The Vikings players have the chance to share the causes that are important to them during the Week 13 game, as part of the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats campaign.
Dan Gamache got part of his artistic ability from his grandmother and received his love for the Vikings from his father.
Those important influences in Gamache's life will be showcased tonight when several Vikings players wear cleats that Gamache, founder/owner of Mache Custom Kicks, created during dozens of hours of work.
The New York native lives in Connecticut but has maintained his love for the Vikings in the midst of Giants and Patriots fans.
The NFL is allowing players to wear custom cleats during Week 13 games through a new "My Cause My Cleats" program through The Players' Tribune. Several Vikings turned to Gamache for his talents.
Earlier this season, Gamache made a customized pair for Jarius Wright to celebrate the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium, and hand-painted Harambe on a pair of shoes for Jerick McKinnon, but the customized versions were not allowed during games.
A league-wide exception was made for this week's games so that players can spotlight charitable organizations that they support throughout the year.
"I think having a real rooted cause is very important," Gamache said. "It's cool because it's a way to use what I'm good at to get someone else's message out.
"It's a sport where their faces are usually covered, so to have a way to express themselves through their footwear is pretty awesome," Gamache added. "As a fan of sports, [the opportunity] to help them do that and they trust me with their cleats is humbling, and I still get excited."
Social media helped promote Gamache's work, and he's also delivered for NBA players, including LeBron James for the NBA Finals, which "obviously gets you out there pretty quickly." He's been featured in *Sports Illustrated *and by other media outlets, but loves to bring others' personalities to the forefront.
Not surprisingly, Gamache is a fan of colorful players.
"I was a big John Randle fan," Gamache said. "I loved him and the face paint. I wish he was still playing so I could do some crazy stuff for him."
Jeff Locke opted to have his cleats designed by students from the Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES) organization that he frequently works with.
Other players — Everson Griffen, Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr and Joe Berger — have cleats that were hand-painted by members of the Vikings design team, collectively referred to as "The Fort."
Griffen's pays homage to Sue Zelickson and others affected by breast cancer. Greenway's have medical icons and children to represent the work that his Lead the Way Foundation does for critically and chronically ill children.
Barr's have a "mom tattoo" theme in honor of the work that his Raise the Barr Foundation does for single mothers, and Berger's support adoption.
Vikings players participating in the Cleats for a Cause campaign include:
Anthony Barr (Raise the Barr Foundation supports single mothers)
Joe Berger (Bethany Christian Services to support adoption)
Alex Boone (Minneapolis VA Medical Center for veterans)
Stefon Diggs (University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute)
Chad Greenway (Lead The Way Foundation for chronically and critically ill children)
Everson Griffen (breast cancer patients)
Adam Thielen (Bolder Options mentorship to encourage healthy youth)
Eric Kendricks (Sacks for Kids to end childhood hunger)
Jeff Locke (Athletes Committed to Educating Students to end achievement gap) — Locke's cleats were created by students in the ACES program
Captain Munnerlyn (March of Dimes for premature babies)
Xavier Rhodes (children's health)
Brian Robison (Reel 'Em In Foundation for school districts)
Kyle Rudolph (children's health)
Harrison Smith (Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities)