Marshall Cheats Death Again

Former Viking great Jim Marshall survived another accident, something with which he has become all too familiar, last weekend and is making a "fair" recovery in Rochester's (Minn.) Mayo Clinic.

Many people who know former Viking Jim Marshall know that he has cheated death several times -- ranging from a tragic snowmobile trip to crashing a motorized hang glider to being told he was dead on the operating table to his current fight with prostate cancer.

Marshall again cheated death, as he lies in the Mayo Clinic in Rochester following a weekend car accident that could have easily left him paralyzed. In a statement released by Marshall, no specific conditions were given pertaining to how the accident happened, but he suffered several broken ribs and a fracture to a vertebra near the spine. No paralysis was noted by the doctors and he is already being listed in fair condition.

Marshall told longtime friend and teammate Bob Lurtsema that he has a broken neck, broken ribs and a broken back. He said he was driving on a freshly paved road that didn't have the center lines painted yet. As he went around a curve, Marshall said he hit the gravel shoulder, lost control and flipped the car about five times. He said he was wearing his seatbelt and that saved him.

Marshall was scheduled to co-host the Vikings Alumni breakfast Saturday at the Metrodome for Life's Missing Link, a charity to help troubled youth in Minnesota, but is likely going to be forced to missed that. However, he does plan on making an appearance Monday at a golf tournament to raise money for Life's Missing Link, a charity Marshall helped found.

* The Vikings apparently could use more defensive players like Marshall. In a recent edition of Pro Football Weekly, the 31 NFL teams had their defenses rated from first to worst and the Vikings finished 30th out of 31, ahead of just New England. Perhaps more troubling for Vikings fans is that the team is scheduled to play most of the top of the list, including Baltimore (No. 1), twice vs. Tampa Bay (No. 2), New Orleans (No. 3), Tennessee (No. 4), Philadelphia (No. 6), the Giants (No. 8) and Pittsburgh (No. 9).
* Bob Lurtsema was back in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., last weekend and voted the best defensive lineman to ever come out of Grand Rapids and surrounding areas. Who was the best offensive lineman? Gerald Ford. Yes, the Mr. President Gerald Ford.

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