Many football teams celebrate certain milestones by naming an anniversary team. This has been done by decade or by specific year like a 25th or 50th anniversary team. This is a great way for a team to honor the best players they have ever had.
The Minnesota Vikings named a 25th Anniversary Team in 1985 and then a 40th Anniversary Team in 2000. How much difference was there in that 15 year gap though and who got bumped off the team?
Hall of Famer and Vikings legend Fran Tarkenton was the quarterback of the 1985 anniversary team and he was also selected to be the all time Vikings quarterback on the 2000 team too.
The 25th Anniversary Team had Bill Brown and Chuck Foreman suiting up as running backs. By the time the 40th Anniversary Team was named, Chuck Foreman was still on the all time team, but Brown had lost his spot to Robert Smith. Bill Brown remained on the anniversary squad though as he was named the all time special teams player.
In 1985, the two players to hold the wide receiver positions on the anniversary team were Ahmad Rashad and Sammy White. By the time the year 2000 came around, Rashad was still the wide receiver, but White had been replaced with all time great Cris Carter.
In 1985, Stu Voigt was the tight end on the 25th Anniversary Team. In 2000, he had lost the spot to tight end Steve Jordan.
The all time Vikings offensive line, as named on the 25th Anniversary Team, included Mick Tingelhoff at center, Ron Yary and Grady Alderman at tackle, and Ed White and Milt Sunde at guard. For the 40th Anniversary Team, Tingelhoff, Yary, and White were the only ones to hold their positions. Alderman was replaced at tackle by Tim Irwin and Sunde was replaced at guard by Randall McDaniel who would go on to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sitting at defensive end on the 25th Anniversary Team for the Vikings were two legends, Jim Marshall and Carl Eller. Fifteen years later, both players would still hold that spot on the 40th Anniversary Team. The defensive tackle positions were held by Alan Page and Gary Larsen in 1985. Page kept his spot in 2000, but Larsen would be replaced by John Randle who would later go on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The linebackers named to the 1985 team were impressive indeed, Matt Blair, Scott Studwell, and Jeff Siemon. By the time 2000 rolled around, none of those men would be replaced.
On the 1985 team, the cornerbacks were Bobby Bryant and Ed Sharockman, while the safeties were Paul Krause and Karl Kassulke. Each position would lose one man as Sharockman was not included on the 2000 team, being replaced by cornerback Carl Lee, and Kassulke was replaced by safety Joey Browner.
As previously mentioned, Bill Brown was named special teams player on the 40th Anniversary Team, though none had been named on the 25th Anniversary Team. Likewise, the 2000 team had a kick returner spot where the 1985 team did not. That spot was given to Darrin Nelson. The punter, Greg Coleman, and the kicker, Fred Cox, were the same on both squads.