We are back underway in our Greatest Viking Of All Time Tournament, ladies and gentlemen! After our day off, we're back to two match-ups per day until we get through the first round. With 14 match-ups remaining, it appears our final two first round battles will take place on Thursday, July 11, with the results being announced the following day. The second round will then start on Monday, July 15.
This match-up pits the modern day sack master for the Minnesota Vikings taking on the man with more tenure with the team than anybody in this tournament.
Alma Mater: Idaho State University (or the Culinary Academy, depending on when you ask)
Acquired by Minnesota: Trade with Kansas City Chiefs before the 2008 NFL Draft
Seasons in Minnesota: 5 (2008-2012)
Position: Defensive end
The centerpiece of a blockbuster trade for the Minnesota Vikings that has really worked out nicely, Jared Allen has been wreaking havoc on quarterbacks ever since he put on the purple and gold. In just five seasons with Minnesota, he has averaged nearly 15 sacks a season (74.5 in five years), including making a run at the single-season sack record for the Vikings' dismal 2011 team. Currently the National Football League's highest-paid defensive player, he may be looking at his last season in Minnesota. If the first five years are any indication, it should be another good one for #69.
Alma Mater: University of Iowa
Acquired by Vikings: Named team's first trainer in 1961; still active with team as consultant and historian
Seasons in Minnesota: 53 (1961-2012)
Position: Athletic trainer
You want to talk about "iron men?" Here's your guy. Fred Zamberletti was on the Minnesota Vikings sideline for every single game the team played. . .pre-season, regular season, and post-season. . .from August 5, 1961 when the Vikings took on the Dallas Cowboys in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until an illness forced him to miss the Vikings' trip to Washington, D.C. on December 24, 2011. That's a span of 1,049 games if you're scoring at home. Fred Zamberletti is one of the main reasons that guys like Mick Tingelhoff and Jim Marshall were able to put together the sort of consecutive game streaks that they did. The one man that has been with this team from the beginning, Fred Zamberletti is a unique piece of Vikings history.
Unfortunately, I don't have any embeddable videos for Mr. Zamberletti that I can add here, so here's a link to an interview he did with KFAN back in 2011.
Here's a review of how the voting process works, folks.
-If you want to vote for Jared Allen, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Jared Allen"
-If you want to vote for Fred Zamberletti, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Fred Zamberletti"
Don't rec both comments. . .we're on the honor system here, folks. Although I don't know why you'd rec both anyway. . .you'd end up just canceling yourself out.
Please do not reply to either of the top two comments. . .if you want to debate or make your case or what have you, feel free to do so underneath those top two comments. Remember. . .only recs count, so make sure that's how you register your vote.
The voting will remain open until 8 AM Central time tomorrow, at which point the next two match-ups will be posted.
Have at it, everybody!