Football is my favorite sport to watch. I have been a Minnesota Vikings fan for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have had some very memorable memories while watching Viking games with family and friends. For example, on our wedding day, the Vikings had a playoff game the same time as our wedding. That was a problem for some family and friends and should I say me to. I still got married.

We were married on December 18th 1976 at Faith Lutheran Church in Madison. When we set the date we didn’t know the Vikings would be playing a playoff game at the same time. My extended family and good friends at the time were big time Vikings fans. The Vikings played the Washington Redskins at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. It was a very warm day for December 18th, the snow was melting and family and friends were listening to the Vikings game on their car radios in the church parking lot. When it was time for Roxie to walk down the aisle everyone quickly filled the church.

When the wedding was over, people rushed outside again to hear how the Vikings were doing. I did feel sorry for my Uncle Mike, he had season tickets and was a huge Vikings fan. He never missed a Vikings game, he loved to tailgate with his friends at the stadium. We told him to go to the game, but he decided to come to my wedding instead. He always teased me and reminded me of his sacrifice for the rest of his life. I loved my Uncle Mike and miss him. He did play in a benefit basketball game against the Vikings in Waseca back in the early 70’s. Our whole family went to watch him.

My Uncle Mike

January 9 1977 the Vikings played the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. Roxie and I were married the month before and so we went to Morris, Minnesota with some friends to watch the Super Bowl at the Sunwood Inn. We reserved poolside rooms and partied at the motel with lots of friends before the game. Raiders punter, Ray Guy had never had a punt blocked until Vikings linebacker, Fred McNeil blocked his punt in the 1st quarter. When McNeil blocked the punt I began screaming and jumping up and down on the motel bed and broke it! My new wife wasn’t happy with me.

Super Bowl XI: Minnesota Vikings Fred McNeill (54) in action, blocking a punt by Oakland Raiders Ray Guy (8).

More Viking memories from the past. Some good friends of ours went with Roxie and me to a Viking preseason game at Metropolitan Stadium in August 1979. It was against the Saints and we sat down the 1st base line. That day it was 101 degrees out! It was brutal sitting in the sun. I think we left in the 3rd quarter.

Metropolitan Stadium
Metropolitan Stadium

When I was twelve years old and in the 6th grade, living in New Ulm, the Vikings played in their first Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs and lost. I was devastated! I remember going up to my bedroom and crying. Later that summer the Vikings had a basketball team that played local teams for charity. My dad took me to the game when they were in New Ulm. Sitting in the New Ulm gym watching my heroes was so much fun until a man behind me yelled at Alan Page while he was running by us on the court. “Hey Page why don’t you stall like you did with Kansas City!” Well Page stopped and came up into the stands to confront the man behind me, he was standing directly over me sweating and yelling at the man. Scared me to death!

So many more Viking memories to mention, but I better end my blog. I do remember a great memory at the high school gym in Granite Falls. Matt Blair was playing in a Vikings basketball benefit game. He picked my grandson Broc, who was four years old at the time from the crowd and lifted him up to the rim of the basket to shoot the ball and he made it. The crowd went wild! Also, it was fun watching my son Brandon play basketball against the Vikings. Fun time for our family.

I love the Vikings and always will win or lose!

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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