Vikings adding Matt Blair to Ring of Honor

The concussion lawsuits have caused an interesting dynamic whenever a team and a former player have any type of interaction.

The first thing that comes to mind for me (and presumably for others in the media) is whether the former player has sued the NFL or his team(s) for concussions.

That’s precisely what happened a few minutes ago, after receiving the press release from the Vikings that linebacker Matt Blair will become the 20th member of the team’s Ring of Honor.  Blair will receive the honor on October 25 against the Buccaneers.  The second-round pick in 1974 ranks second on the team’s all-time tackles list, with 1,452.

Blair also made it to six straight Pro Bowls for the Vikings, from 1977 through 1982.

But he hasn’t sued (yet).  It would be interesting to know whether he still would have received the honor if he had.

Even the lawsuits that don’t specifically attack a player’s team(s) necessarily do.  The league is the conduit for the 32 franchises.  Suing the league means suing all teams, which means suing the former team that may (or may not) be honoring a player.

Should it matter?  No.  Will it moving forward?  Maybe.

Ultimately, the owners make the decisions as to who will — and won’t — be honored by the individual teams.  And most business owners abhor being sued.

Regardless, congratulations to Blair.  Here’s hoping he would have made it even if he’d sued.  And here’s hoping that the men who have sued their former teams and/or the league will likewise receive the recognition they deserve from those teams.

7 responses to “Vikings adding Matt Blair to Ring of Honor

  1. Well the teams aren’t as petty as you Mike so I don’t think this will ever matter in any way as trivial as this. Ever.

  2. tombradysponytail says:Jul 30, 2012 5:34 PM

    I know the guy who bought his old house in South Minneapolis. It came with a “Sensory Deprivation Chamber.” Weird.

    Matt Blair? The periodontist?

  3. I met Matt Blair when he was traveling with a Vikings fund raiser basketball team in the mid 70s back in North Dakota. The team came to eat dinner at my house because my dad sponsored the game through a community organization. Bill Brown, Milt Sunde, Wally Hilgenberg, Fred Cox, Bobby Bryant, Matt, Mick Tinglehoff. I think there were a couple of others, but hey, I was 10 and utterly in awe. I’d never seen human beings so large and so friendly. Matt’s ‘fro rubbed on the suspended ceiling in our basement. I thought Boom Boom didn’t need a helmet because his buzz cut was so stiff it would hurt people.

    The BB game was a silly joke, of course, but better than a Globetrotters ‘game’. One moment that stuck in my little fuzzy head is where the team lined up in a football formation, Tinglehoff snapped the ball to Bryant at the free throw line and he took three big steps and planted a foot on Mick’s back and leaped up for the dunk…and nearly decapitated himself on the rim.

    After the game they all hung out in our basement and told stories and drank, carefully, at my dad’s bar. On that frozen February day, my world was a perfect place, and I have the photos and autographs to prove it.

  4. And another thing, just because something crosses the little mind of one of your writers doesn’t mean you should allow it to be shared with the readers of your website.

    Come on… hire an editor and cut out some of the stupidity.

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