Yesterday in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series, we had a bit of a battle at #77. Now, we’re on to #76, and once again there are a few candidates worthy of the number.
The first one is Paul Dickson, who was the first member of the Vikings to wear the number. He was traded along with Jim Marshall and several others from Cleveland to Minnesota at the start of the 1961 season. He was an offensive tackle with Cleveland, but shifted to defensive tackle when he got to Minnesota. From 1962 to 1967, he started 81 of 84 possible game for the Vikings, but was surpassed on the depth chart in 1968 by Alan Page. Dickson was also part of the infamous snowmobile trip where he and Marshall nearly died after getting separated from a group they were in and got caught in a blizzard.
Up next, at least in chronological order, was big offensive tackle Tim Irwin, who wore the number from 1981 to 1993. After not starting a single game as a rookie, Irwin was an iron man at right tackle for the Vikings, starting 181 consecutive games from 1982 to 1993. In addition to being an outstanding offensive tackle, he also made an impact on special teams, as he blocked ten kicks in his career. (While that sounds like a lot. . .and it is. . .that only places him third in Vikings’ history in that category.) Irwin was named one of the fifty greatest Vikings of all time, and with good reason.
Speaking of guys on the Fifty Greatest Vikings list, the same can be said of the next player on our list of 76s, guard Steve Hutchinson. Hutchinson came to Minnesota under slightly strange circumstances, with the “poison pill” the Vikings inserted into his contract offer sheet and the ensuing spat with the Seattle Seahawks. But once he arrived in Minnesota, Hutchinson was dominant at the left guard spot. He was a three-time First-Team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler for the Vikings during his six seasons with the team, and should find himself heading to Canton sooner rather than later.
We’ll give an honorable mention to guard Chris Liwienski, who had some decent seasons for the Vikings from 1998 to 2005, but wasn’t at quite the same level of the other three guys on this list, in my opinion.
Vikings that have worn the number 76:
- Paul Dickson (1961 - 1970)
- Joey Jackson (1977)
- Bob Lingenfelter (1978)
- Dave Roller (1979 - 1980)
- Tim Irwin (1981 - 1993)
- Scott Dill (1996 - 1997)
- Chris Liwienski (1998 - 2005)
- Steve Hutchinson (2006 - 2011)
- Geoff Schwartz (2012)
- Alex Boone (2016 - present)
On to #75 tomorrow, folks!
Who is the greatest Minnesota Viking to wear #76?
This poll is closed
Paul Dickson (1961 - 1970)
Steve Hutchinson (2006 - 2011)
Tim Irwin (1981 - 1993)