Brent Huisman is an automotive auction expert, but if there’s one topic he knows just as well it’s his favorite football team the Minnesota Vikings. Compared to other big-name NFL teams, the Vikings may not be on the radar of many sports fans. However, the team has a rich history with notable players any football player should have in their bank of knowledge.
The History of the Vikings
The Vikings were founded in 1960 by Harold and Loree Puckett, Harold’s sister Louise “Happy” Puckett-Bader, and Bobby and Marge Clark. The name derives from Vikings, a warrior group that was established in the 10th century. The Vikings had a strong presence in the Midwestern United States. Vikings were a feared group of warriors, and their fortresses were known as the prime locations to protect against raiders. The Vikings, led by general manager Bud Grant, played in the NFL until 1972.
The team’s head coach is Mike Zimmer who took over in 2014. Mike Zimmer’s first NFL head coaching job was in 2004. He was previously the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys and coached the defensive line at the University of Cincinnati and Vanderbilt University.
When they were founded, the Vikings competed in the now-defunct American Football League. In their first two seasons, the team only managed to win five games. However, in 1959, the team made their first NFL appearance and since then, they have remained in the league ever since. The Vikings’ all-time record stands at 619 wins, 364 losses, and 13 ties.
Key Players on the Vikings
Not all Minnesota Vikings are household names, but all are historical and worthy of getting to know. These Vikings are important to the franchise and in some cases are still extremely relevant to this day.
Cris Carter: Carter has been a star in the NFL since he made his way to Minnesota in 1996 as the second-round pick. The wide receiver dominated during his career, racking up 567 receptions for 7,670 yards and 81 touchdowns. A lot of people forget that Carter was a Pro Bowl player in 1997 and 1998 before taking a serious nosedive in his last few years. He still enjoyed a great final season in 2002 but never recaptured his star power. Carter was cut in 2013 and now enjoys the announcer booth for Fox.
Dan Fouts: Perhaps the best quarterback in Vikings history, Fouts started his professional football career in 1960 as a second-round draft pick from San Diego State University. In his first season as a professional he led the Vikings to a division title. Fouts was a three-time Pro Bowl player for the Vikings. He led them to the first of three Super Bowls and threw more than 11,000 yards in his career. He finished with a 70.3 career completion percentage.
Ted Hendricks: Hendricks was a three-time Pro Bowl player who played from 1965 to 1968. At 6’4″ and 290 lbs., Hendricks was a massive defensive end for the Vikings and would be their first draft pick after they moved to Minnesota. He had an incredible 15 sacks in a single season, the second-best single-season sack record at the time.
Bruce Smith: Two-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith is one of the Vikings’ most legendary players. The Vikings acquired Smith in 1982, and his first few seasons with the team saw him lead the Vikings with 14 sacks in 1984 and 1985. He quickly became a staple of the Vikings’ defense and established himself as one of the best defensive players in the league. In 1995, he left the Vikings and signed with the Buffalo Bills, leading the NFL in sacks in his first season with