Page taking Randle on a ride

By Sunday, there will be two former Vikings defensive tackles in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The elder one will be taking the incoming one on a ride back in time on Saturday, as Alan Page is scheduled to drive John Randle in a 1906 Buick in the Hall of Fame parade.

Two of the best defensive tackles in Vikings history are going on a ride together at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Alan Page might be the best player in the 49 years of Vikings history.

The defensive tackle is one of 16 Vikings in the Ring of Honor and one of six to have his jersey number (88) retired. He's also one of nine Vikings enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will be part of the festivities while the 10th one, defensive tackle John Randle, is officially inducted Saturday.

Page will be driving a 1906 Buick Model F in the Hall of Fame parade Saturday while Randle is a passenger waving to the crowd. Page brought his 104-year-old ride down to Mankato last weekend, and Vikings coach Brad Childress got a ride around the campus of Minnesota State, Mankato.

"It was an adventure," Childress said. "Better speed than I thought, but you've got to anticipate from (about 40 yards away) if you are going to stop. We said you can't go down the hill or go up the hill (leading to the campus). But it's a pretty bad deal when you've got to anticipate and if you do have to stop fast, you have to both throw it into reverse and use the brake. I said, ‘I'm not really sure if that would work today.'"

Top-end speed for the restored Buick that has been in Page's family for five years? About 40 miles per hour.

Randle's motor always ran faster than that, especially on the football field. He started six straight Pro Bowls during his 11 years (1990-2000) with the Vikings and made one more Pro Bowl during his three years with the Seattle Seahawks.

His Vikings statistics were impressive:

  • Leads all defensive tackles in NFL history with 137.5 sacks. Of those, 114 came during his Vikings days, which is the most by a defensive tackle and third-most overall in franchise history.

  • Named to the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1990s.

  • Led or tied for the team lead in sacks nine times and had 10 or more sacks eight straight seasons (1993-2000).

  • Started 150 games for the Vikings.

  • Was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on Nov. 30, 2008.

    Vikings Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson spent his first three years in the league during Randle's final three, while both were with Seattle. Randle's greatness into the sunset of his career is what impressed Hutchinson the most.

    "The fact that he was able to play at such a high level for such a long time. Even his last three years in Seattle and my first three years, he was still dominant as ever. He was one of the league leaders on the inside in 2001," Hutchinson said. "He only had one motor and he had that same motor until the day he decided to retire. He probably can still go."

    In his 12th year in the league, his first with Seattle, Randle had 11 sacks and he proved to be a challenge for Hutchinson, then a rookie in the league, but the two became friends.

    "We were teammates for three years and our wives got to be real close," Hutchinson said. "When we moved here from Seattle, we became neighbors. We moved into the same development because that was the only people we knew."

    On Saturday, Randle will be riding alongside and feeling even more gratitude for the sport he loved and mastered.

    "Every time I went out on the football field, it was like gratitude, to be thankful for getting the chance for what I was able to do – getting a chance to play," Randle told Fox Sport North. "To have my name put up there with some of the greatest Vikings and some of the greatest football players in the National Football League, I'm speechless."


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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