The look on his face after missing that kick is an iconic moment in Vikings history, and really set the stage for the rest of the collapse afterward.

It wasn't even close to the level of Scott Norwood.  I can understand why some may find him identified with that loss, but the game was doomed to be lost when Denny had Randall take a knee.  It was Denny's lack of a killer instinct that led to that loss.  I suppose a casual fan will identify Gary with that loss, but he missed a kick with 2 minutes left on the clock.  If you can't defensively stop a team from going 70 yards in 1 minute (which was what it took for Atlanta to score), then you don't deserve to win.  Sorry...every time that subject is brought up, it just irks me all over again.  :D

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1 minute ago, swede700 said:

It wasn't even close to the level of Scott Norwood.  I can understand why some may find him identified with that loss, but the game was doomed to be lost when Denny had Randall take a knee.  It was Denny's lack of a killer instinct that led to that loss.  I suppose a casual fan will identify Gary with that loss, but he missed a kick with 2 minutes left on the clock.  If you can't defensively stop a team from going 70 yards in 1 minute (which was what it took for Atlanta to score), then you don't deserve to win.  Sorry...every time that subject is brought up, it just irks me all over again.  :D

If he makes that kick they win.

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15 minutes ago, JDBrocks said:

If he makes that kick they win.

You would think so, but porous as that defense was, I wouldn't have ruled it out that they would have found a way to give up 10 pts in 2 minutes.  It's that type of defense which makes me appreciate Zim more than some.  As fun as it was to light up defenses offensively, when the chips were down, the defense had no ability to answer the call, especially since there were only 3 members of that defense that were even any good and would have started on other teams (Randle, Eddie McDaniel, and Robert Griffith)...no offense to Jerry Ball, but he was at the tail-end of his career. 

Ok, moving on...#1 would still have to go to Warren Moon, despite his personal off-the field failings.  There were lots of players in the span of time from some of Jerry Burns' teams to Denny's to Tice's teams that had lots of personal off-the-field failings, which was sort of the impetus for Florio creating his long-ago team tallying off of the field incidents in which the Vikings and Bengals used to rule the roost.  Warren Moon was, by far as I'm concerned, the best quarterback of the Denny Green rotation of veteran QBs.  While he didn't have the most team success, he was the best QB.  

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Benito Concepcion "Benny" Ricardo (born January 4, 1954 in Asunción, Paraguay) is a former American football placekicker in the NFL[1] (1976-1984) for the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, and the San Diego Chargers. He played college football at San Diego State University. He is distinguished as being the first Paraguayan to play in the National Football League. As a Minnesota Viking, Ricardo led the NFC in scoring in 1983 with 108 points.

Ricardo is a sometimes-actor who also has appeared in the motion pictures North Dallas Forty and Wildcats. Ricardo is also a stand-up comedian and NFL and boxing commentator,[1] and the only bilingual announcer to have announced network events as both the lead announcer and color commentator in both Spanish and English. Ricardo has announced every major sporting event in the world while working for networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, MSG Networks, Westwood One, Integrated Media, Fightnow TV, Televisa, NBC, MultiVision Media, Top Rank, CSI Sports, Primetime, M1-Global, Affliction. As of 2014, Ricardo is a color commentator on CBS NFL broadcasts and also calls fights for CBS Sports Network and ESPN. Ricardo is married to former Playboy Playmate Monique Noel.[1] 

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2 hours ago, swede700 said:

How was Anderson missing one kick a black mark?  The Vikings still had a 7-pt lead even missing the kick.  He didn't set the team up to fail on defense.  That loss was on Denny, not Anderson.  Never was on him, never will be.  Gary Anderson was amazing, especially for his age at the time.

I do not disagree with you. However, the reality is that if I was wearing a Gary Anderson jersey I would be dealing with constant heckling. I simply wouldn't want to deal with that. Perhaps that makes me a flawed human. If so, I have to deal with that reality.

Anderson had a great career. You don't need to convince me of that.

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The only thing I remember about Paul Edinger is the game winning 56 yard kick he made against the Packers in 2005. 

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8 minutes ago, byuvike88 said:

The only thing I remember about Paul Edinger is the game winning 56 yard kick he made against the Packers in 2005. 

I had forgotten about that. It is a compelling case indeed for being the greatest #1 of them all.

Anyone else make a game winning play against the most hated Packers from Green Bay?

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1 hour ago, byuvike88 said:

The only thing I remember about Paul Edinger is the game winning 56 yard kick he made against the Packers in 2005. 

didn't he have a uniques kicking style, or preliminary stance at least? didn't he start out with his back to the goalpost?

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Vikings that have worn the number 2:

  • Teddy Garcia (1989)
  • Leo Araguz (2003)
  • Darren Bennett (2004 - 2005)
  • Kai Forbath (2016 - 2017)

A pretty "meh" group.  Forbath is the most notable from this list.

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