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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #49

A bit of a strange number

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

When it comes to numbers, the #49 is a bit of a strange one. . .not just for the Minnesota Vikings, but for the NFL as a whole. Honestly, I don’t know who the greatest #49 in NFL history might be, but the Vikings have a couple of candidates that could be worthy of the honor in their history.

The first #49 in team history was defensive back Dale Hackbart. Hackbart is interesting because he was originally selected by Minnesota in the 1960 AFL Draft when it was thought the Vikings were going to the AFL. However, since they went to the NFL instead, Hackbart wound up signing with Green Bay. He played for both Green Bay and Washington before finally making his way to Minnesota’s NFL team in 1966. He played for the Vikings for five years, departing after the 1970 season to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Although he eventually became better known for what he did off the field, Ed Marinaro wore the number 49 for the Vikings from 1972 to 1975. He was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy in his final year of college, but his productivity didn’t really translate to the pros. In his four years with Minnesota, he scored just 11 touchdowns and rushed for a total of just over 1,000 yards. He left the Vikings after the 1975 season, and played two more years in the NFL. He found his true calling in 1981, as he played Officer Joe Coffey on the hit series Hill Street Blues from 1981 to 1986.

After a long career with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tony Richardson signed with the Vikings before the 2006 season. He didn’t exactly blow up the stat sheet, either. . .it’s tough to do when you only touch the ball a total of 36 times in two seasons. . .but he proved himself to be an outstanding blocker, as the Vikings had a 1,000-yard rusher in both of his seasons with the team (Chester Taylor in 2006, Adrian Peterson in 2007). In helping to pave the way for Peterson’s Rookie of the Year campaign, Richardson was named a second-team All-Pro in 2007. He moved on to the New York Jets in 2008, and played three more seasons before hanging it up.

Those are probably the three best players to wear the number 49 for the Minnesota Vikings. Again, like most other NFL teams, #49 just hasn’t been a big number around here.

Vikings that have worn the number 49:

  • Dale Hackbart (1966 - 1970)
  • Ed Marinaro (1972 - 1975)
  • Keith Nord (1979 - 1985)
  • Adam Walker (1987)
  • Travis Curtis (1989)
  • Obafemi Ayanbadejo (1998 - 1999)
  • Richard Owens (2005)
  • Tony Richardson (2006 - 2007)

We’ll move on to the number 48 tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen!


Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 49?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Dale Hackbart (1966 - 1970)
    (240 votes)
  • 34%
    Ed Marinaro (1972 - 1975)
    (298 votes)
  • 37%
    Tony Richardson (2006 - 2007)
    (321 votes)
859 votes total Vote Now