It's time to resume the action in the Sweet 16 of our Greatest Viking Of All Time Tournament, ladies and gentlemen! The first of our four "2 vs 3" match-ups gives us a couple of teammates from very recent Vikings' history. . .one of whom is still here, and one of whom has moved on.
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
How He Got Here: Defeated Fred Zamberletti 114-44 in Round 1; Defeated Pat Williams 167-32 in Round 2
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: THE. . .dramatic pause. . .Ohio State University
Acquired by Vikings: Signed as free agent prior to 2004 season
Seasons in Minnesota: 9 (2004-2012)
How He Got Here: Defeated Warren Moon 147-6 in Round 1; Defeated Robert Griffith 151-35 in Round 2
One of my earliest internet memories as a Vikings fan was tracking the saga of the signing of Antoine Winfield. He was all but delivered to the New York Jets until Red McCombs' private jet swooped in, brought him to Minnesota, and allowed Mike Tice and company to convince him to sign. A huge fan favorite with the Vikings because of his toughness and his tackling ability, he also recorded 21 interceptions for the Vikings. He was a three-time Pro Bowler, and was a first-team All-Pro in 2008.
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 Jared Allen, rec the comment that says "Vote - Jared Allen"
If you want to vote for Antoine Winfield, rec the comment that says "Vote - Antoine Winfield"
Voting is open for 24 hours, just like always, folks. Have at it!