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Former Vikings beat writer Don Banks passes away

Far too young

Minnesota Vikings v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

On Sunday, we lost one of the true titans of the NFL media, and a man that many of us have been reading for many years.

Don Banks, who was a beat writer for the Minnesota Vikings in the mid-1990s before gaining greater prominence as a writer for Sports Illustrated, passed away in his Canton, Ohio hotel room on Sunday. He was just 56 years old, and just hours before had been sending out tweets from the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton.

Banks worked for both the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the mid-1990s, being a part of the Star-Tribune’s staff from 1996 to 1999. After that, he went on to cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then moved on to Sports Illustrated. He had recently been hired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal to be their national NFL writer, and his first piece for that paper was published in Sunday’s edition.

Social media has been flooded with tributes and memorials since word came down of his passing. Here’s one from the man that replaced Banks at the Star-Tribune when he moved to the Pioneer Press, current ESPN football writer Kevin Seifert. (You’ll have to click on it to read the whole thread.)

I didn’t know Don Banks personally, but I know that he was one hell of a writer, and that the world of NFL media is going to be diminished without his presence.

We here at The Daily Norseman send our condolences to the Banks family on their loss.