Into the 60s we go in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series, and that means we’re starting out with the number 69. Yes, we’ll throw in a “nice” here just to get it out of the way.
There are two main options for this particular number, with one being a blast from the past and another being significantly more recent.
The first one would be defensive tackle Doug Sutherland, who played for the Vikings from 1971 to 1980. He served primarily as Gary Larsen’s backup when he first arrived in Minnesota, and when Larsen left the team prior to the 1975 season, Sutherland stepped in at defensive tackle as his replacement. Named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of all time, Sutherland played in 138 games for the Vikings, starting 90 of them at defensive tackle. He collected 25 sacks, according to the unofficial records, during his years in purple.
The other prominent member of the #69 club in Minnesota is. . .well, you know who it is. Defensive end Jared Allen came to the Vikings via a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the 2008 season, and immediately set about being a holy terror as a pass rusher. He collected double-digit sacks in each of his six seasons with the team. That includes a 2011 season that saw him threaten* the single-season sack record, collecting 22 sacks. In total, Allen collected 85.5 sacks as a member of the purple and gold, and managed to rack up four safeties as well. He was also named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of all time.
(* - He’s the leader in “sacks in a season that weren’t assisted by Brett Favre taking a dive,” so there’s that.)
An honorable mention goes to right guard Todd Kalis, who was a pretty solid starter at right guard for the Vikings before he missed an entire season due to injury. Also, even though he never got to wear it in a game that actually meant anything, the current mayor of Suplex City, Brock Lesnar, wore the number during his brief time with the Vikings.
Vikings that have worn the number 69:
- Palmer Pyle (1964)
- Arnie Simkus (1967)
- Doug Sutherland (1971 - 1980)
- Ruben Vaughan (1984)
- Hassan Arbubakrr (1984)
- Frank Ori (1987)
- Wayne Jones (1987)
- Todd Kalis (1988 - 1993)
- Ariel Solomon (1996)
- Leshun Daniels (1997)
- Jared Allen (2008 - 2013)
- J’Marcus Webb (2014)
- Rashod Hill (2016 - present)
So, like I said in the opener, we’ve basically got two options for this one, folks.
Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 69?
This poll is closed
Jared Allen (2008 - 2013)
Doug Sutherland (1971 - 1980)
Tomorrow, we’ll move on to the number 68. . .and if you can’t think of any prominent Vikings that ever wore the number 68, that’s only because there really aren’t any.