Jerry Burns Gets Roasted Next Week

Former Vikings coach Jerry Burns will be the target of a Minnesota Minutemen roast next Tuesday. Find out more inside.

Jerry Burns has long held a special place in the hearts – and colorful vocabulary – of Vikings fans. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Minutemen are hosting a roast for the former Vikings head coach and offensive coordinator affectionately known as Burnsie.

The charity luncheon that will benefit the Viking Children's Fund and Minutemen Charities will include roasters and former Vikings Stu Voigt, Wally Hilgenberg, Bob Lurtsema and long-time trainer/medical advisor Fred Zamberletti, as well as local celebrities Dick Jonckowski as emcee and fellow roasters Bob McNamara and Jeff Passolt, who, according to Minutemen representative Frank Wood, does a great impersonation of the Burns.

Burns coached at the University of Iowa from 1961 to 1965 and became an assistant to Vince Lombardi with the Green Bay Packers from 1966 to 1967, when the Packers won Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. But after Lombardi retired following the 1967 season, Vikings coach Bud Grant brought Burns to Minnesota to serve as the Vikings' offensive coordinator for the next 18 years – and the Vikings made the playoffs in 12 of those 18 years, winning 11 division titles and playing in four Super Bowls.

Burns became the head of the Vikings in 1986 and lasted in that capacity until 1991. He was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor in 2005.

Of course, Burns might be best known for his colorful press conferences, when he could turn a simple question into a expletive-filled tirade, some of which defended his players and others that offered as much entertainment as they did information. According to Wood, the edited and unedited audio versions of some of those press conferences will be played during the Minutemen's social hour, which will start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21. Lunch and the roast begin at noon at Doubletree Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park.

Tickets for the event are $55, which includes lunch and an autographed copy of the new Vikings book, "A Tradition of Purple," written by Jim Bruton. Tickets for the roast are available online at the Minutemen web site or by calling Pat Cruikshank at 651-785-4659, Matt  Williams at 612-845-1835, or Terry Sullivan at 952-451-2104.

The event is about half full, but only tickets purchased in advance will received the autographed copy of "A Tradition of Purple," Wood said.

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