1969 Vikings to be featured in NFLN series

The 1969 Vikings are considered by many long-time followers of the team to be the best in franchise history. Their story will be chronicled on NFL Network Thursday evening.

What is likely to be painful memories for old-school Vikings fans will be relived starting Thursday, as the NFL Network debuts the second installment in the NFL Films series "The Missing Rings." The series examines five of the best teams in the history of the league that missed out on winning a championship. Thursday at 10 p.m. ET the series will address the 1969 Vikings.

Viewed by many as the greatest Vikings team of all time, the 1969 Vikings became famous as the "40 for 60" Vikings – 40 players who came together for a magical season that included a then-NFL record 12 straight wins in the season.

The series debuted last week with an examination of the 1981 San Diego Chargers. On Oct. 2, the series will look at the 1990 Buffalo Bills, followed by the 1988 Bengals Oct. 9 and the 1998 Vikings Oct. 16. Each 60-minute documentary will feature key members of those teams discussing the season – blending NFL Films action footage, new clips, photos, team radio broadcasts and sideline audio to give a clearer picture of the dream seasons that didn't have dream endings.

The program will be re-broadcast at different times. Go to the NFL Network's web page for the broadcast times in your area and relive what may be the greatest team of all-time to never win a championship.


  • Thanks to his remarkable "four-for-one" play – getting a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown on the same play – Antoine Winfield is one of four players up for the GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Week for Sunday's game. Also in the running are Atlanta DE John Abraham, Philadelphia DE Juqua Parker and Miami LB Joey Porter.

  • All of us at VU would like extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Wally Hilgenberg, who died yesterday after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease at the age of 66.

  • Madieu Williams has been out since early in training camp with a neck injury and, although it was speculated that he might return for the Tennessee game Sunday, it would appear his return is at least one more week off.

  • The Vikings re-signed LB Rufus Alexander to the practice squad Tuesday, releasing guard Isaiah Ross. Alexander, a sixth-round draft pick in 2007, missed all of his rookie season due to injury and was among the final cuts at the end of the preseason.

  • Artis Hicks will have his share of supporters at Sunday's game. He grew up relatively close to Nashville and his wife is from the city where the Vikings play Sunday, so expect to see a lot of friends coming out of the woodwork with ticket requests.

  • Bryant McKinnie, who is scheduled to re-join the Vikings following Sunday's game after serving his four-game suspension, has a court date schedule today in Miami.

  • After years of fan speculation, fans wearing bags to games and even organizing what became known as the Millen Man March, Lions fans were ecstatic to learn that the Detroit Lions have fired GM Matt Millen, according to Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com. Since taking over in 2001, Millen had a record of 31-84 in that span – the worst record in the NFL. The Lions made only one playoff game during that time period.

  • Despite signing a five-year, $6 million contract in the offseason, Thomas Tapeh has fallen behind Naufahu Tahi on the Vikings depth chart. Tahi, who has been a standout on special teams, is credited for that being one of the primary reasons Tapeh is no longer the top fullback on the roster. Tapeh was a healthy scratch Sunday against Carolina.

  • Former Viking Braden Jones got a workout with the Broncos Tuesday. He was one of two tight ends to get called in, joining former Raven backup Adam Bergen.

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