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The Vikings Reader

2009

Armand Peterson, editor

The Vikings Reader

Relive fifty years of glory and defeat as a Minnesota Vikings football fan

From the early days of Fran Tarkenton to the rushing records of Adrian Peterson, from the bleachers of Met Stadium to the locker rooms of the Metrodome, The Vikings Reader revels in the plays that have brought generations of purple and gold fans to their feet—or left them groaning in their seats—and brings Vikings football to life for fans everywhere.

Pro football zealots are sure to find fascinating accounts here to meet all of their needs.

Jim Klobuchar

The Minnesota Vikings are one of pro football’s most successful franchises, with seventeen divisional championships, twenty-five postseason berths, and four Super Bowl appearances to their name. Yet as any Minnesotan can attest to, life as a Vikings fan can be a maddening affair—while the Vikings were the first team to appear in four Super Bowls, they were also the first to lose four Super Bowls.

Armand Peterson’s The Vikings Reader is the fascinating, yard-by-yard chronicle of fifty years of Vikings football from the perspective of the sportswriters and other commentators who were there as the stories unfolded. Through a wide range of regional articles, national columns, and book excerpts—all framed by Peterson’s own insightful narrative—this impressionistic history invites readers to relive such defining moments as:

• Fran Tarkenton’s four touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Chicago Bears in their first game on September 17, 1961
• the inspirational “40 for 60” team of 1969 and the Vikings’ first Super Bowl appearance
• the dominance of the 1970s, the vaunted “Purple People Eaters” defense, and three more crushing Super Bowl defeats
• the 1998 Vikings’ NFL scoring record, led by Cunningham, Carter, Moss, and Smith
• roller-skating cheerleaders, the “Last Great Tailgate Party” at Met Stadium, ownership controversies, and Adrian Peterson’s single-game rushing record
• classic reportage from Jim Klobuchar, Sid Hartman, Frank Deford, Patrick Reusse, Peter King, Jim Murray, and many others

From the early days of Fran Tarkenton to the rushing records of Adrian Peterson, from the bleachers of Met Stadium to the locker rooms of the Metrodome, The Vikings Reader revels in the plays that have brought generations of purple and gold fans to their feet—or left them groaning in their seats—and brings Vikings football to life for fans everywhere.

The Vikings Reader

Armand Peterson is a retired engineer and the coauthor of Town Ball: The Glory Days of Minnesota Amateur Baseball (Minnesota, 2006).

The Vikings Reader

Pro football zealots are sure to find fascinating accounts here to meet all of their needs.

Jim Klobuchar

This is the best collection of purple prose I've ever read, a rich and varied account that ends—like so many operatic Viking seasons—too soon.

Steve Rushin

I have no doubt in my mind that Vikings fans (new or old) will enjoy reading this, and I have nothing but positive things to say about it.

Nam Huynh, Minnesota Sports Zone

Perfect for any Minnesota football fan. Readers can seemingly go back in time with the words of the players who said them and writers who wrote them and get as close of a glimpse as possible of Viking’s glory and failure. . . . All fans will enjoy Peterson’s travels through time. I wish I read a book like this when I was younger so I could have had a better perspective on the 1998 team. In fact, I recommend it for any fan born around that time.

Oakdale Lake Elmo Review

Fans of the Vikings will love The Vikings Reader. It’s a must have, must read for everyone who has ever followed the Minnesota Vikings.

Examiner.com

Older fans can relive favorite memories, and younger fans can go back in time and feel what it was like to get caught in the excitement building up to the Vikings’ 1960 Super Bowl bid, just as the 2009 Vikes get ready to give ‘er a go again.

Maple Grove Magazine

The Vikings Reader

UMP blog - Vikings vs. Saints: The best of times, the worst of times

1/20/2010
For Minnesota Vikings fans looking forward to the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday—with my apologies to Charles Dickens—it is the best of times, and it is the worst of times. “Best” because Brett Favre has ignited fan excitement for the Vikings we haven’t seen since 1998. And “worst” because you know what happened back then—the sure-thing 15-1 Vikings lost a heartbreaker in overtime to Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game.
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UMP blog Q&A: Favorite memories of Vikings' past from the author

9/10/2009
Q: On Sept. 17th, 1961, you attended your first (and THE first) Vikings regular-season home game at Met Stadium. Can you tell us about it?
A: The football field was laid out roughly along the baseball right field foul line. Since the (Minnesota) Twins (baseball team) still had some games left in their season, the baselines and infield areas of the baseball diamond were left un-sodded, and the mound was skinned down to football-field level. Attendance was only 32,236, but it was a near-full house. At the time, the left field bleachers were temporary and were moved toward the infield for football games (construction of permanent left-field stands in 1965, as well as other upgrades, eventually pushed the football seating capacity to 47,900).
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