MINNEAPOLIS –There was a little extra Purple in Minneapolis over the weekend.
One hundred former Vikings returned to their old stomping grounds to reunite and reminisce with teammates during the Vikings Legends Reunion Weekend.
A marquee piece of the three-day event took place on Friday night, when former wide receiver Ahmad Rashad received his Purple jacket as part of his induction to the Vikings Ring of Honor.
"To see somebody that you came in with, somebody you played with and somebody who put in the work every day – he's been to several Pro Bowls – be honored, I'm just glad that I'm here to support him tonight," said Sammy White (1976-86).
Generations of Vikings, from Jim Marshall (1961-79) and Hall of Famer Carl Eller (1964-78) to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (2007-11), attended portions of the weekend festivities.
Marshall and Eller sat beside each other inside the Vikings locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, where a reception preceding the jacket ceremony was hosted. The pair of former teammates, who combined for 257 sacks, sat in large, plush-covered armchairs and swapped stories of the gridiron.
"The thing that I enjoy, of course, is seeing my former teammates," Eller said. "And at an occasion like this, we get to meet some of the younger guys.
Added Eller: "We get to blend in and mix with several generations of Vikings players, and that history continues on."
On Saturday, the alumni had an opportunity to attend the NFL Legends Community Lunch and Learn, an event facilitated by the league to inform former players of benefits available to them through community partners. That evening, a reception was hosted at Randle's Restaurant and Bar, a recent endeavor involvingHall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle.
Vikings Legend Ahmad Rashad received his Purple Jacket in advance of going into the Ring of Honor on Sunday.
The weekend was capped off by a breakfast and viewing of the Vikings-Lions game from the Cabin Suites of U.S. Bank Stadium. During halftime of the game, Rashad's name was unveiled as the newest member of the Vikings Ring of Honor.
"This really means a lot to me, because I hadn't seen some of these guys in such a long time," said former defensive tackle James White (1976-83). "To see these guys in good shape and being where they are [in life], it brings back a whole lot of memories – and good memories, at that."