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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 →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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