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Sports Then and Now



Vikings Return To Their Roots With Outdoor Football Game 3

Posted on December 19, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The Vikings will be playing their first outdoor game since the days of Metropolitan Stadium.

The final home game of the 50th season for the Minnesota Vikings will be a cold “blast from the past” as the recent deflation of the roof at the Metrodome means the Vikings and Chicago Bears will be clashing Monday night outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Stadium.

From their creation in 1961 through the 1981 season the Vikings played all their home games outdoors at Metropolitan Stadium.  During that time, there were a plethora of frozen memories as the Vikings enjoyed significant success playing on their frozen tundra.

Overall, the Vikings were 91-56-4 at Metropolitan Stadium during the regular season and 7-3 on the frozen turf during the post season.

When the Vikings played their first game at Metropolitan Stadium on September 21, 1961 they showed signs of what was to come as they surprised the veteran Chicago Bears 37-13 behind the four-touchdown passes thrown by rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

The Vikings were 15-26-1 during their first six seasons playing at Metropolitan Stadium under head coach Norm Van Brocklin and overall posted just one winning season. However, once Bud Grant arrived in 1967, the team soon started to develop into one of the elite teams in the league and Metropolitan Stadium was an important component of that success.

In 1969 the Vikings were a perfect 7-0 at home during the regular season and then won consecutive cold weather playoff games over the Los Angeles Rams (23-20; 10 degrees, -1 wind chill) and Cleveland Browns (27-7; 8 degrees, -6 wind chill) to reach the Super Bowl for the first time. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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