With Brett Favre news, or a lack thereof, sill dominating the Vikings landscape, now marks the perfect time to look back into Viking history.
Today’s lesson: the craziest Vikings to have ever played the game.
Every team needs at least one, the one guy who doesn’t care what the media or public thinks of him. They draw the attention and accolades for their on-and off-field actions.
Doing things that could only be loved by their own fans are what these players are known for. They’re not always positive and they don’t usually follow the rules on the field; and that is what makes them great.
An endless source of entertainment, these players were and are some of the top players of their time and they made sure everyone else knew about it.
Their actions have carved out a special place in Viking lore.
When looking back on these players, one can feel only love, and maybe a little bitterness in one case. Don’t expect to find any love-boats or “original whizzinators” here, only some love for Viking players who have made the team fun to watch and be a part of.
Some things to remember about this list: It’s completely subjective! I want to hear your feedback on this. Did I leave anyone out? Disagree with one of my picks? Let it be known. I also avoided players who were just plain insane, otherwise this list would have just been the “Steal of the Draft” Onterrio Smith four times.
I hope you enjoy looking over this short list and hopefully it will serve as a brief distraction from the Brett Favre saga.
Let's go ahead and get this out of the way now.
Randy Moss is like a bad ex. Most of the time you can tell yourself that you're better off now without him. Still, sometimes all you remember are the good times and—dare I say it—miss the guy.
From his first year in the league on, Moss was a star. His blazing speed and spectacular catches allowed him to do things no other player could do, including taking plays off.
His "mooning" of the Packer faithful remains, to this day, one of the infamous points of his career and a permanent part of the VIkings-Packers rivalry.
During his time in Minnesota, Moss could effortlessly switch between being the most talented player in the league and "playing when he wanted to play."
Unfortunately for Moss, his hitting a traffic cop with his car, squirting a referee with a water bottle, and walk-out on the Washington playoff game in 2004 still loom in the heads of Vikings faithful.
In the end Moss needed to go. He was a headache and a team cancer too big to overcome. But does that mean I can't miss him? Just every now...and then...
Well, now that I've got that out of the way let's move on the to newest addition to the Vikings list of crazy defensive linemen: Jared Allen.
Everything about the guy screams "off his rocker," and I love it.
On his first day in Vikings training camp he showed up with matching white leather cowboy boots for both Pat and Kevin Williams. His mullet has become the most feared hairstyle of quarterbacks around the league. The man shaves a racing stripe into it for every sack for crying out loud.
Most of America had their first introduction to Jared Allen in 2006 when he played for the Chiefs. During the Sunday Night Football broadcast introductions instead of stating his name and college he opted for:
"Jared Allen, home school, thanks mom!"
Did I mention he wore an unidentified animal as a hat during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show?
When asked what his thoughts were about the addition to Jay Cutler to the division Allen replied: “Twice a year, I’m gonna peel the back of his head off the turf."
If you're looking for a character, there's nothing about Jared Allen that you'll dislike.
Now if only he could do something about that DUI problem.
While Marshall was, for the most part, a classy player on the field, Marshall makes my list for two distinct moments in his NFL career.
The first, and most glaringly obvious, moment is his embarrassing safety for the San Fransisco 49ers. No that wasn't a typo. Marshall scored for the Niners.
During the game in 1964, Marshall scooped up the fumble and took it an amazing 66 yards. Unfortunately, they were all in the wrong direction. After spiking the ball in the end zone while the play was still live, it rolled out of bounds and resulted in a safety.
The play remains the only blemish on what was a Hall of Fame-caliber career.
The other event that lands Marshall on this list didn't even occur on a football field. It happened in the wilds of Minnesota during a terrible snow storm.
In January of 1971, Marshall and 15 others set out on snowmobiles in harsh winter conditions. The weather caused the machines to fail and the men had to continue on foot to find suitable shelter.
During their trek on foot, temperatures reached -80 degrees after wind-chill. In order to stay warm Marshall and his group began burning money and candy wrappers for warmth and shelter.
The group was rescued after spending over an entire day alone and exposed in the Minnesota winter with no shelter.
The Iron Man may have once held the record for most consecutive starts at 270, but his time in the wild tested his longevity more than any game.
Without doubt, most Minnesota fans can still hear John Randle's screams after every sack. They can still see the eye-black streaming down his face.
John Randle had "it." What is "it?" Dan Dierdorf called it a "controlled insanity."
Largely regarded as one of the greatest defensive linemen of the 90s, and perhaps all time, Randle lacked an off button.
Teammates would remark that Randle lived with the same intensity that he showed on the field. Practicing against him proved to be insufferable as he would yell and scream after every victory.
His on-field antics were comedy gold as he would taunt All-Star players such as Steve Young and Brett Favre into committing rookie mistakes.
During his time in the NFL, Randle appeared in many commercials, the most notable being one in which he chased, caught, and ate a chicken in a Brett Favre jersey.
He danced, he sang, he entertained for years in Minnesota. It was truly sad to see him leave the team after the 2000 season. His leaving marked a downward spiral for the Vikings that they are just now recovering from.
Perhaps his counterpart and fellow list-maker Jared Allen can help lead Minnesota back to and past the levels that were reached under Randle.