This was the bauble the Vikings won making it to Super Bowl VIII. Once there they lost to Miami 24-7 yet polished off Dallas 27-10 in the NFC Championship Game. It was the first of 3 in a 4 year run after drafting Chuck Foreman (The U) and  acquiring Fran Tarkenton in a trade with the Giants.

Bowl VIIIThis was the Purple People Eaters at their best.  They threatened to have an undefeated season until a late season upset at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons on a Monday night. The Vikings were 9-0 and the last unbeaten team.  Although they finished 12-2, Pete Rozelle’s schedule makers were trying to negate their cold weather home field advantage. They played 4 of their last 5 on the road where their 2 losses came. They were very close to going undefeated had they a more fair schedule.

Could this have been backlash against Bud Grant for saying Don Shula had an unfair advantage being on the NFL competition committee??

Chuck Foreman was rookie of the year with 1,363 total yards from scrimmage and 15 TDs.  John Gilliam was a tremendous deep threat with 42 receptions, 907 yards and 8 touchdowns. The play action was set up by the 6th best rushing attack that ran for 2,275 yards in 1973. Aside from Foreman, Oscar Reed (401 yds), Ed Marinaro (302 yds of 80’s tvHill Street Blues fame), Dave Osborn (216 yds), Bill Brown (206 yds), and even Fran Tarkenton pitched in with (202 yds) and everyone had a better than 4.0 avg per rush.

viii44Bud Grant’s ball control offense rested the NFC’s sixth best defense. Led by Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page (NFL MVP in ’71), and Gary Larsen, they were still the best front four in football and were in the midst of a division dominance that ruled the NFC Central for the better part of 8 years.

super-bowl-logo-1973They came up short in Rice Stadium vs the Dolphins but with their offense intact they would have a few more chances. Everyone was still in their prime  Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and Chuck Foreman should ALL be in the Hall!!

The Soul Of The Game: Bill Brown

Our choice for first special teams player to go to the Hall of Fame would be Bill Brown.

Our choice for first special teams player to go to the Hall of Fame would be Bill Brown.

When Steve Tasker was about to retire from the Buffalo Bills in 1997, many pundits talked about is candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Aside from former Chiefs kicker Jan Stenerud, no player who played primarily on special teams has made it into the halls of Canton. Everyone thought Steve should be the first along with Pat Tillman and possibly Hank Bauer. However if you ask our CEO who should be the first person to make the Hall of Fame when it comes to special teams players, Bill Brown of the 1960s-1970s Minnesota Vikings would be the first.

Our The Soul of The Game series is about hitting and defense. Its still the essence of the sport. Although Bill Brown was a Full Back, he played special teams through his entire career. Most notably when the Vikings decided to get younger and drafted Full Back Chuck Foreman out of the University of Miami (The [[_]]) in 1973. In most instances an aging player goes to another team or sits the bench quietly. Out of the offensive limelight Brown still crashed on special teams as the Vikings became a Super Bowl team again in 1973 & 1974.


After the Vikings played in Super Bowl IX, a 16-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown retired after a 14 year career. He had been a Pro Bowl Full Back 4 times back in the 1960s and finished his career with 5,838 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns. So his career did have real merit.

The only issue is the tackles weren’t being recorded on special teams to further showcase his contributions. However Brown’s career concluded well over a decade before the first Pro Bowl slot for a special teams player was introduced. He did go down and hit as the video will attest. What is sprinkled in the video as well are the many tackles he made after a fumble or an interception against the Vikings offense. Notice how many times he hits a linebacker wearing a 50s series number. Bill Brown was a complete football player and should be the first special teams player to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a special teams ace.

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Bill Brown (June 29, 1938- Nov. 4, 2018)

Taylor Blitz Times new logo!!

Taylor Blitz Times new logo!!