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Football is a game of talent and desire. Some players can enter a game and play at a peak level through out the game.  Other players need to be inspired, either by other players or by their coaches. I want to cover some of the leaders of the Minnesota Vikings through the years and how their personalities affected the play and emotions of the players.


Norm Van Brocklin

Van Brocklin      

Van Brocklin was the Vikings head coach from 1961-1966 and was probably known more being a player than he was a coach. He had a .363 winning percentage with the Vikings and his famous quote was “An athlete’s greatest glory lies not in never falling, but in rising every time he falls.”  That was more a show of the times in the 60’s than his actual talent at coaching.


Bud Grant


Grant was Head coach from 1967-1983 with a winning percentage of .634 and again in 1985 with a winning percentage .438. He was known for his discipline and his lack of emotion on the sidelines. I have awesome memories of the players & coaches standing at attention in a straight line during the national anthem.  He believed that football is a game of controlled emotion and teams would not follow the coach’s lead if he were to panic or lose his poise during the course of a game. His famous quote was “A successful coach needs a patient wife, loyal dog, and great quarterback – and not necessarily in that order.”


Les  Steckel


Steckel was the head coach of the Vikings in 1984 with a winning percentage of .188.  I am sure many of you remember the obstacle course he installed at training camp. He was a tough disciplinarian that couldn’t get his players to play. I wish I had a famous quote or a positive quality he had as a coach but there just aren’t any.


 Jerry Burns


Burns was head coach from 1986-1991 and had a .547 winning percentage. Burnsie was the most comical head coach ever.  His tirades had more bleeps than a late night Jerry Springer show. If you want a good laugh listen to it here. There is no way you can listen to this and not leave feedback. I dare you !

Can you even imagine anything like that in 2010


 Dennis Green


Green was head coach from 1992-2001 with a .610 winning percentage. How could a coach draft Dimitrius Underwood and Randy Moss? Talk about the best & the worst. He may be coldly remembered as “take a knee Denny” to most Vikings fans. Referring to the Falcons playoff game, opting to go into overtime instead of driving down the field for a winning field goal. I can still feel the sting of that loss in 1998. He also published his autobiography “No room for crybabies”.  One of his famous quotes was in true John Madden style “There are 2 teams here that want to win. When that happens, only one team can win”. Wow… and he was a head coach!


Mike Tice


Tice was the Vikings head coach from 2001-2005 and had a .492 winning percentage. He was known for stats on the Vikings winning percentage when Randy Moss was targeted with 40% of the passes. Of course it did nothing and teams found ways to contain Moss and again the Vikings were a laughing stock. We never really had all the details on his locker room meltdown and what actually happened although I had heard it went into a childish crying frenzy.   Does anyone care to relive the “Love Boat” or Tice’s scalping of super bowl tickets?  I am sure we can come up with even more if we all put our minds together. One of Tice’s famous quotes “I am a big, tall, deep-voiced, loud, arrogant New Yorker who thinks he is right all the time. That rubs some people the wrong way. I don’t mean anything by it. But I am opinionated.” That quote sounds stupid but as my friend Forrest Gump says “stupid is as stupid does”.


 Brad Childress


Childress was hired as head coach in 2006 and now has a contract through the year 2013. He has a current winning percentage of .563.   He will be best known for bringing Brett Favre to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have improved every year since he took over as head coach  and have gained enough talent through the draft and free agency to be a top 10 team for many years to come. Tavaris Jackson has shown us he will never be the QB that Childress thought he could mentor. His famous quote  “I think you judge quarterbacks a little bit differently…When you see what you want at the quarterback position, you need to go get it. And that’s exactly what I see with Tarvaris Jackson is a guy that’s a piece of clay, that has all the skills in terms of, No. 1, what’s he look like throwing the football. He’s got a great throwing motion; he’s athletic. He has all those things that we’re looking for, and he’s wired right. That’s important for a quarterback. I think he’s a flat line guy. I think he’s a sponge. You’re talking about a guy that never had a coach there as a quarterback coach. So what can he do with coaching?”.  After that quote I suppose now would be a good time to quote my friend Forrest Gump again!


The head coaches over the years have changed as much as the players and the game itself. Brad Childress is an intelligent coach with lots of football knowledge that after a slow start in 2006 seems to be heading in the right direction. I didn’t mention anything about his charisma or his media savvy, which he seems to be slightly lacking in.  Brad Childress has the communication skills with his coaches and players to inspire them to win.

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  1. bigjohnny84 says:

    Todds, thanks for the Jerry Burns audio. That was classic. Nice little trip down memory lane.

  2. Todd says:

    Just a true classic. You just have to laugh.

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      Ya Todds I laughed my ass off. Old Burnsie is a true old-school guy. I would love for things to go back to old-school. I would like to hear Chili unedited.

  3. CalVkg says:

    Todd, dude, chilly has the communication skills with his coaches and players to inspire them to win? ok, he speaks english, but one of my biggest knocks about chilly is his uninspiring demeanor. i hope he can do it, but i’m skeptical. i think it’s up to the players, the team leaders, to do that. he’s unproven in this area.
    bud was too stoic, too, and that hurt our chances of winning those super bowls, especially against KC, imo, should’ve won that one, for sure. other than that, bud was perfect for the vikes

    and the top 10 team for many years to come thing would be nice, but that can change really quickly. i thought we were good for a long time at QB and receiver with culpepper and moss, and culpepper’s future changed in the blink of an eye when he tore up his knee, and after that things just deteriorated

  4. Lost Viking says:

    Pete Carroll has signed as SeaHawg Head Coach.

  5. Really Bud Grant is so interesting player.His way of discipline is different to others.I like his famous quote,which was “A successful coach needs a patient wife, loyal dog, and great quarterback – and not necessarily in that order.”

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