Social media, for all its faults. . .and they are legion, let me tell you. . .does give us some decent fodder for discussion every once in a while. Earlier this week, there was a particular tweet circulating around various fan bases, and we wanted to put that into post form for everyone to discuss here. The premise is a fairly simple one.
Who is your all-time favorite member of the Minnesota Vikings at each position?
I’m going to go ahead and do mine in this space, as well as put it out there on the Twitters. Anyone that wants to chime in can feel free to do so in either place. So, with that, here are my all-time favorites.
Quarterback - Daunte Culpepper
As I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions in the past, I missed the Fran Tarkenton era of Vikings football, save for the magic of film. Of all the quarterbacks that I’ve ever watched put on the purple during the time that I’ve been a fan, Culpepper has been my favorite by a significant margin. He’s probably never going to get the credit that he should from a lot of fans, but the man put up the single greatest season that any Vikings’ quarterback has ever put together (and had to drag his team kicking and screaming to an 8-8 record with those incredible numbers), and was generally just a lot of fun to watch. Seriously, that guy wasn’t supposed to do the things he was doing at that size.
Running back - Adrian Peterson
You can say what you want about his off-field controversies. . .and I still don’t much care for those, regardless of how bad a person that makes me or whatever. . .but it would be foolish to put anyone but AP in this spot. He was the best runner in team history, and did things that no other running back this team has fielded has ever done. There are too many highlight reel runs to mention in one article, but we’ve seen all of them repeatedly. Nobody was as good, or as entertaining, at the running back position. Not that I’ve watched, anyway.
Wide receiver - Randy Moss
I loved Cris Carter, and the Vikings’ current tandem of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are quickly making their way up the list. But, in this case, much like the Highlander, there can be only one. Moss was a cheat code from the minute he stepped on the field, and forced opposing defenses to completely alter their schemes in order to account for his presence. He’s getting into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot for a reason, and that reason is because he was easily the best receiver of his generation. He was also incredibly fun to watch, and why he’s on my list at this spot.
Offensive line - David Dixon
The Vikings of the late 90s had an incredible offensive line. Everyone knew about Randall McDaniel, Jeff Christy, Korey Stringer, and Todd Steussie, but Dixon was the one guy on that line that I thought never really got enough credit for how good he was. The man was huge, yet never seemed to have problems getting out in front of plays if he needed to and didn’t get beaten that often, either. Watching him just maul people was fun, and I wish he would have gotten a little more recognition during his time with the Vikings.
Defensive line - Jared Allen
Man, are there a lot of great players that a guy could pick from here. All the way from Chris Doleman and John Randle to the Williams Wall to Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph, and any number of names in-between. But Jared Allen was just a whole different breed. We all know that the guy is one of the best pass rushers of the past decade or so, and damn near broke the single-season sack record on a team that didn’t have a whole lot else in the pass rush to worry about. No matter how bad things got, Allen went out there and brought it every single week.
Linebacker - Scott Studwell
We know that Studwell has the ability to make people’s heads explode by looking at them and such. On the field, Studwell’s intensity level was unmatched. He was always right where he needed to be, and when he hit you, by God you stayed hit. Studwell was the leader of some great defenses in his time in Minnesota. On top of that, you have to admire a guy that’s been with the organization as long as he has been, even well after his playing days.
Defensive back - Antoine Winfield
My reasons for putting Winfield on here are a lot like my reasons for Culpepper. . .the guy shouldn’t have been able to do what he was doing at his size. Listed at about 170 pounds (which was probably generous), Winfield is the best tackling football player at any position that I’ve ever watched. He was a great coverage guy, don’t get me wrong, but for a guy his size to come up and constantly blow people up in run support was incredible to watch. He was also personally responsible for me getting much deeper into the Vikings on the internet than I had ever been, as I (along with legions of others) were wearing out the F5 keys on our keyboards looking for updates on the battle between the Vikings and the New York Jets to sign him in free agency.
Special Teams - Marcus Sherels
We’re almost to the part of the year where we attempt to predict Sherels’ demise. . .in vain, in all likelihood. . .but his story makes him my favorite Vikings’ special teamer. Nobody thought much of it when the Vikings signed him as a UDFA after his time with the Golden Gophers, but he managed to stick on the practice squad, and he kept scrapping until he got himself a regular role with the team. Now, he’s the best punt returner the franchise has ever seen, and has a permanent place in the team record books for return touchdowns. Stories like Sherels’ are a part of what makes this sport great.
So, that’s my all-time favorite Vikings list. Who do you have?
- QB -
- RB -
- WR -
- OL -
- DL -
- LB -
- DB -
- ST -
Have at it, everyone!