Minnesota Vikings

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Posted by motoman 03/15/2009 @ 12:07

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Minnesota Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels has little to say about Brett ... - Pioneer Press
The Vikings acquired Rosenfels in a trade with the Houston Texans in February. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American in a story published Sunday that "there's absolutely no substance to all the speculation" about his client...
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by Eric Haigh (Scribe) Last season was one of twists and turns for the Minnesota Vikings, with some fans forgetting that this was a team that won a division title for the first time since 2000. Minnesota started off 1-3, but behind more steady...
Vikings Willams' Await Decision on Motion Heard in starcaps Case - NFL GridIron Gab
The two NFL players aptly nicknamed “The Williams Wall “ anchor the leagues best run defense for the Minnesota Vikings. Originally, a court date of June 15 was issued to appeal the decision to suspend the two players for the first four games of the...
Minnesota Vikings Position Battles to Watch as Training Camp ... - Bleacher Report
The Minnesota State University: Mankato has played host to the Minnesota Vikings training camp ever since 1966 (before that, Bemidji State University played host to the Minnesota Vikings training camp from 1961-1965), and this year will be no different...
What are you thinking, Brett Favre? Vikings? - Albert Lea Tribune
Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer, wearing a Packers Brett Favre jersey, poses with the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders at the set of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” when the TV show taped an episode in Freeborn County. Maybe if I, the person who...
Report: Favre won't sign with Vikings - Los Angeles Times
The Minnesota Vikings' dalliance with Brett Favre has yet to reach the stage of face-to-face, close-the-deal talks. Vikings Coach Brad Childress remained at team headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., Thursday despite reports he was to travel south for...
Talks between Winfield, Vikings break down - Yahoo! Sports
Negotiations between cornerback Antoine Winfield(notes) and the Minnesota Vikings have broken off according to a report in St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Pioneer Press reported the agent for Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield said in a text message...
The Minnesota Vikings Players on the Bubble Heading Into Training Camp - Bleacher Report
Which ever the case, the Minnesota Vikings have certain players on the verge of finding themselves either out of a job or outgunned for their position in 2009. Some veterans are also finding themselves in trouble as they are being outplayed on the...
Fantasy Files: Daunte Culpepper, 2000 - Bleacher Report
by John Lorge (Columnist) In 1999 the Minnesota Vikings made Daunte Culpepper the 11th pick of the NFL Draft, one year after drafting Randy Moss. Amongst the names of Tim Couch, Donovan mcnabb, Akili Smith, and Cade mcnown, Culpepper was largely...
Minnesota Vikings '09 Position Analysis: Linebackers - Bleacher Report
by Eric Haigh (Scribe) Thanks to a veteran leader, a young guy who always is around the ball, and a familiar face, the Vikings linebackers were able to pick up the slack and finish the season ranked number one against the rush....

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings helmet

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings compete in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Prior to divisional realignment in 2002, they had been a member of the Central Division, also known as the Black & Blue Division. The Vikings have won one NFL championship (Pre-1970 AFL-NFL Merger), but subsequently lost 23-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings were the first team to both play in and lose four Super Bowls. The Vikings have won their division 17 times, third most among teams currently playing in the NFL.

The club was founded in 1961 after the ownership group withdrew membership to the American Football League and agreed to join the NFL as an expansion team. The team played home games at Metropolitan Stadium through the 1981 NFL season and have played their home games at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (the home of the American League baseball team Minnesota Twins) since 1982.

Pro football in the Twin Cities began with the Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets, an NFL team that played intermittently in the 1920s-30s. However, a new professional team in the area did not surface again until August 1959, when three Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter were awarded a franchise in the new American Football League. Five months later in January 1960, the ownership group along with Bernie Ridder forfeited its AFL membership and then was awarded the National Football League's 14th franchise with play to begin in 1961. Ole Haugsrud was added to the NFL team ownership because of an agreement he had with the NFL since the 1920s when he sold his Duluth Eskimos team back to the league. The agreement allowed him 10% of any future Minnesota team.

The team was officially named the Minnesota Vikings on September 27, 1960; the name is partly meant to reflect Minnesota's place as a center of Scandinavian American culture. From the start, the Vikings embraced an energetic marketing program that produced a first-year season ticket sales of nearly 26,000 and an average home attendance of 34,586, about 85 percent of the capacity of 40,800 for Metropolitan Stadium. Eventually Met Stadium capacity was increased to 47,900. The search for the first head coach had the team court then-Northwestern University head coach Ara Parseghian, who according to Minneapolis Star writer Jim Klobuchar -- the Vikings' first beat reporter for that newspaper -- visited team management in the Twin Cities under the condition that his visit was to be kept secret from his current employer. His cover was blown by local columnist Sid Hartman who reported the visit and forced Parseghian to issue denials. Philadelphia Eagles assistant Nick Skorich and a man with Minnesota ties who was working in the CFL, Bud Grant, were also candidates until a different Eagle, quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, was hired early in 1961. Van Brocklin had just finished his career as a player on a high note, having defeated the Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL championship.

With the first overall selection in the 1961 NFL draft, the Vikings selected running back Tommy Mason of Tulane. They took a young quarterback from the University of Georgia named Fran Tarkenton in the third round. Notable veterans acquired in the offseason were Norm Snead and Hugh McElhenny. The Vikings won their first regular season game, defeating the Chicago Bears 37-13 on Opening Day 1961. Tarkenton came off the bench to throw four touchdown passes and run for another to lead the upset. Reality set in as the expansion team lost its next seven games on their way to a 3-11 record.

On March 7, 1967, quarterback Fran Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants for a 1st and 2nd-round choice in 1967, a 1st-round choice in 1968 and a 2nd-round choice in 1969. With the picks Minnesota selected Clinton Jones and Bob Grim in 1967, Ron Yary in 1968 and Ed White in 1969. Three days later on March 10th, the Vikings hired new head coach Bud Grant to replace Van Brocklin, who resigned following the 1966 NFL season. Grant came to the Vikings from the Canadian Football League as head coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who he led to four Grey Cup Championships in 10 years. During the late 1960s, the Vikings were building a powerful defense known as the Purple People Eaters, led by Alan Page, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, and Jim Marshall. In 1968, that stingy defense earned the Vikings their first Central Division Title and their first playoff berth.

In 1969 the Vikings went 12–2, the best record in the NFL. The team had 12 straight victories, the longest single-season winning streak in 35 years. The Vikings defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27–7, in the NFL Championship Game on Jan. 4, 1970, at Metropolitan Stadium. Minnesota became the first modern NFL expansion team to win an NFL Championship Game, and earned a berth in Super Bowl IV. The heavily favored Vikings lost that game to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-7.

The team continued to shine in 1970 and 1971 as their "Purple People Eater" defense led them back to the playoffs. In 1971 the defense was impressive enough that Alan Page won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award given by the Associated Press. He was the first defensive player to win the award.

In 1972 the Vikings traded Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements and a 1st-round draft choice in 1972 and 1973 to the New York Giants to reacquire the popular Tarkenton. While the acquisitions of Fran Tarkenton and wide receiver John Gilliam improved the passing attack, the running game was inconsistent and the Vikings finished with a disappointing 7-7 record. The Vikings addressed the problem by drafting running back Chuck Foreman with their first pick in the 1973 draft. Co-owner Bill Boyer died in 1972 and was replaced on the team's board of directors by his son-in-law Jack Steele.

The Vikings won their first 9 games of 1973 and finished the season with a 12-2 record. The Vikings then advanced to their second Super Bowl in franchise history, Super Bowl VIII, against the Miami Dolphins at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. However, the Dolphins prevailed, 24-7.

The Vikings won the Central Division again in 1974 with a 10–4 record, which was a tie for the best record in the conference. In the playoffs they built on their cold weather reputation, defeating both the St. Louis Cardinals 30–14 and the Los Angeles Rams 14–10 in frozen Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings played in their second straight Super Bowl, Super Bowl IX (3rd overall), losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16–6, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on January 12, 1975.

In 1975, the Vikings, led by Tarkenton and running back Chuck Foreman, got off to a 10-0 start and easily won another division title. However, the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, 17–14, on a controversial touchdown pass from the Cowboys' quarterback Roger Staubach to wide receiver Drew Pearson that became known as the Hail Mary. The touchdown was controversial because many felt that Pearson pushed off on Vikings defensive back Nate Wright, which is pass interference, a violation of the rules. As the Metropolitan Stadium crowd was stunned to learn that no penalty was called, debris was thrown on the field for several minutes. One bottle struck a game official, rendering him unconscious.

The Vikings played in Super Bowl XI, their third Super Bowl (4th overall) in 4 years, against the Oakland Raiders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California,on January 9, 1977. The Vikings, however, couldn't break their bad luck in the Super Bowl. Minnesota lost, 32–14.

In 1977, the Vikings again won the Central Division with a 9-5 record and advanced to their 4th NFC Championship Game in 5 years, but were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Cowboys, 23–6, at Texas Stadium. By 1978, age was taking its toll on the Vikings, but they still made the playoffs with an 8–7–1 record. There was no more playoff magic as the Rams finally defeated the Vikings, 34-10 in Los Angeles. Quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired following the season holding league passer records in attempts (6,467), completions (3,686), yards (47,003), and touchdowns (342).

In December, 1979, ground is broken for construction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

On May 15, 1981, the Vikings moved into a new facility in suburban Eden Prairie that houses the team's offices, locker room and practice fields. The complex was named "Winter Park" after Max Winter, one of the Vikings' founders, who served as the team's president from 1965 to 1987. The Vikings played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium on December 20th to conclude the 1981 NFL season by losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 10–6.

The Vikings played their first game at the Metrodome in a preseason matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on August 21, 1982 in a game Minnesota won, 7–3. The first touchdown in the new facility was scored by Joe Senser on an 11 yard pass from Tommy Kramer. The first regular-season game in the Metrodome was the 1982 opener on September 12, when the Vikings defeated Tampa Bay, 17–10. Rickey Young scored the first regular-season touchdown in the facility on a 3 yard run in the 2nd quarter.

On January 27, 1984, Bud Grant retired as head coach of the Vikings. With a career regular-season record of 151–87–5 (.632) in 17 seasons with Minnesota, Grant led the franchise to 12 playoff appearances, 11 division titles, and four Super Bowls. Les Steckel, who was an offensive assistant with the Vikings for 5 seasons, was then named the 3rd head coach in franchise history. Steckel, who came to the Vikings in 1979 after working as an assistant with the 49ers, was the youngest head coach in the NFL in 1984 at age 38. However, the Vikings lost a franchise-worst 13 games. After the season Steckel was fired, and on December 18, 1984, Bud Grant was rehired as the head coach of the Vikings.

On January 6, 1986, following the 1985 season, Bud Grant re-retired as head coach of the Vikings. At the time of his retirement he was the 6th winningest coach in NFL history with 168 career wins, including playoffs. In 18 seasons, he led the Vikings to a 158–96–5 regular season record. Longtime Vikings assistant coach Jerry Burns was named the 4th head coach in team history on January 7, 1986. He served as the Vikings' offensive coordinator from 1968–85, when the team won 11 division titles and played in 4 Super Bowls. In his first season, the Vikings led by the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Tommy Kramer, went 9-7, their first winning record in 4 years. On August 2, 1986, Fran Tarkenton was the first player who played the majority of his career with the Vikings, to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Following the strike-shortened 1987 season, the 8-7 Vikings --- who had finished 8–4 in regular games but 0-3 using strike-replacement players --- pulled two upsets in the playoffs by beating the two teams with the best regular season records. They beat the 12–3 New Orleans Saints, 44–10, at the Louisiana Superdome in the Wild Card Playoff game. The following week, in the Divisional Playoff game, they beat the 13–2 San Francisco 49ers, 36-24;, at Candlestick Park. During that game Anthony Carter set the all-time record for most receiving yards in a playoff game with 227 yards. The Vikings played the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship Game on January 17, 1988, at RFK Stadium. Trailing 17–10, the Vikings drove to the Redskins' six yard line with a little over a minute left in the game but failed to get the ball into the end zone. Darren Nelson dropped a pass from Wade Wilson at the goal line to officially end the Vikings' hopes of a Super Bowl.

The Vikings would make what would be considered its biggest personnel blunder in team history. On October 12, 1989, the Vikings acquired Herschel Walker from Dallas. The final result of the trade gave the Vikings Walker, a 3rd round choice Mike Jones, a 5th round choice Reggie Thornton and 10th-round choice Pat Newman in 1990 and a 3rd-round choice in 1991 Jake Reed, while Dallas received Issiac Holt, David Howard, Darrin Nelson, Jesse Solomon, Alex Stewart, a 1st, 2nd and 6th-round choice in 1990, a 1st and 2nd-round choice in 1991 and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd-round choice in 1992. Two of those selections turned into Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson. Herschel's performance fell short of expectations in his 3 seasons with the Vikings, while the Cowboys rode their draft picks to 3 Super Bowl victories in the early to mid 1980s.

On December 3, 1991, Jerry Burns announced his retirement. In 6 seasons as Head Coach of the Vikings, Burns compiled a career record of 52–43 (.547). He also led Minnesota to 3 playoff appearances, including a division title and an NFC Championship Game. Dennis Green was later named the 5th Head Coach in team history. He came to Minnesota after turning around a struggling Stanford University football program as head coach from 1989–91. In his 10 seasons as the coach of the Vikings, Green won 4 NFC Central division titles, had 8 playoff appearances, 2 NFC Championship game appearances and an all-time record of 97–62.

1998 was a year to remember for the franchise. With a spectacular offense led by quarterback Brad Johnson, who after being injured was replaced by Randall Cunningham, who had his best NFL season, running back Robert Smith, veteran wide receiver Cris Carter, and explosive rookie Randy Moss, the Vikings set a then-NFL record by scoring a total of 556 points, never scoring fewer than 24 in a game. The record was later broken by the 2007 New England Patriots, a team of which, not coincidentally, Randy Moss was also a member. The Vikings finished the season 15–1, their only loss by 3 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week nine. In the playoffs, the Vikings rolled past the Arizona Cardinals 41–21, and came into the Metrodome heavily favored for their NFC title showdown with the Atlanta Falcons, which lost only one game more than the Vikings, at 14-2. However, kicker Gary Anderson, who had just completed the first perfect regular season in NFL history (not missing a single extra point or field goal attempt the entire year), missed a 38 yard attempt with less than 2 minutes remaining. That allowed the Falcons to tie the game. Though the Vikings won the coin toss, Atlanta went on to win it 30–27 in overtime on Morten Andersen's field goal, which was, coincidentally, also a 38-yarder. The Vikings became the first 15–1 team to fail to reach the Super Bowl (in this case, it was Super Bowl XXXIII). The Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

Cunningham resumed duties again in 1999, but after a lukewarm 2–4 start, Jeff George was given the starting job. He finished the season with an 8–2 record, and led the Vikings into the postseason once again, with an overall team record of 10–6. Minnesota beat Dallas in the Wild Card game 27–10, and faced playoff newcomer Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional matchup. The game was a shootout which Minnesota led 17–14 at halftime, but the Rams outscored Minnesota 35–20 in the second half to win 49–37. St. Louis would go on to win Super Bowl XXXIV.

In 2000, the Vikings went 11–5. The Vikings were 11–2 after 14 weeks, but slumped briefly, losing their last three to the Rams, Packers and Colts while starting quarterback Daunte Culpepper was hampered by injury. Nonetheless, the Vikings made the playoffs for the fifth straight year. After easily beating the Saints in the Divisional game 34–16, they went to New York to face the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game. Though they were the road team, the Vikings were actually favored to win the game (since most considered their 12–2 record with Culpepper more indicative than their 0–3 record when he was out). But the Vikings were humiliated by the Giants 41–0, the worst loss in franchise history. Robert Smith, who ran for a team record (and NFL best) 1521 yards that season, retired at the end of the year after only playing eight NFL seasons.

In 2001, after a disappointing 5–11 season, the Vikings bought out the contract of Dennis Green, despite his successful coaching tenure with the team. Mike Tice coached the final game of 2001, losing to the Ravens. Tice was named the permanent coach after the season, but he would not lead the Vikings back to the playoffs until 2004.

During the 2003 season, the Vikings came close to getting into the playoffs. However, the Arizona Cardinals completed a game winning touchdown with 0:00 left knocking the Vikings out of the playoffs. The moment of Arizona's touchdown was actually the first moment the entire season in which the Vikings hadn't led their division. The Vikings became the second team in football history to miss the playoffs after getting off to a 6-0 start; the other was the Washington Redskins.

In 2004, Daunte Culpepper amassed MVP-like statistics, throwing for 4,717 passing yards (leading the NFL), 39 passing touchdowns (a Viking record), and 5,123 total yards (an NFL record). In the wild card matchup, the Vikings defeated the rival Green Bay Packers in their first-ever playoff meeting, 31-17. In doing so, the Vikings became the second team in NFL history to have a .500 record (8-8) in the regular season and win a playoff game (The St. Louis Rams did the same thing only a day earlier). In the divisional round, the Vikings were defeated by the eventual NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

On March 2, 2005, Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was traded to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris and the Raiders' first round draft pick. After struggling to a disappointing 2–5 start to the 2005 season, Vikings lost quarterback Daunte Culpepper to a season ending knee injury. This injury was a very significant part to this Minnesota Vikings team due to the fact they also lost Randy Moss. The dynamic duo from years earlier were now lost and a new leader would eventually emerge. The Vikings finished the 2005 season with a 9–7 record, one win away from the playoffs.

Head Coach Mike Tice was let go after the 2005 season and was replaced by Brad Childress. This was one of many significant front office moves made by the new ownership team, led by Zygi Wilf.

Minnesota began the 2006 season 4-2 (and Childress becoming the first coach in Vikings history to start 2–0 in his first year), but would finish the year at 6–10, tying for the 7th worst record in the NFL and receiving the 7th pick in the NFL Draft; with it, the Vikings selected Adrian Peterson out of the University of Oklahoma.

Peterson's first career TD was a 60 yard screen pass in his first career game against the Atlanta Falcons. When the Minnesota Vikings played the Chicago Bears in the first of their two games, Peterson broke the record for single game All-Purpose (rushing, receiving, kick returning) yards (361, 224 of them rushing yards). In Week 9 of the 2007 season, Peterson would break the NFL record set by Jamal Lewis in 2003 for most rushing yards in one game (296 rushing yards against the San Diego Chargers). Despite a strong push in the middle of the 2007 season winning five straight games, the Vikings lost their final two games to finish the season at 8–8, missing the playoffs. In week 13 of the 2008 season against the Bears, Gus Frerotte hooked up with Bernard Berrian for a 99 yard touchdown pass after an epic goal line stand by the Vikings. This was the longest play in Vikings history. Adrian Peterson has 1,311 yards so far, first in the NFL in rushing yards. The Vikings are 7–3 under Gus Frerotte. A journeyman from the Chicago Bears, Bernard Berrian leads the team in receiving yards with 795, and Bobby Wade leads the team in catches. After Week 14 Vikings had a very tough game against the winless Detroit Lions who gave them a run for their money. The Lions led through half time, although the Vikings managed a 20–16 win. Frerotte was injured in the game and still has the starting job if he is able to play. In Week 15 the Vikings beat the Arizona Cardinals 35 to 14. Tarvaris Jackson started this game and threw for four touchdowns. Bernard Berrian caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown. Adrian Peterson broke the franchise record for most single season rush yards. In Week 16, the Vikings faced the Atlanta Falcons at the Metrodome, looking to clinch the NFC North with a victory. However, they suffered from 7 fumbles, 4 of them resulting in turnovers, and lost 24–17. Starter Tarvaris Jackson had another good game for Minnesota, as did tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who caught 2 touchdowns from Jackson. The Vikings clinched the NFC North championship by defeating the New York Giants 20–19 in week 17 of the 2008 NFL Season, when kicker Ryan Longwell was successful in his attempt at the game-winning field goal.

On January 4th, 2009, the Vikings hosted the Philadelphia Eagles for an NFC Wild-Card match-up. The Vikings held the Eagles 14–16 at halftime, but the Eagles, coming off of a 44–6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, defeated the Vikings, 26-14.

Since 2006, the Vikings are particularly known for their strong defense against the run (#1 in the NFL in 2006, 2007, and 2008), anchored by the so-called “Williams Wall” consisting of defensive tackle Kevin Williams and nose tackle Pat Williams (no relation).

The team is currently owned by Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf, Jeffrey Wilf, Leonard Wilf, David Mandelbaum, Alan Landis and Reggie Fowler. The Vikings have been conducting summer training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato since 1966. From 1961-65 they held camp at Bemidji State University.

From the team's debut in 1961 to 1995, the Vikings' logos and uniforms essentially remained the same. One of the team's two primary logos consists of a profile of a blond norseman, while the other consists of a white Viking horn.

The team's helmet is purple with a Viking horn logo on each side. The horn logo was slightly revised in 2006. The original uniform design consisted of white pants, gold trim, and either purple or white jerseys. From 1961 to 1964, the Vikings wore purple pants with their white jerseys (The Vikings, with their new uniform, still wear, on occasion, purple pants with yellow and white trim). In a design that was unique among American football teams, the white jerseys had a completely different stripe pattern, which was over the shoulders, than the purple ones, which was around the sleeve cuff. These unique shoulder stripes on the white jerseys did not appear until 1969, the year they went to their first Super Bowl. There have also been minor changes to the uniform design throughout the years, such as changing the color of the facemask from gray to white (1980), and then to purple (1985); and adding the Norseman logo to the sleeves (1996). The Vikings wore black shoes until Les Steckel became the coach in 1984. In 2006 team returned to black shoes for first time since the 1983 season.

During the 1964 season, the Vikings along with several other NFL teams wore their white jerseys for home games to allow their fans to see what the other teams primary jerseys looked like. The Lions played at Metropolitan Stadium on October 11. The Lions only brought their white jerseys. The Vikings had also brought their white jerseys to the stadium. The team practiced at Midway Stadium in St. Paul and that is where they stored their equipment. Both teams started the game in their white jerseys. By the second quarter the Vikings had been able to get their purple jerseys to Met Stadium. The team changed jerseys on the sidelines and finished the game in purple jerseys and purple pants. It wasn't until 43 years later, on December 17, 2007 (a Monday Night Football game versus the Chicago Bears) that the Vikings again donned all purple jerseys and pants.

The team's uniforms were redesigned in 2006, the first significant change in the franchise's 46-year history. Although the team colors remained the same, trim lines were added to the outside shoulders and sleeves, and the sides of the jerseys and pants. In addition the horn on the helmet was slightly more defined. Included in the new design are both white and purple pants.

The team wore black armbands for the last four games in 1978 in memory of Jack "Jocko" Nelson an assistant coach who died during the season. In 1985 the team wore a 25 years patch on their jerseys. In 1989, they wore a "40 for 60" patch honoring the 1969 NFL championship team. They wore a 35 years patch in 1995, 40 years in 2000 and 45 years in 2005. They also wore patches in 1999 for assistant coach Chip Myers who died in the offseason and in 2001 for Korey Stringer. The Vikings like the other teams wore NFL 50 and 75 year patches in 1969 and 1994.

The current team mascot is Ragnar (played by Joseph Juranitch). Ragnar has been working for the Vikings since 1994, and claims to be the most widely-recognized mascot in the world. Jurantich admits to being somewhat of an eccentric—he holds the current world record for fastest time shaving a beard with an axe. Ragnar drives onto the field at the beginning of the game dressed in Viking garb, on a motorcycle, while a cheerleader used to ride a snowmobile.

After several failed attempts at developing an official team-owned mascot, the Vikings finally introduced Viktor the Viking during the 2007 Vikings' season. Team officials had long indicated that they were after a mascot concept that would primarily appeal to the team's younger fan base. Viktor the Viking, a muscle-bound, blonde-haired and mustachioed character wears a Vikings' #1 jersey and an oversized Vikings' helmet with protruding horns and a small yellow nose guard.

During the 1970s, 1980s, Hub Meeds dressed as a Viking and served as the team mascot.

Another mascot associated with the Vikings was "Vikadontis Rex," a purple foam dinosaur. Vikadontis was the official mascot of the Minnesota Vikings Children's Fund and took part in the 1995 Celebrity Mascot Olympics. Vikadontis was retired starting with the 2000 season.

Viking fans are known to dress up in "Helga hats", or purple hats with white horns and blond braids, mimicking the helmets popularly (but incorrectly) believed to have been worn by Viking warriors. The original Helga Hats are still hand assembled in the Twin Cities area; however, some vendors have since imported other versions from overseas in recent years.

During home games at the Metrodome, the Vikings Gjallarhorn is loudly played and sounds often after the team has a big play or scores a touchdown. In addition, a flash cannon fires upon Vikings touchdowns.

The Vikings' flagship radio station is KFAN-AM (1130). The games are also heard on the "KFAN Radio Network" in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota, as well as many other outlets. Paul Allen has been the play-by-play announcer since the 2002 NFL season and Pete Bercich is the analyst, who began his first season in 2007.

Telecasts of preseason games not shown on national networks are aired on KSTP-TV (Channel 5) in the Twin Cities with Ari Wolfe doing play-by-play.

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1989 Minnesota Vikings season

1989 was the 29th year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 70th regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eight wins and eight losses.

In 1989, at the height of his NFL career, the Cowboys traded him to the Minnesota Vikings for a total of five players (LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart) and six draft picks (which led to Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson). This was judged to be one of the turning points in the rise of the Cowboys to the top echelon of the NFL. Walker's trade was widely perceived as an exceptionally poor move considering what the Vikings had to give up in order to get him, and remains one of the most frequently vilified roster moves of the team's history. The Vikings coaches reluctantly accepted Walker after the trade and never totally used the tool they had been given. Scout.com says, "but Walker was never used properly by the coaching brain trust (a total oxymoron in this case)".

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Minnesota Vikings seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Minnesota Vikings American football franchise of the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Vikings' franchise from 1961 to present, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches.

The Vikings won one NFL Championship in 1969 and were the last team crowned NFL Champions before the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970. The franchise has been conference champions three times since the merger, but have never won the Super Bowl. The Vikings have been divisional champions 16 times, third to the Chicago Bears (17) and Green Bay Packers (19). In their 47-year history, the Vikings have played 752 regular and post-season games and have appeared in the post-season 24 times.

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2005 Minnesota Vikings season

2005 was the 45th year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 86th regular season of the National Football League.

Red McCombs sold the Minnesota Vikings to a group led by Zygi Wilf in May 2005. Wilf was originally going to be a limited partner to Reggie Fowler. However Fowler was not able to purchase the team. Wilf then became the lead owner and Fowler is one of a group of ownership partners.

Minnesota traded WR Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris and the Raiders' first and seventh round picks of the 2005 NFL Draft. With the first round pick (number 7) they selected WR Troy Williamson of South Carolina. A common misconception is the Vikings freed a ton of salary cap space by trading Moss. The reality is they were already well under the salary cap - more than $30 million in fact - and actually had to absorb about $7-10 million just to trade Moss. But they still had around $20 million in cap space and signed 5 new defensive starters to shore up their previously 28th ranked defense. The Vikings fan base wondered if this was the franchise's biggest blunder in team history or one of their greatest moves.

The Vikings started off by losing their first two games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24-13) and the Cincinnati Bengals (37-8). They would win in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints (33-16), but then they would go on to lose their next two road games to the Atlanta Falcons (30-10) and their division rival Chicago Bears (28-3). The Vikings would win at home against fellow division rival Green Bay Packers 23-20 by winning the same way the Packers did last season, which was a last second field goal. However, the Vikes had little to celebrate when in the next week- not only did they lose to the Carolina Panthers 38-13 on the road, but they also lost their star QB Daunte Culpepper for the season with a knee injury. Culpepper had thrown twice as many interceptions as touchdowns up at that point. At this point the Vikings were 2-5.

Taking Culpepper's place would be Brad Johnson (Viking from 1992-98 and quarterback of the Super Bowl XXXVII champion Buccaneers) and, upon taking over, led the Vikings to a six-game winning streak, including victories over the Detroit Lions at home (27-14), the New York Giants (24-21), the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (20-17, once again on a last second field goal), the Cleveland Browns (24-12), the Detroit Lions at Ford Field (21-16), and a 27-13 home victory over the St. Louis Rams. Johnson ended up with the lowest interception to attempt ratio in Vikings history and the 3rd best passer rating in the NFC. The streak ended with an 18-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the eventual Super Bowl champions. After having their chances of winning the NFC North extinguished when the Bears defeated the Packers 24-17 in Lambeau Field earlier in the day, the Vikings were officially eliminated from NFC playoff contention with a 30-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Vikings won their last game of the 2005 season against the Bears, with a 34-10 victory. However, the Vikings fired head coach Mike Tice immediately following the game. They ended up with a 9-7 record and 1 win away from the playoffs.

The season is also remembered for the Love Boat scandal.

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Source : Wikipedia