As training camp at the new Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center is set to open within a week, so is the new Vikings Museum.
Star Tribune’s Mark Craig reports that for $20.00 you can interact with different displays, watch a 360 degree video theater and see various other memorabilia through out the history of the Minnesota Vikings.
Erin Swartz, director of brand and creative for the Vikings, was the person charged with the huge undertaking of going throughout Minnesota and into Wisconsin to find Vikings memorabilia. Along with the help of a team and Zach Tarrant, the archive coordinator, he set out to find stories of the past and present.
“It became clear to us that the story of the Vikings is really a collection of stories about people. People gather and then there are these epic moments in our history that draw us all together,” said Swartz.
The stories that tend to standout are about the last games played at Met Stadium. Since it was being demolished to build the Mall of America, many fans decided to rush the field and take whatever wasn't nailed down. Fans like Bob Kump who decided to take the north end zone goal post during the crazy aftermath of the December 26th, 1976 game.
When the Vikings beat the Rams on the 26th to play in last of their four Super Bowl, Kump and the fans attendance rushed the field to grab a piece of history.
“The last NFC Championship game the Vikings ever won. That crossbar sat in my garage here for over 40 years. Honest to God, I think I’ve jinxed the Vikings all these years with that thing in my garage. I felt guilty having it, but I didn’t want to throw it away or recycle it.”
The fact that he made it out of Met Stadium with a end zone goal post is an impressive feat, especially since security at the stadium would frown upon that. So how did he manage to casually walk out with it? “The game ends and everybody rushes the field,” Kump said. “I see the crossbar going by with 10 guys carrying it. So I grab on to it.”
“So we head over to the chain-link fence they had at the Met, it’s like 8 feet high. We go to throw it over the fence. As the other guys are throwing it over, I take off for the nearest gate, make it outside and get to the crossbar.” Where Kump was parked was close enough to the stadium that he made a clean break with it and never looked back.
So when Swartz and Tarrant came calling to enquire about the goal post, Kump knew what the right thing to do was. He gave it back to the Vikings for a helmet signed by Stefon Diggs.
Kump’s story is just one of many featured at the new museum. Also featured is the “Frozen in Time” section which greets visitors and features the six players whose numbers are retired, the Triumphs in Battle wall that displays various game balls, a leaders section that features all of the teams head coaches and will display the headset’s with accompanying audio.
And of course, all the Bud Grant you can handle.