Celebrate the enshrinement of Steve Hutchinson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by viewing his special exhibit at the Minnesota Vikings Museum between now and Nov. 30. Free, exclusive posters (while supplies last) of Hutchinson will be available with admission. Get your tickets at vikings.com/museum.
EAGAN, Minn. — Steve Hutchinson's reunion tour began Friday with a visit and speech at Twin Cities Dunkers, followed by an appearance on 9 to Noon with "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen.
It will come "full-circle" Sunday when he receives his Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence during halftime of Minnesota's game against Dallas on Sunday Night Football.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame guard who spent six of his 12 seasons with Minnesota (2006-11) estimated he had last spoken at Dunkers about 11 years ago.
"Driving downtown, I almost followed the same route I would have taken to get to the Metrodome, and that kind of brought back some memories," Hutchinson said during a media session Friday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. "We drove by the Radisson, and that's where a lot of the old away teams would stay. You just remember Sunday morning driving by and seeing the busses.
"You kind of had your checkpoints along the way, and there's little mental things that kind of spark memories, so just kind of flying in, of course the airport looks a lot different, as well," Hutchinson said. "A lot of downtown looks different, so I had to get my bearings in certain spots, but there's landmarks that you'll always know and will bring back certain things. It is nostalgic that way."
View photos of Steve Hutchinson's Pro Football Hall of Fame ring, which he will receive at halftime of Sunday's game against the Cowboys.
The Metrodome has since been replaced with towering U.S. Bank Stadium where Hutchinson's Sunday will include sounding the Gjallarhorn and the halftime ceremony.
The ring is one of three iconic components bestowed on a Hall of Famer along with the Gold Jacket and bronze bust.
Hutchinson received his Gold Jacket on Aug. 6 and saw his bronze bust for the first time a night later in Canton, Ohio, when his enshrinement speech revealed the heart of a Hall of Famer.
This weekend is likely to include some friendly ribbing by former teammates, especially if Everson Griffen's media session Friday is any indicator.
"Oh, man, I love Hutch, but he was a very mean guy back in the day," Griffen said with Hutchinson waiting in the wings. "But I love him, congratulations to him. First ballot. First ballot, right?"
Hutchinson clarified his 2020 election occurred in his third year of eligibility.
That's still one of the fastest elections for a guard, by the way.
"Third ballot. It doesn't matter, you made it," Griffen kept rolling. "It's awesome, man. He put in the work, he put in the time, he polished his craft. He did all the right things to get there. He talked to the media the right way even though he didn't talk to the players the right way, you know? He took his job very seriously and he was a great player."
Asked to elaborate on the "meanest" thing that Griffen, a rookie in 2010, ever encountered from Hutchinson, Griffen said, "Oh, he never talked."
"I'd be like, 'Hey, Hutch,' " Griffen added, hamming it up a bit. "He just never talked. But he's a great dude, he looks good — nice and skinny and slim. I'm proud of him."
Hutchinson is sub-250 pounds for the first time since high school. That's about 75 pounds lighter than he was when he cleared running lanes for Adrian Peterson on his way to 296 rushing yards in one game and blocked for Brett Favre on the magical throw to Greg Lewis in 2009.
View photos of Vikings Legend Steven Hutchinson from the week he was inducted into the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class in Canton, Ohio.
Hutchinson was in his second season here when the Vikings launched the Gjallarhorn tradition that has been amplified with a dedicated platform in U.S. Bank Stadium.
He said Sunday's recognition in what will be his first visit to U.S. Bank Stadium is likely to stir memories of the behind-the-scenes efforts.
"I think when you're up there and have the opportunity to do it and then you hear the crowd get into it, it's just an appreciation for the work you've put in all of those years and all of the sweat in the training camps at Mankato and all of the injuries," Hutchinson said. "It's just kind of full-circle. All of those memories kind of flood you at the same time. It's going to be special."