Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. . .this is it. Each of these two men have won five consecutive matches in our Greatest Viking Of All Time Tournament. The one that can make it six straight will be declared the best ever to wear the purple and gold by this website and its readers. In one corner, we have the greatest coach ever to direct the team from the Minnesota Vikings' sidelines. In the other, a man who could possibly be the greatest defensive tackle in National Football League history. Which one will come out on top? Well. . .that's all up to you folks.
Alma Mater: University of Minnesota
Acquired by Vikings: Became head coach prior to 1967 season
Seasons in Minnesota: 18 (1967-1983, 1985)
Position: Head Coach
How He Got Here: Defeated Ryan Longwell 153-6 in Round 1; Defeated Steve Jordan 177-16 in Round 2; Defeated Chris Doleman 145-38 in Round 3; Defeated John Randle 155-87 in Round 4; Defeated Adrian Peterson 171-154 in Round 5
For many people, when they think of the Minnesota Vikings, the face that comes to mind is that of Bud Grant. Shots of Grant on the sidelines of the old Metropolitan Stadium, steam flowing from his nose and mouth as he kept an eye on his charges, displaying the same granite visage regardless of the situation. The Minnesota Vikings started having success as soon as Grant got to Minnesota. In his 18 seasons on the Minnesota sidelines, he compiled a record of 158-96-5, taking the team to four Super Bowls and winning the National Football League championship in 1969. He was named by ESPN as one of the twenty greatest coaches in National Football League history, and is easily the greatest coach this franchise has ever seen. He still has an office at Winter Park after all of these years, and is still just as sharp as ever at the age of 86.
Alma Mater: University of Notre Dame
Acquired by Vikings: Round 1, 1967 NFL Draft
Seasons in Minnesota: 12 (1967-1978)
Position: Defensive Tackle
How He Got Here: Defeated Tony Dungy 162-6 in Round 1; Defeated Mick Tingelhoff 166-10 in Round 2; Defeated Randall McDaniel 167-47 in Round 3; Defeated Fran Tarkenton 140-101 in Round 4; Defeated Cris Carter 200-82 in Round 5
Of all the great defensive linemen that have taken the field as members of the Minnesota Vikings, Alan Page might be the greatest of them all. The fifteenth pick in the 1967 National Football League draft had an incredible career as one of the famed Purple People Eaters. He was the first defensive player in the history of the National Football League to be named Most Valuable Player in 1971, and was also the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 1971 and 1973. The "unofficial" totals. . .as sacks were not an official stat while Page was a player. . .show him with 108.5 sacks as a Viking. On top of that, he also blocked 28 kicks in his career. His number 88 is one of only six that have been retired by the Minnesota Vikings, never to be worn again. One of the true titans of Minnesota Vikings history, Alan Page is well-deserving of his spot in our Final Four.
The interview actually stops at about the 7:30 mark. . .but man, does that voice sound familiar.
If you need a primer on how the voting for our contest works, we have one for you at this link here. Remember, rec the comments to register your vote. Putting "Vote - Name" in the subject line of a post does not count.
If you want to vote for Bud Grant, rec the comment that says "Vote - Bud Grant"
If you want to vote for Alan Page, rec the comment that says "Vote - Alan Page"
Also, in light of what happened in our first Elite 8 match-up, please do not reply to either of the first two comments in the thread. Those comments need to remain together and not have one get pushed down the comments section.
Voting is open for 24 hours, just like always, folks. Have at it!