We're getting even closer to the end of the first round of our Greatest Viking Of All Time Tournament, ladies and gentlemen! In this match-up, we have one of the symbols of the Vikings from recent years taking on an intense, hard-nosed defensive tackle with a nose for. . .well, some interesting times.
Alma Mater: You know, I'm really not sure
Acquired by Vikings: Signed to become team's mascot prior to the 1994 NFL season
Seasons in Minnesota: 19 (1994-2012)
By day, Joseph Jurantich is a mild-mannered Assistant Dean of Students for the Hopkins School District. On Sundays, however, he transforms into the crazed, motorcycle-riding mascot known as Ragnar. Ragnar is the only human mascot in professional sports, and has been on the job for nearly two decades, not having missed a game since being hired by the Vikings in 1994. He has also been a fixture in the community, taking lots of time out of his schedule to work with special needs children in the Minneapolis area. Ragnar is truly a unique part of Minnesota Vikings history.
He also holds the world record for shaving a beard with an axe. . .because, hey, why wouldn't he?
University of Washington Washington State University (my apologies for the error)
Acquired by Vikings: Round 1, 1984 NFL Draft
Seasons in Minnesota: 6 (1985-1990)
Position: Defensive tackle
After playing one season in the United States Football League with the Jacksonville Bulls, Keith Millard moved on to the NFL team that drafted him in 1985 and immediately made his presence felt. He notched 11 sacks in his first NFL season, and followed it up with 10.5 the next. He had a truly incredible 1989 season, racking up 18 sacks (still a single-season NFL record for a defensive tackle) as part of a defense that put up 71 for the season, and was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year that season. A two-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1980s, he collected 53 quarterback sacks in his six seasons as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
Unfortunately, I can't find a decent embeddable video of Keith Millard, so I refer you to his 50 Greatest Vikings bio at Vikings.com.
Here's a review of how the voting process works, folks.
-If you want to vote for Ragnar, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Ragnar"
-If you want to vote for Keith Millard, rec the comment that says, "Vote - Keith Millard"
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!