February 8, 2011
The Vikings during more dominant times
This Sunday's football debacle (also known as the Super Bowl) where the Packers came out victorious seriously put me in a bad mood. Stupid Packers. I needed something to brighten my mood and I remembered this story about the greatest coach in Vikings history, Bud Grant.
A few years ago, the Vikings game day program, "Playbook," had a good column called "5 Decades with Freddy" in which Fred Zamberletti is given some space to reminisce about the glory days of the franchise. One story Fred tells is particularly humorous and may give the secret of getting the Vikings team fired up for game day:
"The most eventful Atlanta memory was when we were playing a game in Atlanta. It was probably three-quarters of the way through the season and it was a dismal day. The team was down; you could tell at the pregame mean that it was a bit of a downer. The guys weren't moving with any energy. Bud Grant was always very strict about the pregame meal. It was always the same: steak, eggs, green beans, and a baked potato. That day, Carl Eller asked the waiter to bring him some pancakes. So, the waiter said 'sure' and went to the kitchen to bring him some pancakes. Grant, who never misses a thing, looked at our operations guy and he didn't even say anything, he just moved his eyes. And the operations guy jumped to his feet, ran over to the waiter and had the guy take the pancakes back to the kitchen. Well, Eller saw that and he sprung from his chair. He charged the waiter's tray of dishes on the table; it had dishes of food and glasses. He hauled off and kicked that thing straight in the air. Dishes, food, glasses, everything went flying. The team went into an uproar. Bud sat there and didn't show any emotion, and he didn't have to give a pregame speech that day! They were all fired up."
Great story. In fact, I think it holds the key for the success of next year's team. Their motto should be, "No pancakes." Skol Vikings!