Happy 93rd birthday, Bud Grant

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Hall of Fame head coach Bud Grant, a Minnesota icon and one of the best NFL coaches of the 1970s, turns 93 today.

Grant took the Vikings to the Super Bowl in eight years, capping the 1969, 1973, 1974, and 1976 seasons with appearances in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, and XI.

Before coaching, Grant was a first-round pick of the Eagles and a fourth-round pick of the Lakers, in the same year (1950). He played for the then-Minneapolis Lakers, at a time when Sid Hartman (now of the Minneapolis Star Tribune) was the team’s G.M.

After two seasons of NBA basketball, Grant joined the Eagles, playing defensive end one year (and leading the team in sacks) before flipping to receiver. Grant then continued his football career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, with four years as a player and then a decade as the team’s coach. Along the way, the Blue Bombers won four CFL championships.

That caught the eye of the Vikings, who hired Grant to replace Norm Van Brocklin, the first coach in franchise history. Grant spent 17 years with the Vikings, retiring in 1984 and then un-retiring for a season after the disastrous Les Steckel year, when the Vikings went 3-13.

The Vikings won the NFC Central 11 times under Grant’s leadership. Grant still serves as a consultant to the Vikings, and he has an office at the team’s facility.

Grant recently called Paul Allen’s show during a regular segment with Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, addressing among other things the team’s ability to thrive in freezing conditions.

“We practiced in cold weather, and we brainwashed the players that you aren’t cold,” Grant said.

Grant brainwashed himself five years ago, walking to midfield for the coin toss on a below-zero day at TCF Bank Stadium with no jacket and short sleeves. It was, and likely will be, the last outdoor NFL game played in Minnesota, for decades if not forever.

34 responses to “Happy 93rd birthday, Bud Grant

  1. the biggest mistake this franchise has made is playing indoors. We haven’t been to a Super Bowl since we left the Met.

  2. I remember a few years ago when the Vikings honored him. It was a chilly night and true to form, he was wearing a short sleeve shirt. Epic.

  3. It was, and likely will be, the last outdoor NFL game played in Minnesota, for decades if not forever.
    ===================================================

    Football is meant to be played outdoor in the elements on grass, mud and snow. And this comes from a Cowboys fan. I hate domes and fake grass.

  4. Cheers to Bud Grant! Love the Vikings Formation- showing respect to fallen soldiers and friends. Happy Birthday Bud.

  5. What! Sid Hartman was the GM of the Lakers? I never knew that. Someone needs to do a documentary on him while he is still alive. That guy is an all-time legend! He is 100 and has covered anything sports related in MN for at least 70 years and is still writing today.

  6. An Icon.
    I sent him an article on hunting dogs that he was in. Asked him to sign the article. He adds a paragraph story to it and sends it back within a week.
    Happy Birthday, Mr. Grant.

  7. To put a thumbs down on a icon of the NFL reflects a ignorance of what made the NFL up to this point. I dont understand people.

  8. Quarantine is making people even saltier than normal. That is a lot of down votes for simply honoring one of the games all time greats. Quite the life for Bud Grant.

    Happy Birthday, Bud. Minnesota loves you.

  9. conormacleod says:
    May 20, 2020 at 12:12 pm
    Quarantine is making people even saltier than normal. That is a lot of down votes for simply honoring one of the games all time greats. Quite the life for Bud Grant.

    Happy Birthday, Bud. Minnesota loves you.

    —————————————-
    Was never a Vikings’ fan, but was always impressed with Bud Grant’s coaching!

    Happy Birthday Mr. Grant!

    Go Hawks!

  10. I don’t understand all the down votes. This guy is a legend. Whether you liked the Vikings or not, this guy was one of a kind. When he retired, he only trailed Shula and Lombardi on the most wins list.

  11. I went to college in Wisconsin 40 miles from the Vikings stadium. I can vouch for the fact that Bud Grant stood on the sidelines coaching some of the coldest football games ever played on this planet. In recent years he has had garage sales at his home selling off memoribilia. He should have been a Packer, and I can’t say more about him than that.

  12. As much as I may disagree with many of the posters on these boards, I love the toughness, grit and blood that makes up the fabric of the NFL.
    Especially the old school NFL, and Bud Grant personifies that as much as Lombardi and Hallas did.

    I certainly miss these great men that represented that era so well.
    It’s great to see that Bud’s still around and as active as ever.
    So, Cheers to you, Bud!

  13. I’ve always loved Bud Grant. I’ve attended games with him coaching. He’s the best Viking Legacy among all considerations.

  14. I was born and raised in Mankato and caught every training camp there starting in ’69. Never saw Bud yell at his guys but he had that steely eyed stare that spoke volumes. Happy birthday to a great coach, hunter, and avid outdoorsman!

  15. Happy Birthday Bud! Classic old school football coach. We haven’t had a sniff of a Super Bowl since you left.

  16. It was great being a kid and watching Bud Grant and the Purple People Eaters. Happy Birthday coach.

  17. Bud Grant is what football was meant to be , played by tough men in tough conditions with great respect for the game and the Country. There are few men of this fiber today
    Happy birthday to a Great American patriot.

  18. Legend as a coach and person…along with Noll, Shula, and Landry. The 1970’s were a great era in the NFL. And I agree, Viking football in a dome was a big mistake.

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