Book a luxury suite to a Minnesota Vikings game at the U.S. Bank Stadium
The Twin Cities added a team to the NFL back in 1961 and since then, the Minnesota Vikings have amassed some incredible accomplishments on their way to being known as one of the most vicious defensive teams in the league.
Their first two draft picks were put to good use as they selected Tommy Mason, running back from Tulane (1st overall) and Fran Tarkenton, quarterback from Georgia. This duo defined the Minnesota offense in the early years. However, the product on the field was sub-par and kept the Vikings out of the playoffs. 1967 brought some big changes to the Vikes with Bud Grant being hired as head coach, Mason signing with the Rams, and Tarkenton bring traded to the Giants for multiple draft picks. Among those chosen with the picks were Ed White and Hall of Famer Ron Yary. They also walked away with Hall of Famer Alan Page, completing the defensive front that would become known as the Purple People Eaters.
They would go on to make the playoffs in 12 of the next 15 seasons, 11 of them as division winners. Tarkenton returned to the Vikings in 1972 and kept the momentum going. The Vikings won four Conference Championships (three with Tarkenton), but came up empty each time in the Super Bowl. The Vikings teams of the 1980s, and 90s brought more playoff appearances, always ending in defeat. Even the 15-1 season with a then-record 556 points scored in 1998 ended in the NFC Championship game.
Star players would come and go over the years, and the Vikings went back and forth between disappointing seasons and ones where they looked poised for a deep playoff run. Today’s team is undergoing an unusual rebuild. Offensively, Teddy Bridgewater was thought to be the franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. However, a knee injury sidelined him for the 2016 season and Minnesota traded to bring former first overall pick Sam Bradford to the team. Having relished in the role last season, Bradford appears to have the job going forward and contract terms have not been reached with Bridgewater regarding his future. Stefon Diggs emerged as a threat in the passing game to provide some help for Bradford. Also, future Hall of Fame running back and perhaps the greatest Vikings player of all-time Adrian Peterson left Minnesota after 10 years and will suit up for the Saints this season. Latavius Murray has come over from Oakland to shoulder the load at running back along with 1st round draft pick Dalvin Cook. If he lives up to the hype, Cook will take over as the starting back for the Vikings.
Defensively, the Vikings are always a fearsome opponent. Something about those purple jerseys rushing the quarterback always brings back memories of the Purple People Eaters taking down the opposition. Defensive end Everson Griffen emulates this every game with his aggressive style, as does defensive tackle Linval Joseph. The backfield tandem of Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes ensures that teams will not throw deep too often. Cornerback Terence Newman also aims to shut down the opposition. Head Coach Mike Zimmer is hoping to bring the pieces of this puzzle together and have them gel in such a way that brings big success to the Twin Cities.
An impressive plethora of players have suited up for the Vikes over the course of their history. Among the most talented are Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Fran Tarkenton, John Randle, Alan Page, Jared Allen, and Adrian Peterson. A more detailed history about the Minnesota Vikings teams of past and present can be found by clicking here.