When you mention the name of former head coach Jerry Burns to fans of the Minnesota Vikings, there are certain to be a lot of different memories that come to mind. For most, however, the most cited would likely be what happened in the aftermath of the Vikings’ 23-21 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Rams on 5 November 1989.
The score might look like a fairly conventional football score, but the Vikings got to their 23 points in quite an unconventional manner. The points came as a result of seven field goals from barefoot kicker Rich Karlis, five of which came from less than 30 yards. That was enough to send the game to overtime, and the Vikings won courtesy of a blocked punt from linebacker Mike Merriweather that went out of the end zone for a safety. That was the first overtime safety in NFL history.
When you kick five field goals of 30 yards or less, it means your team is having red zone issues, and when a picture of Offensive Coordinator Bob Schnelker was shown on the big screen at the Metrodome, the crowd in attendance met it with a chorus of boos.
To say that Burns was displeased with that would be an understatement, and he let everyone know about it in what might have been. . .nay, certainly is. . .the greatest post-game press conference in NFL history.
Again. . .and I can’t stress this enough. . .the Vikings won this game.
I know that this isn’t the first time that we’ve highlighted this press conference, and there’s a very good chance that it won’t be the last, either. But in light of Coach Burns’ passing today at the age of 94, we thought it would be an opportunity to let everyone talk about their favorite memories of him, including this one here.