There are a number of great franchises in the National Football League. One of the more interesting franchises in the NFL is the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings came into the league in 1961 as an expansion team and quickly developed into one of the more formidable teams in the league. The Vikings teams of the 1970s are famous for their on field accomplishments. A great deal is known about the Minnesota Vikings, but here are five things you may don’t know about the team.
1. Bud Grant was the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 1967 to 1983, and then one more year in 1985. Grant was almost the first head coach in the history of the Vikings, as he was a candidate for the job in 1961 though it was eventually given to former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Norm Van Brocklin.
2. No Minnesota Vikings player has gone to more Pro Bowls than Hall of Fame guard Randall McDaniel who made the Pro Bowl every year from 1989 to 1999, an 11 year streak.
3. 1961 was the team’s first year in the NFL and they defeated the Chicago Bears by the score of 37-13 in their first game ever. The team would go on to win just two more games the rest of that inaugural season, defeating the Baltimore Colts in week nine and then the Los Angeles Rams in week twelve.
4. One of the original owners of the Minnesota Vikings was Ole Haugsrud. Haugsrud had been the owner of the Duluth Eskimos, an NFL team in the 1920s. When Haugsrud sold the Eskimos team back to the league in the late 1920s, part of the agreement gave him first rights to any future NFL team in the state of Minnesota. When the ownership group was put together to start the Vikings in 1960, Haugsrud exercised his right from that transaction 30 years earlier and purchased a 10% stake in the team.
5. The Minnesota Vikings hold their summer training camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. They have been doing this since 1966. During the first five years of the team’s existence, 1961 through 1965, the team held their training camp at tiny Bemidji State University on the shores of Lake Bemidji.
The Minnesota Vikings have been a popular team in the National Football League for decades. Over the years the Vikings have had an incredible amount of talent including players like Fran Tarkenton, Paul Krause, Chuck Foreman, Mick Tingelhoff, Randall McDaniel, Jim Marshall, Cris Carter, Carl Eller, John Randle, Adrian Peterson, and Randy Moss. Through those years, the Viking have played in some of the most memorable games in NFL history. The Minnesota Vikings are definitely one of the better organizations in pro football and have had a huge role in the NFL becoming what it is today.