Minnesota Vikings

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The Vikings were started by 5 Minnesota business men who were awarded and American league football franchise. Five months later, they were awarded a NFL franchise to begin play in 1961.

In their first game ever, rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton made his debut as he came off the bench to defeat the Chicago Bears in a 37-13 first victory for the franchise. Almost 2 decades later, Tarkenton, with his scrambling ability that coaches did not like at first, ended up breaking the all time passing yardage record. Fran was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the first charter member of the Vikings.

Minnesota was first managed by general manager Bert Rose, along with head coach Norm Van Brocklin, another Hall of Famer that played the quarterback position. Their success was mostly in the marketing of the team as they sold 26,000 tickets the opening season and put the Metropolitan stadium near its capacity, which had an increase to 47,900.

Rose and Van Brocklin resigned and went their separate ways and the franchise was taken over by two Canadians who were successful in Canadian football. Jim Finks, the general manager and Bud Grant, Hall of Famers as well. In only their second year, the Vikings started to win division titles in a tough and competitive division called the black and blue division with rivals such as Detroit, Green Bay, and Chicago. They won that division 11 times out of 13 from 1968 to 1980.

Grant and Finks successful farm system consisted of dominant Hall of Famers such as Carl Eller, Allen Page, Ron Yary, Gary Zimmerman, and Randle McDaniel along the lines and was the corner stone of those teams which reached 4 super bowls in the 1970's and won more division titles during the 1980's successful stretch of playoff runs.

The Vikings moved to the Hubert H. Humphry Metrodome in 1982 and have enjoyed a 65,000+ capacity there in their usual winning ways.

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