gives Bud Grant a high-five upon his return to the Vikings in 1985
Minnesota is granted an NFL franchise at the league owners' meetings in Miami,
FL. on Jan. 28, 1960. The team will begin play in 1961. The founding group
consisted of Max Winter, E. William Boyer, H.P Skoglund, Ole Haugsrud and
Bernard H. Ridder, Jr.
ROSE NAMED GENERAL MANAGER
In late summer, 1960, former Los Angeles Rams Public Relations Director Bert
Rose was named the team's first General Manager.
In one of his first moves with the team, Bert Rose recommended the nickname
"Vikings" to the Board of Directors. The name was selected because it represented
both an aggressive person with the will to win and the Nordic tradition in
the region that the team represents.
FIRST HEAD COACH
Norm Van Brocklin is selected as the first head coach in franchise history.
He retired as a player in 1960 after 12 seasons in the NFL.
FIRST COLLEGE DRAFT
On Dec. 27, 1960 running back Tommy Mason of Tulane is taken with the first
overall choice and the first-ever draft pick utilized by the Vikings. Also
selected that year were quarterback Fran Tarkenton (3rd round) and running
back Ed Sharockman (5th round).
Following the 1960 season, the Vikings were allowed to select three players
from the roster of each team after each team was allowed to protect 30-of-their-38
players. Dallas was exempt from this process. Among the players selected were
guard Grady Alderman from Detroit and running back Hugh McElhenny from San
On April 12, 1961, the National Football League assigned the Vikings to the
Western Conference. Minnesota joined Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay,
Los Angeles and San Francisco in that conference.
In the first game in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings played the Dallas
Cowboys in a preseason game in Sioux Falls, SD., on Aug. 5, 1961. The Cowboys
defeated the Vikings, 38-13.
FIRST HOME GAME
The Minnesota Vikings played the Los Angeles Rams at Metropolitan Stadium
in Bloomington, MN., on Sept. 10, 1961 in the team's first game in the Twin
Cities. The Rams defeated the Vikings, 21-17.
FIRST REGULAR-SEASON GAME
In a stunning upset, the Minnesota Vikings defeat the Chicago Bears, 37-13,
at Metropolitan Stadium in the Vikings' first NFL regular-season game on Sept.
17, 1961. Kicker Mike Mercer scored the first points in team history with
a four-yard field goal. Bob Schnelker scored the team's first touchdown on
a 14-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton. In his NFL debut Tarkenton came off the
bench to complete 17-of-23 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns.
FIRST PRO BOWLERS
On Jan. 14, 1962 running back Hugh McElhenny and wide receiver Jerry Reichow
became the first Vikings to compete in the Pro Bowl. They were part of the
Western Conference All-Stars who beat the Eastern Conference squad, 31-30,
at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
In 1963 running back Tommy Mason, who was the team's first ever draft choice,
is the first Vikings player to earn All-Pro recognition. He is a consensus
pick after rushing for 763 yards and 7 touchdowns on 166 carries (4.6 avg.).
In September, 1964, Jim Finks is named the team's second general manager,
succeeding Bert Rose, who resigned in June, 1964. Finks previously had served
as general manager for Calgary of the Canadian Football League for seven years.
FIRST WINNING SEASON
Minnesota won its final three regular-season games in 1964 to achieve the
first winning season in team history with an 8-5-1 record. The Vikings tied
for second in the NFL Western Conference behind Baltimore.
A new grandstand is constructed on the East side of Metropolitan Stadium that
increases capacity from 41,200 to 47,200. The new seats were formally dedicated
on Aug. 20, 1965, when Minnesota played Philadelphia in a preseason game.
On Dec. 2, 1966 Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay were chosen to make
up the newly-formed Central Division of the Western Conference of the NFL.
VAN BROCKLIN RESIGNS
After compiling a 29-51-4 record while leading the Vikings in their first
six years of existence, Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin resigned in February,
1967. His best season was 1964, when he led the team to a tie for second place
in the NFL Western Conference with an 8-5-1 record.
On March 7, 1967 quarterback Fran Tarkenton is traded to the New York Giants
for a first- and second-round choice in 1967, a first-round choice in ‘68
and a second-round choice in ‘69. With the picks Minnesota selected Clinton
Jones and Bob Grim in ‘67, Ron Yary in ‘68 and Ed White in ‘69.
GRANT NAMED HEAD COACH
Bud Grant was named the second head coach in Vikings history on March 10,
1967. He came to Minnesota after leading the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to four
Grey Cup Championships in 10 years as head coach.
FIRST DIVISION TITLE
On Dec. 15, 1968 the Vikings defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-17, at Franklin
Field then retired to the dressing room to listen to the Chicago-Green Bay
game on the radio. Minnesota needed the Bears to lose to clinch the Vikings'
first division title. Chicago tried to rally from a 28-10 fourth quarter deficit
but eventually fell, 28-17.
FIRST PLAYOFF GAME
On Dec. 22, 1968, in the first playoff game in franchise history, the Baltimore
Colts defeated the Vikings, 24-14, in the Western Conference Championship
Game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Minnesota trailed 21-0 in the fourth
quarter but a late rally fell short.
SECOND DIVISION TITLE
On Nov. 27, 1969 the Vikings shutout Detroit, 27-0, at Tiger Stadium to clinch
the franchise's second division title. The victory over the Lions was the
10th of a 12-game win streak, the longest in the NFL in 35 years. Minnesota
finished the season with the NFL's best regular-season record (12-2) of '69.
FIRST PLAYOFF WIN
On Dec. 27, 1969 in the first NFL playoff game in Minnesota, the Vikings came
from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 23-20, in the Western Conference
Championship Game. Minnesota overcame deficits of 17-7 at half-time and 20-14
in the fourth quarter for the franchise's first postseason win.
FIRST NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The Vikings defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27-7, in the NFL Championship Game
on Jan. 4, 1970 at Metropolitan Stadium. Minnesota became the first modern
NFL expansion team to win an NFL Championship Game. The Vikings dominated
the game, leading 27-0 before the Browns scored with 1:24 left in the game.
On Jan. 11, 1970 the Vikings lost to Kansas City, 23-7, in
Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Not only was the game the
first Super Bowl in franchise history, but it was the first Super Bowl played
by a modern expansion team.
THIRD DIVISION TITLE
On Dec. 5, 1970, the Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears, 16-13, at Metropolitan
Stadium to clinch their third straight division title. Minnesota hosted San
Francisco in a divisional playoff game but lost, 17-14. For the second consecutive
season, the Vikings had the league's best regular-season record with a 12-2
FOURTH DIVISION TITLE
On Dec. 11, 1971 the Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions, 29-10, at Metropolitan
Stadium to clinch their fourth straight division title. Minnesota finished
the year with an 11-3 mark, which tied Dallas for the league's best record
in ‘71. The Vikings lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Cowboys, 20-12,
in a divisional playoff game at Metropolitan Stadium.
|PAGE NAMED NFL'S MVP
In 1971 Alan Page became the first defensive player to be named
the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League by the Associated
Press. Page headed a Vikings defense that held opponents to fewer than 10 points
a game to lead the league in scoring defense for the third consecutive year.
VIKINGS REACQUIRE TARKENTON
In 1972 the Vikings traded Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements, a first-round
choice in ‘72, and a first-round choice in ‘73 to the New York Giants for
Fran Tarkenton. The Giants selected Larry Jacobson in ‘72 and Brad Van Pelt
In 1972 E. William Boyer passed away. He was one of the prime forces in the
drive to bring an NFL franchise to Minnesota. Boyer was president of the Vikings
from 1960-64 and sat on the Board of Directors for the first 12 years of the
team's existence. He is replaced on the team's Board of Directors by his son-in-law
FIFTH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings began the '73 season with nine straight victories and clinched
the NFC Central championship before they even lost a game. Minnesota clinched
the division crown by defeating Detroit, 28-7, at Metropolitan Stadium on
Nov. 11, 1973. The Vikings finished with a 12-2 mark, which tied for the best
record in the league that year.
SECOND SUPER BOWL
On Jan. 13, 1974 the Vikings played in the second Super Bowl in franchise
history against the Miami Dolphins at Rice Stadium in Houston, TX. The Dolphins
prevailed, 27-10. Minnesota earned the trip to Super Bowl VIII by defeating
Dallas, 27-10, in the NFC Championship Game at Texas Stadium on Dec. 30, 1973.
After the 1973 season, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Finks
resigned. Under Finks, who was hired in 1964, the Vikings won five division
titles and appeared in two Super Bowls. He also hired Bud Grant as head coach
SIXTH DIVISION TITLE
On Dec. 1, 1974 the Vikings clinched the NFC Central crown by defeating the
New Orleans Saints, 29-9, at Metropolitan Stadium, while the Green Bay Packers
lost, 36-14, at Philadelphia. Minnesota tied for the best record in the NFC
with a 10-4 mark.
THIRD SUPER BOWL
The Vikings played in their second straight Super Bowl, losing to the Pittsburgh
Steelers, 16-6, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on Jan. 12, 1975. Minnesota
earned a trip to Super Bowl IX by defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 14-10, at
Metropolitan Stadium on Dec. 29, 1974.
FRONT OFFICE CHANGES
In the spring of 1975, Max Winter, one of the team's founders and its president
since 1965, takes over active management of the franchise. In addition Mike
Lynn, who was hired as an assistant to the president on Aug. 15, 1974, is
named the team's general manager.
SEVENTH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings clinch their third straight NFC Central title and their seventh
division championship in eight years on Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 27, 1975,
when the Detroit Lions lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 20-0. Minnesota won 10
consecutive games to start the season and finished the year with the best
record (12-2) in the NFL. The Vikings were upset, 17-14, in the divisional
playoffs at Metropolitan Stadium on Dec. 28, 1975, when the Dallas Cowboys
scored on a last minute 50-yard touchdown pass.
TARKENTON NAMED LEAGUE MVP
Quarterback Fran Tarkenton is named the NFL's Most Valuable Player for 1975
after leading the Vikings to the league's best record (12-2). He led the NFC
and finished second in the NFL in passing with a 91.7 rating. He completed
273-of-425 passes for 2,994 yards with 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Ole Haugsrud passed away in March, 1976. He was one of the prime forces in
the drive to bring an NFL franchise to Minnesota. Haugsrud sat on the Board
of Directors for 16 years of the team's existence. He is replaced on the team's
Board of Directors by his widow Margaret Haugsrud.
EIGHTH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings clinched their fourth consecutive NFC Central championship and
their eighth division title in nine years by defeating the Green Bay Packers,
17-10, at Milwaukee County Stadium on Nov. 21, 1976. Minnesota finished the
season with an 11-2-1 record, the best in the NFC in ‘76.
FOURTH SUPER BOWL
The Vikings played in their third Super Bowl in four years against the Oakland
Raiders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. on Jan. 9, 1977. Minnesota lost,
32-14. The Vikings earned a trip to Super Bowl XI by defeating the Los Angeles
Rams, 24-13, at Metropolitan Stadium on Dec. 26, 1976 in what ended up being
the last Vikings playoff game at the Met.
KAPLAN NAMED TO BOARD
In 1977 team attorney Sheldon Kaplan is named to the Vikings Board of Directors.
He replaces Bernard H. Ridder, Jr., who was one of the team's five founders.
NINTH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings clinched the NFC Central crown on the season's final weekend by
defeating the Detroit Lions, 30-21, at the Pontiac Silverdome on Dec. 17,
1977. Minnesota wrapped up its fifth straight NFC Central title and its ninth
division championship in 10 seasons.
FOURTH NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
On Jan. 1, 1978 the Vikings played in their fourth NFC Championship Game in
five years against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Minnesota lost to
the eventual Super Bowl Champions, 23-6.
CHANGES ON BOARD
John Skoglund and Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn are named to the team's
Board of Directors replacing Margaret Haugsrud and H.P. Skoglund, who was
one of the team's founders. Haugsrud joined the board in 1976, replacing her
husband Ole, who passed away.
TENTH DIVISION TITLE
Despite losing in the regular-season finale to the Oakland Raiders, 27-20,
on Dec. 17, 1978 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Vikings captured
the NFC Central title when the Green Bay Packers, who played at the same time
as Minnesota, lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 31-14, at the L.A. Coliseum. It
was the Vikings' sixth straight NFC Central crown and their 10th division
championship in 11 years.
METRODOME GROUND BREAKING
In December, 1979, ground is broken for construction of the Hubert H. Humphrey
Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium, which will house both the
Vikings and Twins, is scheduled to open in April, 1982.
ELEVENTH DIVISION TITLE
Minnesota clinched its seventh NFC Central title in eight years by defeating
the Cleveland Browns, 28-23, at Metropolitan Stadium on Dec. 14, 1980. It
also was the Vikings' 11th division title in 13 seasons. Minnesota lost to
the eventual NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles, 31-16, at Veterans Stadium
on Jan. 3, 1981 in the divisional playoffs.
WINTER PARK OPENS
On May 15, 1981 the Vikings moved into a new facility in Eden Prairie that
houses the team's offices, locker room and practice fields. The complex was
named "Winter Park" after Max Winter, one of the Vikings founders who served
as the team's president from 1965-87.
On Dec. 20, 1981 the Vikings hosted the Kansas City Chiefs
in Minnesota's final game at Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings lost, 10-6.
The final points at the stadium were scored on a 33-yard field goal by Minnesota
kicker Rick Danmeier. The last Vikings touchdown at Metropolitan Stadium was
scored on a six-yard run by Ted Brown against Green Bay on Nov. 29, 1981.
The Vikings played their first game at the Metrodome in a preseason matchup
against Seattle on Aug. 21, 1982. Minnesota prevailed, 7-3. The first touchdown
in the new facility was scored by Joe Senser on an 11-yard pass from Tommy
Kramer. The first regular-season game in the Metrodome was the 1982 opener
on September 12, when the Vikings defeated Tampa Bay, 17-10. Rickey Young
scored the first regular-season touchdown in the facility on a three-yard
run in the second quarter.
TWELFTH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
In a strike-shortened nine-game 1982 season, the Vikings win 3-of-their-last-4
regular-season games to earn a postseason berth. It was the eighth time in
nine years and the 12th time in 14 seasons that Minnesota qualified for the
FIRST DOME PLAYOFF GAME
On Jan. 9, 1983 the Vikings defeated Atlanta, 30-24, in a first-round game
that was the first playoff matchup in the Metrodome. Minnesota lost to the
eventual Super Bowl Champion Washington Redskins, 21-7, in the NFC semifinals
at RFK on Jan. 15, 1983.
On Jan. 27, 1984 Bud Grant resigned as head coach of the Vikings. In 17 seasons
Grant led Minnesota to 12 playoff appearances, 11 division titles and four
Super Bowls. His career regular-season record was 151-87-5 (.632).
Les Steckel, who was an offensive assistant with the Vikings for five seasons,
was named the third head coach in franchise history on Jan. 29, 1984. Steckel,
who came to the Vikings in 1979 after working as an assistant with the San
Francisco 49ers, was the youngest head coach in the NFL in ‘84 at age 38.
On Dec. 18, 1984 Bud Grant is rehired as the head coach of the Vikings. He
replaced Les Steckel who guided the team in 1984 after Grant retired following
the ‘83 season.
Jan. 6, 1986 following the 1985 season, Bud Grant retired as head coach of
the Vikings. He originally retired after the 1983 season but returned to coach
the team in ‘85. At the time of his retirement he was the sixth winningest
coach in NFL history with 168 career wins, including playoffs. In 18 seasons
he led the Vikings to a 158-96-5 regular-season record.
Longtime Vikings assistant coach Jerry Burns is named the fourth head coach
in team history on Jan. 7, 1986. He served as the Vikings offensive coordinator
from 1968-85, when the team won 11 division titles and played in four Super
On Aug. 2, 1986 Fran Tarkenton became the first player who spent the majority
of his career with the Vikings to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of
Fame. He retired following the 1978 season with NFL career records for passing
yards (47,003), completions (3,686) and touchdown passes (342). He led the
Vikings to six NFC Central titles, four NFC Championship Games and three Super
THIRTEENTH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
Despite a strike replacement unit that saddled the Vikings with three losses,
the team made the playoffs as a wild-card entrant with an 8-7 record in 1987.
It was the team's first postseason appearance under Jerry Burns, who was in
his second season as the Vikings head coach.
FIFTH NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The Vikings played the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship Game on
Jan. 17, 1988 at RFK Stadium. Trailing 17-10, the Vikings drove to the Redskins'
6-yard with a little over a minute left in the game but failed to get the
ball into the end zone. Minnesota upset New Orleans, 44-10, at the Superdome
and San Francisco, 36-24, at Candlestick Park in the first two rounds of the
playoffs to earn a trip to the conference title game.
BOARD ADDS MEMBERS
Four people were added to the Vikings Board of Directors in 1988. Joining
Max Winter, John Skoglund, Jack Steele, Sheldon Kaplan and Mike Lynn were
Wheelock Whitney, Jaye Dyer, Irwin Jacobs and Carl Pohlad.
On July 30, 1988 Alan Page becomes the second player who spent the majority
of his career with the Vikings to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of
Fame. Drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 1967, Page made the Pro Bowl
nine times. In 1971 he became the first defensive player to be named the NFL's
Most Valuable Player by Associated Press. Page played a big role on teams that
won 10 NFC Central titles and played in four Super Bowls.
FOURTEENTH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
The Vikings won 6-of-their-last-7 games in 1988 to earn a wild-card berth
into the playoffs. Minnesota finished with an 11-5 record then defeated the
Los Angeles Rams, 28-17, on December 26 in a first-round playoff game at the
Metrodome. The Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs the following week
by eventual Super Bowl Champion San Francisco, 34-9, at Candlestick Park.
REMAINING FOUNDER LEAVES BOARD
In 1989 Max Winter, who was the last of the original five Vikings' founders
on the team's Board of Directors, left the board. He also served as the team's
president from 1965-87. Winter is replaced on the board by Gerald Schwalbach.
On Oct. 12, 1989 the Vikings acquired Herschel Walker from Dallas for Issiac
Holt, David Howard, Darrin Nelson, Jesse Solomon, Alex Stewart, a first-round
choice in 1992, conditional first-round choices in 1990 and 1991, conditional
second-round choices in 1990, 1991 and 1992, and a conditional third-round
choice in 1992. The final result of the trade gave the Vikings Walker, a third
(Mike Jones), fifth (Reggie Thornton) and 10th-round choice (Pat Newman) in
1990 and a third-round choice in 1991 (Jake Reed), while Dallas received all
five players, a first, second and sixth-round choice in 1990, a first and
second-round choice in 1991 and a first, second and third-round choice in
1992. The trade was the largest in NFL history.
TWELFTH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings captured their twelfth division title since 1968 by defeating
the Cincinnati Bengals, 29-21, at the Metrodome in a Monday night game on
Christmas Day in 1989. It also was Minnesota's 15th postseason appearance
in the past 22 years. The Vikings finished the season with a 10-6 record but
lost to eventual Super Bowl Champion San Francisco, 41-13, at Candlestick
Park in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 6, 1990.
HEADRICK NAMED TEAM PRESIDENT
On Jan. 1, 1991 Roger Headrick became president and chief
executive officer of the Vikings. He replaced Mike Lynn as the person in charge
of day-to-day operations.
Jerry Burns retired on Dec. 3, 1991 after six seasons as head
coach. He compiled a 52-43 record during his time at the helm, including three
playoff appearances, a division title and an appearance in the NFC Championship.
The Vikings reorganized their ownership structure on Dec.
16, 1991. Irwin Jacobs and Carl Pohlad sold their shares to an ownership group
of president and CEO Roger Headrick, John Skoglund, Jaye Dyer, Philip Maas,
Mike Lynn, Wheelock Whitney, James Binger, Bud Grossman, Elizabeth MacMillan
and Carol Sperry.
|GREEN NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
Dennis Green became the fifth head coach in Vikings history
following three years of turning around the Stanford football program.
13TH DIVISION TITLE
In his first season with the team, Green led the Vikings to
a Central Division title and the 16th playoff season since 1968. It was the
most wins (11) by a first-year head coach in team history before losing in
the first round of the playoffs.
17TH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
The team won their final three games of the 1993 season to
earn a wild-card playoff appearance, their 17th time in the playoffs, before
losing to the Giants 17-10 in Giants Stadium on Jan. 9, 1994.
On April 14, 1994, the Vikings traded a 1994 fourth-round
draft pick and a 1995 third-rounder to the Houston Oilers for quarterback
Warren Moon, who will likely be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
in the coming years. In the next two years, Moon set team records for passing
yards, completions and touchdown passes in a season.
GRANT IN THE HALL
Bud Grant was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on
July 30, 1994 after coaching the Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985. He led the
team to 12 playoff appearances, 11 division titles and four Super Bowl appearances.
14TH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings won their second division title in three years
under Green when they beat the San Francisco 49ers on the final Monday night
game of the season. It was the 14th division title and 18th playoff appearance.
Former Vikings general manager Jim Finks was inducted into
the Hall of Fame on July 25, 1995. During his decade with the Vikings, the
team won five division titles and appeared in two Super Bowls.
Max Winter, who served as the owner and president of the Vikings
from 1965-87, died on July 26, 1996. He was a leading force in bringing an
NFL team to Minnesota, building the Metrodome and attracting Super Bowl XXVI
to the Twin Cities.
19TH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
The Vikings earned their 19th postseason appearance, and their
fourth in five seasons under Green, in 1996. However, the team lost 40-15
to defending Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys in the first round at Texas
Stadium on Dec. 28, 1996.
20TH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
Green manufactured his first playoff win after the 1997 season
when the Vikings beat the New York Giants 23-22 at the Meadowlands on Dec.
27, 1997. The win came after the Vikings were 16 points down, the biggest
comeback win in team playoff history and the fifth-biggest in NFL history.
San Francisco beat the Vikings 38-22 in the divisional round the next week.
Former Vikings free safety Paul Krause was inducted into the
Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 1, 1998. Krause played with the team from
1968-79 and with the Redskins from 1964-67. The eight-time Pro Bowler holds
the NFL record with 81 career interceptions.
On July 3, 1998, the 10 owners voted unanimously to accept
the bid of Texas businessman B.J. "Red" McCombs to purchase the Vikings.
The deal came after a tumultuous few months when author Tom Clancy held a press
conference away from Winter Park to announce himself as the owner of the Vikings,
but his deal was rejected after his financing fell apart. McCombs' bid was
unanimously approved on July 28 by NFL owners, finalizing the change of ownership
from 10 owners to the McCombs family.
Red and Charline McCombs
WOODS NAMED TEAM PRESIDENT
Longtime McCombs business associate Gary Woods became the
Vikings president and chief executive officer on Aug. 20, 1998, replacing
Headrick as the person responsible for day-to-day operations.
GREEN GETS CONTRACT EXTENSION
The day before the 1998 regular-season opener, head coach
Dennis Green was granted a three-year contract extension, giving him the second-longest
tenure among the four Vikings head coaches in team history. He was also named
vice president of football operations before the 1999 season.
BEST SEASON IN TEAM HISTORY
With a 15-1 regular-season record, the Vikings posted their
best regular season in team history and won their 15th division title. The
offense established the NFL scoring record with 556 points.
SIXTH NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The Vikings failed to get to their fifth Super Bowl when they
hosted and lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 30-27 in overtime. It was the first
NFC Championship game played in the Metrodome.
22ND PLAYOFF BERTH
Minnesota finished 10-6 in the 1999 season, thanks to winning
eight of its final 10 games and hosted a first-round playoff game against
Dallas. Robert Smith set a team postseason record with 140 yards rushing in
a 27-10 win. The Vikings lost to eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis 49-37
in the divisional round at the TWA Dome.
CARTER MAN OF THE YEAR
Vikings receiver Cris Carter was named the Walter Payton NFL
Man of the Year for his civic involvement and charity work. He received the
award on Jan. 29, 2000 during Super Bowl week.
GREEN GETS EXTENSION
Head coach Dennis Green received his second contract extension
from owner Red McCombs three games into the 2000 season. Green, already the
head coach with the longest tenure with one team, was extended through the
16TH DIVISION TITLE
The Vikings won the NFC Central Division for the 16th time
in team history, the fourth time in Green's nine seasons, with an 11-5 record
in 2000. The team won the first seven games of the season, but failed to gain
home-field advantage throughout the playoffs when it lost its last three games.
SEVENTH NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
For the second time in three years, the Vikings made it to
the NFC Championship game, but also for the second time in three years lost.
The team traveled to the Meadowlands and lost 41-0 to the New York Giants,
the second-worst playoff loss in NFL history.
GREEN'S CONTRACT BOUGHT OUT
Owner Red McCombs bought out head coach and general manager
Dennis Green's contract on Jan. 3, 2002 after a 5-10 record in 2001 and allegations
that Green had lost control of his players. Green received $5.4 million for
the remaining two years.
Offensive line coach and assistant head coach Mike Tice was
named the full-time head coach of the Vikings on Jan. 10, 2002. He is the
sixth coach in franchise history. Tice was the interim head coach for the
final game of the 2001 season after Dennis Green's departure. Tice played
tight end in the NFL for 14 years, including three years with the Vikings
in the early and mid-1990s before becoming a tight ends and offensive line