Dennis Green mixed two of his passions to help produce one of the most memorable games in franchise history.
It was Oct. 4, 1998, and the former Vikings Head Coach was preparing his team to play at Green Bay on Monday Night Football.
At the hotel the night before the game, Green addressed the team and used a bit of music to spark an unforgettable performance.
“There was a party going on upstairs in the banquet room and it was so loud. We couldn’t hardly hear, so he basically decided to end the meeting,” said former Vikings defensive end Duane Clemons. “But he said, ‘You guys hear that beat?’ He was a drummer, so he was always talking about the drums. And we could hear it, ‘THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.’
“And he said, ‘You hear that? The drummer sets the beat. We set the beat, we set the tempo. So tomorrow, just like this party going on, remember this tempo in the back of your head,’ ” Clemons added. “That’s the tempo we’re going to play … it’s fast, it’s hard and it’s thumping. You can feel that base coming through the wall, and that’s how I want our opponents to feel.’ ”
Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss also previously recalled that meeting: “If any of you knew Coach Green, he could play the drums [and] he knew rhythm very good. So he’s up here playing a beat on the podium. When he starts playing the beat, he was basically telling Randall Cunningham, Randall McDaniel, the offense, Cris Carter and them, ‘This is the rhythm that we’re going to have to play to the whole night in order for us to be successful.’ The rest is history.”
Minnesota cruised to a 37-24 win at Lambeau Field as Green’s offense put up a season-high 545 yards of offense. Moss had five catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the signature win.
Green played the drums on a 10-track album by The Sunset Music Band and sent a copy to President Bill Clinton, who wrote the above letter of thanks.