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Bud and a Budget: Grant Holds Annual Garage Sale

Posted May 18, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — There was a slight drizzle Wednesday as Bud Grant opened his 13th annual garage sale.

Grant had just praised the gathering on his driveway, calling them “the heartiest bunch” for enduring the wet conditions. They responded by serenading Grant, who turns 90 years old on Saturday, with a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

The mood then turned serious as Grant blew his orange whistle to mark the opening of his garage sale — and enthusiastic fans made a beeline for Grant’s old souvenirs and memorabilia.

There was no mistaking this year’s hot item, a bobblehead of Grant in his coaching gear with his former hunting dog, Boom, by his side.

The one-of-a-kind collectible was going for $150, but that was out of my price range.

Looking to have some fun at the sale, which Grant said will be his last, I showed up with a crisp $100 bill and an eye for odd items. 

I wanted to see what all I could get with a single Benjamin. Call it visiting Bud on a budget.

That meant that a pair of blue seats from the Metrodome were out. They had a price tag of $300. I also couldn’t leave with a street sign of ‘Bud Grant Way,’ which is located in downtown Minneapolis next to U.S. Bank Stadium.

As I browsed Grant’s array of goodies, I decided I wanted items that signified what the Vikings were about — gritty, distinctive, different.

Kind of like Grant, whose tough-minded demeanor was on display in January 2016 when he walked to midfield in only a polo before the Vikings Wild Card game. It was minus-6 degrees at kickoff, with a wild chill of minus-25.

After making a few laps, I settled on four items that totaled $91. (Bonus points from my boss for sticking to my budget).

Item No. 1: Metrodome cup

Price: $1

This retro cup didn’t even have a price tag on it when it caught my eye. It was mine when they told me it was 100 cents, mainly because it features interesting facts about the dome on it. I might use it as a change jar.

Item No. 2: Vikings sweatpants

Price: $15

Made in 1996, these light grey sweatpants might be a size too big. No matter. It’s tough to beat the Champion brand. They’ll be perfect for fall walks around the Chain of Lakes.

Item No. 3: Vikings helmet cut from Metrodome roof

Price: $30 

One of the quirkiest items I came across was one of my favorites. The helmet is cut from the roof membrane of the dome and comes with a certification of authenticity. This unique item was a more cost-effective memento of a stadium that hosted Vikings games, Super Bowl XXVI, two World Series and an NCAA Men’s Final Four than the pair of seats.

Item No. 1: Nordic-style Vikings horn

Price: $45

I came back to this item three times before I decided to go with it. It sits on a hollowed out wooden base, and the open part of the horn features a gold trim. It screams ‘Man Cave.’