As the Vikings were holding their night practice of the 51st training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Brett Favre and Tony Dungy were being enshrined as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
Favre went from foe to friend for Vikings fans during the course of his 20-year NFL career, finishing with two seasons that included magical moments in 2009 when he posted the best passer rating of his career (107.2).
Here are comments directly from Favre's enshrinement speech:
*It leads me to my reflection over my 20 years, and believe me, I had a blast. And I think anyone who watched me play would say that. Sometimes maybe a little too much. But what I'm most proud of and what I think about most has nothing to do with statistics, although who would have ever thought that a young man from Kiln, Mississippi, whose father ran the Wishbone would hold every passing record in NFL history at one time? Pretty doggone amazing if you ask me.
But that's not what makes me most proud. What makes me most proud is how I played the game and being real, authentic and spontaneous, and loving the game to me is what it was all about. I couldn't believe that they paid us and that I was racking up statistics like I was. I was just having fun. I'm most proud of that.
So when I look back over my 20 years, I can honestly tell you -- I can't tell you a lot, but I can honestly tell you that I hold no regrets. Did we win every game? No. Did I make every throw? No. Did I make mistakes? More than I care to count. But I can say this: There was never one time where I did not give it all I could.*
Prior to leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to never-before-experienced success and following it with a historic run of leading the Indianapolis Colts, Dungy served as defensive coordinator of the Vikings from 1992-95.
Mike Wells of ESPN covered Dungy's enshrinement speech and the legacy he's left on and off the field.
*Dungy coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Colts. Dungy led the Colts and Buccaneers to the playoffs in 11 of his 13 seasons coaching those teams. *
*The Colts won at least 10 games in all seven seasons under Dungy. They won five division titles during that span, and Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl. *
*It was a bittersweet night for Dungy, who was given one of his biggest breaks in the profession by the late Dennis Green, who hired him as defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings in 1992 and got him on path to be an NFL head coach. *
"Denny went out of his way to teach me the responsibilities of being a head coach, taught me about things on and off the field," Dungy said. "He did it because he wanted to see me become a head coach, and he wanted me to be prepared and be ready when that opportunity came, and I love him for that."
In the booth
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman has spent the offseason equipping Head Coach Mike Zimmer with players to help build on Minnesota's 11-5 mark in 2015 and defend its NFC North title.
Spielman's brother, Chris, joined FOX as an analyst this offseason. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported that the brothers will be in the same place for Week 1 when the Vikings open at the Tennessee Titans.
"It's pretty interesting,'' Chris Spielman told Tomasson. "I thought it was quite a coincidence.''
A deeper dive on long snapping
One of the most under-appreciated positions with one of the most-specific skill sets in football is that of a long snapper.
Mark Craig of the *Star Tribune *caught up with Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott, finding out that a seventh-grade tryout and a walk-on status in his early years at UCLA eventually landed him the specialized role that is performed in 1.27 to 1.32 seconds on field goals and less than a second during punts.