The Beginning of Minnesota Vikings Nation
Today (Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015) marks the 55th anniversary of an important date in Minnesota history - the beginning of the Minnesota Vikings franchise.
The following story is by Mike Wobschall of vikings.com :
Coming off one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history, the Vikings and its fan base on Thursday celebrate a milestone of professional football in Minnesota. It was on this date – January 28 – in 1960 that Minnesota was granted an expansion NFL franchise at the league owners’ meetings in Miami.
To view the cover of the Minneapolis Star Tribune from January 28, 1960, click here.
The city of Dallas was also awarded a franchise on this date.
Leading the charge to bring the NFL to Minnesota was the franchise’s founding group - Max Winter, E. William Boyer, H.P. Skoglund, Ole Haugsrud and Bernard H. Ridder, Jr.
The franchise hired its first general manager – former Los Angeles Rams Public Relations Director Bert Rose – in the summer of 1960 and soon after the team was given its nickname. The nickname “Vikings” was chosen by Rose and the franchise’s founders because it represented both an aggressive person with the will to win and the Nordic tradition in the Upper Midwest.
The franchise then selected its first head coach – Norm Van Brocklin – and prepared for its inaugural season by conducting its first college draft in December of 1960 and participating in the expansion draft following the 1960 season. The club was then assigned to the NFL’s Western Conference in April of 1961 and then finally played its first game against the Dallas Cowboys in Sioux Falls, SD, on August 5, 1961, a preseason contest the Cowboys won 38-13.
The franchise’s first regular season game was a stunning upset, as the Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 37-13 at Met Stadium in a game that saw future Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton come off the bench and throw 4 TDs to lead the Vikings to victory.