I visited with Matthew Berry and Michael Smith on Fantasy Football Pregame while wearing a Chuck Foreman hoodie. It has special significance today, with the Vikings returning to Buffalo for an interconference clash.
On December 1975, the Vikings closed the regular season by playing the Bills in Buffalo on a Saturday. Chuck Foreman, who was competing with Bills running back O.J. Simpson to break Gale Sayers’s single-season touchdown record, entered the game with 18. Foreman scored four that day, tying Sayers. Simpson scored once, setting a new record of 23.
Foreman didn’t get a chance to score a fifth touchdown, because he was hit in the eye with a snowball in the third quarter. Back in 2014, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press revisited the story — and solved the mystery. Sort of.
Foreman explained to Tomasson that, in 2013, former Bills guard Joe DeLamielleure was attending a Vikings-Bills preseason game in Buffalo. DeLamielleure struck up a conversation with a security guard who admitted he threw the snowball, at a time when he was 10 years old.
DeLamielleure had Foreman’s number in his phone, so DeLamielleure called Foreman. The security guard apologized. Foreman accepted. The only problem was that, by 2014, both DeLamielleure and Foreman had forgotten the man’s name.
As Tomasson explained, the snowballs got so bad late in the contest that Bud Grant sent all players who weren’t on the field to the locker room. The Minnesota defense would have played offense (with Paul Krause at quarterback) if the Vikings had regained possession in a game they led, 35-13.
Foreman, who ended up leading the NFC in scoring and receiving that season, came within six yards of leading the NFC in rushing, too. The far bigger disappointment came eight days later, when Foreman and the Vikings lost to the Cowboys in the Hail Mary playoff game.