With the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 approximately 48 hours away. . .and with former Minnesota Vikings great Randy Moss being one of this year’s leading attractions. . .it’s time to ask who the next member of the purple to find themselves in Canton might be.
Now, the general consensus among Vikings fans (and yes, I get that there’s some disagreement, but that’s what “general consensus” allows for) is that defensive end Jim Marshall should have been in the Hall of Fame quite a while ago. While that’s a good name to choose, Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has a slightly different take on it.
While putting together his list of the most Hall of Fame worthy player from each franchise that isn’t already enshrined in Canton, Harrison went a slightly different direction for the Vikings, and he took a guy that many. . .not even a lot of Vikings fans. . .might immediately think of in linebacker Matt Blair.
I could go in many directions here, but I feel Blair is the right choice. He played 12 seasons in Minnesota, competing in two Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls along the way. Blair developed into one of the game’s most versatile linebackers in the 1970s. Where No. 59 in purple and white really shined, however, was on special teams. Stat of the day: Blair has been credited with an unofficial 20 blocked kicks, third-most in NFL history. Goodnight. And to think, people got all lathered up about Kam Chancellor leaping over the line to block one kick.
Other Vikings worth mentioning: Ahmad Rashad, Jim Marshall, Ed White.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Blair’s time with the Vikings doesn’t overlap much with my time of being a Vikings fan. My first season of real fandom (or at least being able to understand and/or care about what was going on) was 1984, which was Blair’s penultimate season with the Vikings. But from the stuff I’ve seen of him on videos and things of that nature, he was outstanding. And twenty blocked kicks? I’m not sure who the active leader in the NFL today is, but I’d be quite willing to bet you that whoever it is isn’t anywhere near twenty.
As you can see from the quoted text above, Harrison also mentions Ahmad Rashad and Ed White. Again, I didn’t see much of either of them when they were members of the Vikings, although I’ve seen the video of the “Miracle at the Met” more times than I think I can count. From what I’ve read about White, he was also an incredibly solid player in his time, but he spent almost as long with the San Diego Chargers as he did with the Vikings, and could probably almost be listed under their spot for most Hall of Fame worthy as well.
Any of the players that Harrison mentions from the Vikings in his article would have to get in through the Seniors Committee, much like Mick Tingelhoff (belatedly) did a couple of seasons ago.
Who do you think is the most worthy past member of the Vikings that isn’t already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?