The first round of our Greatest Viking Of All Time Tournament continues on here with a battle between complete opposites. On one side, we have a modern medical miracle worker that tries to get people healthy after they've been hurt. On the other, a guy that delivered a lot of hurt to opposing running backs and receivers.
Alma Mater: West Chester University
Acquired by Vikings: Hired as head athletic trainer prior to 2006 season
Seasons in Minnesota: 7 (2006-2012)
Position: Athletic trainer
The reason that it seems the Minnesota Vikings lose so few games to injury has a lot to do with the work of Certified Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman™ and the rest of his staff. But it's their off-season work that's probably even more impressive. We know what he did to help Adrian Peterson rehabilitate his knee injury, and who can forget E.J. Henderson's incredible comeback from a leg injury that's usually associated with automobile accidents? Sugarman picked up the mantle from Fred Zamberletti, and has ably carried it since coming to Minnesota from the Chicago Bears before the 2006 season.
That video's a bit on the long side, by the way.
Alma Mater: San Diego State University
Acquired by Vikings: Signed as undrafted free agent before 1994 NFL season
Seasons in Minnesota: 8 (1994-2001)
After playing mainly on special teams during his first two years with the Vikings, Griffith landed the starting safety spot in 1996. Though he was known more as a hard-hitting safety, Griffith did manage to collect 17 interceptions during his six years as a defensive starter for the Vikings. He also collected 7.5 sacks during his Vikings' career, including four in 1999, which is pretty good for a safety. Griffith was a two-time All-Pro as a Viking as well. He finished his career by signing a one-day contract to retire as a Minnesota Viking.
Here's a review of how the voting process works, folks.
-If you want to vote for Eric Sugarman, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Eric Sugarman"
-If you want to vote for Robert Griffith, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Robert Griffith"
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!