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John Randle Makes Unforgettable Moment for Father-Daughter Vikings Fans

Posted Jan 3, 2018

Danielle Jubera told her father, Ruben, that she had nominated him to win a lunch at Randle’s Restaurant and Bar, owned by Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle.

In actuality, she – and the Vikings – had a much larger surprise in store.  

As Ruben browsed the menu and happily shared his experience as a longtime Season Ticket Member, Randle himself walked up to the table to greet the dedicated fan, whose eyes widened at the unexpected guest.

“I’ve loved you ever since you started playing, man,” Ruben told Randle excitedly.

Randle graciously accepted the compliment but had one of his own to offer.

“You know what? I’ve heard some great things about you – wonderful things,” Randle said. “And I’ve heard you have the heart of a Viking.”

Ruben, still unsuspecting, simply expressed gratitude to one of his favorite players for the kind words.

“I heard your daughter nominated you for something,” Randle said. “And I’ll tell you what – you won!”

“The lunch? I hope so,” Ruben responded with a laugh.

But it was then that Randle reached out and handed a pair of tickets to Super Bowl LII to Ruben, who immediately was overcome with emotion.

Ruben had recently promised Danielle that the two would go to each home playoff game the Vikings appear in – but the Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, would have to be viewed from the couch at home because of ticket prices outside the family’s budget.

Ruben continued to thank both Danielle and Randle for the incredible surprise as he embraced his daughter.

“Are you kidding me? I’m in tears here. I’m in shock,” Ruben said. “And I thought I was getting a lunch – I was OK getting the lunch!”

Danielle, noticeably moved herself, told Ruben how much he deserved the tickets.

When Danielle first heard about the “Heart of a Viking” campaign while browsing Vikings.com, she didn’t hesitate to nominate her father, who has been taking Danielle to home games for 10 years. Knowing that there would be hundreds of submissions, however, she decided against telling him for fear of getting his hopes up.

“It’s a way for me to let him know, ‘This means the world to me every Sunday, I wanted to present something to you that you’ll never, ever forget for the rest of your life,’ ” Danielle said.

“I love the man to death, and he deserves it,” Danielle added.

Ruben was born and raised in Chicago but said he never was a Bears fan. Instead, he became a Vikings supporter after watching Ahmad Rashad’s Hail Mary catch against the Browns in 1980.

“After that, I was hooked,” Ruben said. “It was like, ‘OK, that’s it. I’m a Vikings fan.’ ”

In 1999, Ruben became a Vikings Season Ticket Member at the Metrodome. He initially attended the games with friends, but then he decided that he’d like to take one of his two daughters.

Danielle expressed more interest in learning about the team and attending games with her father, and the rest is history.

“We started going, and it was just bonding with my father, every Sunday, whether it was [a road] game or a home game,” Danielle said. “We were together, no matter what.”

Danielle now has two sons, ages 6 and 1, and Ruben has already taught his oldest grandson everything he can about the Purple and Gold. When the Vikings planned to open U.S. Bank Stadium for the 2017 season, Ruben made it a priority to continue his season tickets to the new venue so that the tickets would stay in the family.

Ruben was very intentional about choosing his seat location at U.S. Bank Stadium, where he and Danielle continue to take in every home game.

“I like to be right in the middle of the crowd, so when everyone’s cheering and going crazy, I’m feeling all the pressure of all the yelling and the screaming and the hollering – because that’s what I do, too,” Ruben said with a chuckle. “I’m one of those kind of ‘rah-rah’ guys.”

Danielle said that surprising her father with Super Bowl tickets was an unforgettable experience, and Randle being involved made the moment even more special.

“To have [Randle] present the tickets and for him to get to meet a Hall of Famer … that’s going to be something that he’ll cherish forever,” Danielle said.

For the past decade, Danielle and Ruben have been side-by-side watching their beloved Vikings.

On Feb. 4, they will once again be together at U.S. Bank Stadium. And although the teams haven’t yet been decided for the championship game, Ruben has a good feeling.

“We will be there,” Ruben said. “The Vikings will be there.”