EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings are paying tribute to Legendary Head Coach Bud Grant in Week 1.
Grant, who passed away March 11 at the age of 95, will forever be remembered for his legacy within the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota.
View photos of the Bud Grant patch the Vikings will wear on their jerseys during the Week 1 home opener against the Buccaneers.
Players will wear a special jersey patch in Minnesota's home opener against the Buccaneers. The added insignia is iconic but not ostentatious, just like the beloved figure. Rectangular with rounded corners, it is embroidered in purple with Bud's signature.
The familiar curves of the B and pronounced loop of the d's stem have been seen on autographed Vikings memorabilia over the years. Now it aptly will be sewn just above players' hearts – fitting, as Bud truly represented Viking spirit for Minnesota's season-opener against Tampa Bay when the Vikings wear their Classic uniforms that were launched last month.
"I'm proud of the name Viking," Bud said in a 2021 interview, before smiling as he added, "I mean, it's not like we're a bird or a reptile or something."
"We're Vikings. And we're unique. I'm proud to be a part of Minnesota. I'm proud to be a Viking, and I'm proud of the history," Bud continued. "I think the Viking name has permeated the whole country. If you mention 'Viking' to anybody, they'll say Minnesota. I'm proud of being a part of the Vikings for all these years, and I think everybody in Minnesota is, too."
Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf announced the tribute patch Tuesday ahead of the team's night practice at TCO Stadium.
"I want to make you all aware that we're going to be recognizing Bud Grant throughout the 2023 season," Wilf said. "As I said at the time we lost Bud earlier this year, no single individual more defined Minnesota sports and the Minnesota Vikings brand than Coach Grant. And it's impossible to describe the impact that he's had on the Vikings and the community.
"As owners, we cherished the nearly 18 years with Bud. We got to know him on a personal level, and it was a tremendous loss for the organization and, of course, the entire state of Minnesota," Wilf continued. "As an organization, we wanted to find meaningful ways to honor Bud both at the time of his passing and throughout this season – and really allow our fans to be involved because of the relationship Bud had with the fans.
"We intend to wear patches with Bud's iconic signature on our Classic uniforms for the season opener at U.S. Bank stadium on Sept. 10, just a few weeks away. It's fitting to do so when the entire game will be honoring those great teams of the 60s and 70s," Wilf added. "We also plan to be wearing helmet stickers throughout the entire 2023 season to continue honoring Bud, and we're going to announce additional elements of the home opener that will pay tribute to Bud as we get closer to the game itself."