The Minnesota Vikings began professional play as an NFL expansion team in 1961, with head coach Norm Van Brocklin and quarterback Fran Tarkenton. They would surprisingly win their first game but finished the season with a typical expansion record of 3-11. Things would continue that way for a while, until 1967 when Bud Grant was brought in as coach and created the Purple People Eaters defense. In 1968 they had a division title and in ’69 the Vikings were NFL champions. The team continued their dominance into the ’70s. They would go to the playoffs in 1970, then on to the super bowl in ’73 and ’74. Another division title in 1975 and yet another Super Bowl in ’77.
While the 1980s weren’t terrible for the team, they lacked the dominance they had previously enjoyed. But the ’90s were a little better behind coach Dennis Green. The team had playoff appearances in ’92-’94, then starting in ’96 a string of five consecutive seasons in the playoffs, stretching to the 2000 season. Two of those seasons would end with division championships. 1998 and ’99 were particularly good years. Randall Cunningham quarterbacked the Vikes to a 15-1 season and never scored less than 24 points in a game. The following year backup Jeff George was the improbable hero taking them back to the divisional playoffs.
Come 2004, Daunte Culpeper and Randy Moss would lead the team back to the playoffs. The following season Moss was traded and Culpeper suffered a season-ending injury which many thought would torpedo the season. They did, however, finish with a winning record. Things weren’t as positive off the field though as many players were in legal trouble for a pleasure cruise which had included prostitutes being flown in.
Brad Childress was brought in as the new head coach and in 2008, behind the strength of the Shock and AWE defense, the Vikes clinched another division title. In 2009, with oft-retired quarterback Brett Favre the team would continue in the playoffs, making it to the NFC championship.
The 2010s were a strange up-and-down decade for the team. Starting with a crazy 2010, that saw Moss re-signed and then waived, Favre is under investigation for inappropriate texts, major damage to the stadium due to a snowstorm, and the firing of the head coach during the season. Not a good start to the decade. The Vikings are resilient, however, and managed four playoff appearances during that time.
The 2020s started no better than the previous decade, with two losing seasons. But, again, this team is resilient, for sure. The Vikings hired a new general manager and then went after Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. O’Connell quickly had the team back to playoff form and last season saw them back as division champs.
As the Purple and Gold look forward to another successful season, you can watch them right along with us on NFL Webcast! Don’t miss a second of the most intense rivalry in the league as they take on the Green Bay Packers. NFL Webcast is free, with no signing up or blackout games! With multiple high-quality streams, there is no better place to watch. Come watch the pride of the Land of 10,000 Lakes with us. Join in the live chat and shout out a SKAL!