The Minnesota Vikings are a professional National Football League (NFL) team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They belong to the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). They currently play their home games in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Originally, the ownership group was to have a team in the American Football League, but withdrew from the AFL and agreed to join the NFL as a 1961 expansion team. The Minnesota Vikings were the 14th franchise and began play on September 17, 1961.
Since the late 1960s, the Vikings have been one
of the most consistently successful franchises in
the NFL. During the 1970s head coach Bud Grant steered
the team to four Super Bowls. Grant also assembled
one of the fiercest defenses in NFL history. Known
collectively as the Purple People Eaters, players
such as linemen Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and Alan
Page “devoured” opposing offenses.
The Vikings have successfully won the division 16 times, and became the first team to appear in four Super Bowls. But the club also became the first team to lose four Super Bowls. In 1970, the heavily favored Vikings dropped to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-7 on their first Super Bowl Sunday. On January 13, 1974, the Vikings played in their second Super Bowl against the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, the Dolphins prevailed, winning 24-7. Again in 1975, the Vikings acquired a Super Bowl berth. They ended up losing their second straight Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-6. The Vikings played in their third Super Bowl in 4 years against the Oakland Raiders on January 9, 1977. The Vikings however, couldn't break their bad luck streak and lost 32-14; making the much coveted Super Bowl Champion title the Achilles’ heal of the Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota's first management team was led by general manager Bert Rose and head coach Norm Van Brocklin. From the start, the Vikings embraced an energetic marketing program that produced a first-year season ticket sale of nearly 26,000 and an average home attendance of 34,586, about 85 percent of the capacity of their old Met Stadium.
In 1981 and 1982, the Vikings were on the move. On May 15, 1981, the Vikings moved into a new facility in 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 1965-87. The Vikings also moved into a brand new stadium, the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome. The Vikings played their 1st game at the Metrodome in a preseason match-up against Seattle on Aug. 21, 1982. The Vikings continue to play at the Metrodome, but are actively pursuing a new stadium to be built in the Twin Cities area.
The Vikings have had many successful coaches including the legendary Bud Grant. In 17 seasons Grant led Minnesota to 12 playoff appearances, 11 division titles and 4 Super Bowls. The person that would take his place would be Les Steckel. After Steckel's dismal fist season, he was fired and on December 18, 1984, Bud Grant was re-hired as the head coach of the Vikings. On January 6, 1986, following the 1985 season, Bud Grant re-retired as head coach and longtime Vikings assistant coach Jerry Burns was named the 4th head coach in team history. On January 10, 1992, Dennis Green was named the 5th Head Coach and ten seasons later, Mike Tice was named the sixth Head Coach in Vikings history. At the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, Tice was fired and the Vikings hired the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, Brad Childress.
The Vikings have had many successful seasons despite not winning the “Big Game.” In 1998, the Vikings set an NFL record with 556 points and came within 4 points of a perfect season, going 15-1.
The Vikings have had many great players as well. The Vikings have been the home team to Hall of Famers like Fran Tarkenton, Carl Eller and Alan Page. Great players like Jim Marshall, Chuck Foreman, Ahmad Rashad, Tommy Kramer, Joey Browner, Keith Millard, John Randle, Scott Studwell and Jack Del Rio have all donned the purple and gold jerseys of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings have a tradition of greatness. Named after the Nordic people who were ancestors to Minnesota’s large population of Scandinavian Americans, the Vikings possess both physical and mental toughness. Selling out games at Hubert H Humphrey has been the norm for the Vikings, as fans from far and near flock to the dome. The future of the Vikings remains bright; with a new stadium deal on the horizon and plenty of talent on the roster. Fans won’t want to miss a moment of the action as the next season unfolds.