updated: 2/2/05

My favorite team of the National Football League is the Minnesota Vikings.  I have watched them since the year they appeared in their fourth Super Bowl, which was in 1976 against the Oakland Raiders.  

My Mom and I were in Mankato a couple of years after that Super Bowl and I was able to get down to the practice facility to watch them practice and was able to acquire a few autographs.  Sadly, I was unable to get the autograph of Fran Tarkenton as he retired the previous year.  My cousin Eric refreshed my memory about how I received an autograph from Ahmad Rashad.  I asked him to write exactly how it was done and here is his recollection:


In the 1970's Vikings practice was a lot more fan friendly.  Russ would many times time his Minnesota visits during the time the Vikings would practice at Mankato State.

As the case with many youngsters, Russ was committed to getting as many autographs as possible especially of the best players.  Ahmad Rashad's was at the top of the list to get.  As I remember, the crowd of fans was huge around the star wide receiver.  Because of this, we were unable to score Ahmad's autograph as he walked from the practice field to the Field House.

We were saddened to watch Ahmad walk down the Field House tunnel to clean up.  All the other fans happily targeted other players.  Russ and I just stood there and watched Ahmad until he was more than half way down the tunnel.  Then I heard a mighty "Hey Ahmad!"  This call came from my cousin Russ who could not bear the thought of being so close and yet so far.

Ahmad could not belive that a fan could be so bold.  But Russ was a likeable lad and obviously a dedicated fan.  So Ahmad came back near the whole way of the tunnel to give Russ his autograph.  Of course was was thrilled and we called it a day.


Now, I am not sure if we called it a day after that as I remember this instance of when Eric asked Greg Coleman who was the punter of the Vikings for his autograph, but that is another story...

My wife just does not understand the lure of professional football and loves to distract me while the game is on.  When the game is not televised locally I make every attempt to watch it at the Hooters restaurant.

My Aunt Janice was kind enough to send me a Helga Hat and on the day it arrived I was wearing my Viking shirt. I donned the hat and had my wife take the following picture.



Minnesota Vikings website