Usually, we use this pre-game post to talk about people that will be in the game, people that will have a physical impact on the field and things of that nature. But, in this particular instance, I feel it important to talk about somebody that will not be there instead.
Before taking the field for the first time in 1961, the Minnesota Vikings needed someone to head up their training staff. They hired a young man who had been the head trainer at the University of Toledo by the name of Fred Zamberletti. He has been in the employ of the Minnesota Vikings ever since. He is no longer a member of the training staff, serving today as a consultant, as well as the team's historian. Zamberletti was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor in 1998.
It is appropriate that Zamberletti is the Vikings' historian, because nobody has been witness to more of the history of the Minnesota Vikings than he has.
The Minnesota Vikings, in their history, have played in 1,079 games. . .and this will be the first time that they take the field without Fred Zamberletti in attendance.
That's right. . .home games, road games, pre-season, regular season, post-season. . .Fred Zamberletti has been at every single game in Minnesota Vikings' history, but he will not be at FedEx Field today as the Vikings take on the Washington Redskins. He did not make the trip with the team in this one because of an undisclosed illness.
How dedicated has Zamberletti been to the team?
"I missed three out of four kids being born. We didn't have anybody else in those days. If you were sick, didn't feel good, funerals or anything else, you still went to work and you didn't miss."
The Minnesota Vikings have compiled an all-time regular season record of 415-348-9 with Fred Zamberletti in attendance.
Here's hoping that they can find it within themselves to have an all-time record of 1-0 without him by the time this game is over.
Get well soon, Mr. Zamberletti.