On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings announced the loss of another link to the team’s illustrious past.
Linebacker Matt Blair, one of the most underrated players in franchise history, has passed away. He was 70 years old.
Blair was a second-round pick of the Vikings in the 1974 NFL Draft out of Iowa State University. He made an immediate impact with the team, both on defense and on special teams, en route to being named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team in 1974. He made six consecutive Pro Bowls from 1977 to 1982, and was named to the All-NFL First-Team in 1980.
Blair was a member of two of the Vikings’ Super Bowl teams, playing in Super Bowl IX as a rookie and Super Bowl XI. He’s a member of the Vikings’ Ring of Honor and, in a number that speaks to his ability on special teams, is currently third in NFL history in blocked kicks, racking up 20 over the course of his career. He also intercepted 16 passes in his 12 seasons in the NFL, all of which were spent in Minnesota.
As I’ve often stated with many of the older players in Vikings’ history, much of Blair’s career was before my time as a fan, so I don’t have any memories of him specifically. If you do, feel free to share them below.
We at The Daily Norseman want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Matt Blair in light of their loss.