Vikings Ring of Honor
Blair was selected by the Vikings in the 2nd round of the 1974 draft out of Iowa State. He played all 12 seasons of his career as a Viking (1974-85), playing in 160 career games with 130 starts. The Linebacker still holds the team record with 20 blocked kicks, 23.0 sacks, and 16 interceptions. He notched 230 tackles in 1981, the 3rd-most in a season by a Vikings player.
Brown was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1961 draft by Chicago. The Vikings obtained him a year later through trade and he remained with the team until his retirement (1962-74). As a Viking, he holds the team record for rushing attempts with 1,627 and ranks 3rd in team history with 5,757 career rushing yards. He has played in more games than any Vikings running back with 180 games (111 games started) and is tied with Chuck Foreman for a team record with 52 career rushing TDs.
Browner was the first DB drafted in the 1st round by the Vikings and the only safety besides Harrison Smith in 2012. He was selected 19th overall in 1983 from USC. He played in 138 career games for the Vikings( 1983-91) and 145 total NFL games. He ranks 2nd in team history for games played by a safety and 3rd in career starts by a safety (115), trailing only Paul Krause and Karl Kassulke. He ranks 5th in Vikings history with 1,098 career combined tackles (defense and special teams), the most by a Vikings DB. He led the team tackles in 1986 and 1987.
Burns coached for the Vikings for 24 seasons. He was Offensive Coordinator for 18 seasons from 1968-85 and Head Coach from 1986-91. He is the first coach in Vikings history to have a winning record in his first season (9-7 in 1986). He led the Vikings to the NFC Championship in 1987, earning upset wins over New Orleans and San Francisco along the way. As offensive coordinator, he helped the Vikings to 4 Super Bowl appearances and 11 Central Division titles. Burns was part of 15 playoff teams during his 24 seasons with Minnesota. He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on November 6, 2005.
Carter gained a lot of attention in college at Ohio State where he became known for his acrobatic one-handed catches and his keen ability to keep his feet inbounds when it counted. He received the opportunity to continue his on field antics when the Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the 4th round of the supplemental draft in 1987. He stayed there until 1989, when he was claimed off waivers by the Vikings. Carter played for 16 seasons in 234 career NFL games with the most notable portion in a purple jersey (1990-01).
Doleman was selected by the Vikings with the fourth overall pick in the 1985 draft as a LB out of Pittsburgh. He made the move to DE toward the end of his second NFL season and went on to lead the Vikings in sacks six times. Doleman had 10 or more sacks eight times in his career and his total of 150.5 sacks ranks fourth all-time in league history. In 1989, he led the NFL with 21.0 sacks, the fourth-most in a single season in NFL history. Doleman’s ability to strip the football was legendary, as he notched 45 career forced fumbles and recovered 24 fumbles.
Eller was selected as the 6th overall pick in the 1964 NFL Draft by the Vikings from the University of Minnesota. The majority of his 225 NFL game career was with the Vikings (1964-78) but he did play for the Seahawks (1979). He became a vital member of the Purple People Eaters, the team won the NFC Central title in 10 of his 11 seasons as a Viking. He also started at left defensive end in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl Appearances (IV, VIII, IX, XI).
Finks served as the Vikings General Manager and Vice President from 1964-1973. He had a knack for developing teams with losing records into winners. He did this for the Bears (1974-1982), Saints (1986-1993) and the Vikings. During his time with the Vikings, the team posted a 42-14 record. He hired the notorious Bud Grant from the CFL in 1967. The team also appeared in Super Bowls IV and VIII under his guidance. In 1973, he was named as the NFL Executive of the Year. He passed away on May 8, 1994 and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 29, 1995. The Vikings inducted him into the Ring of Honor on October 18, 1998.
Foreman was selected as the 12th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft by the Vikings out of Miami. His 8 season career consisted of 7 seasons for the Vikings (1973-79) and 1 season for the Patriots (1980). He was known for dominating defenses with his quick reflexes as a running back.
Bud Grant was the Head Coach for the Vikings from 1967-1983 and in 1985. He came to the Vikings after a 10-year tenure (102-56-2) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League. He led the Blue Bombers to 6 Western Conference championships and to 6 Grey Cups. Prior to coaching, he played 6 years of professional football, 2 with Philadelphia Eagles (1951-52) and 4 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1953-1956).
Krause was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Redskins (1964-1967) in 1964. He led the NFL in interceptions with 12 as a rookie and was named 1st Team All Pro. He played the majority of his career for the Vikings (1968-1979). In his first season as a Viking, he intercepted passes in 6 consecutive games. His 10 interceptions in 1975 remains a club record and he still holds the NFL record for career interceptions with 81.
Marshall was drafted in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns in 1960 out of Ohio State. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings after his rookie year and stayed for the duration of his career (1961-1979). He joined fellow linemen Carl Eller, Gary Larsen and Alan Page to form the vaunted Purple People Eaters, one of the top defensive units of their era in the NFL.
Randall McDaniel was drafted by the Vikings out of Arizona State as the 19th overall pick in 1988. The fierce Guard played in the NFL for 14 seasons with a streak of 202 consecutive starts during his career. He played the majority of his career for the Vikings (1988-99) but ended it with the Buccaneers (2000-01).
Moss was selected in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft with the 21st overall pick and made an immediate impact on the NFL with a rookie-record 17 touchdown receptions. Moss spent seven-plus of his 14 NFL seasons with the Vikings and instilled fear into opposing coaches and defensive backs. He ranks second in NFL history with 156 receiving touchdowns and third with 15,292 receiving yards.
Page was selected in the first round of the 1967 draft out of Norte Dame by the Vikings (1967-1978). He played in 236 straight games at Defensive Tackle, including 4 Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX, XI) and 9 Pro Bowls. He was named NFL MVP in 1971, NFC Defensive Player of the Year 4 times, and All NFL/NFC 9 times. His career stats include 23 opponent fumble recoveries, 28 blocked kicks, and 148.5 sacks.
Randle’s fierce style of play and emotional leadership were hallmarks of his 11 seasons with the Vikings (1990-2000). He played 14 NFL seasons, ending his career with Seattle from 2001-03. One of the most popular Vikings during his playing days, Randle’s high-energy style earned him the respect of teammates and opponents across the NFL. His play redefined the DT position during his era and his game-changing ability made pass rushing from the DT spot a premium.
Stringer was drafted with the 24th pick of the 1995 draft by the Minnesota Vikings out of Ohio State. He took over the right tackle spot in the 2nd game of his rookie year and never relinquished the spot (1995-2000). He was named to the All-Rookie team by College and Pro Football Newsweekly and Football News after starting 15 of 16 games as a rookie.
Studwell was drafted by the Vikings in the 9th round of the 1977 draft out of Illinois. He is the Vikings all-time leading tackler with 1,981 in his 14 season career (1977-90). He ranks as 1 of only 5 Vikings to have played 200 games for the franchise. He holds team records for single-season tackles with 230 in 1981 and 24 in a game against Detroit in 1985. He led the Vikings in tackles in 8 seasons, 1980-85, ’88, ’89.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals with the fourth overall pick of the 1972 NFL Draft, Rashad was traded to Buffalo in 1974. He missed all of 1975 with a knee injury and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1976 expansion draft. Rashad was acquired by the Vikings just before the 1976 season, and his career flourished in Minnesota.
Fran Tarkenton was selected in the third round of the NFL draft in 1961 by the Vikings (1961-1966, 1972-1978). He was an instant star quarterback with 4 TD passes after coming off the bench to beat the Bears 37- 13 in the 1st game in franchise history vs. Chicago (9/17/61). He was dealt to New York in 1967 and back to the Vikings in 1972 in stunning trades. He was named the MVP of the NFL is 1975.
Tingelhoff was picked up by the Vikings as a free agent in 1962. He earned the starting Center position his Rookie year and started 240 consecutive games, never missing a start in his 17 season career until he retired in 1978.
Ron Yary was the first overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft; he was the first offensive lineman ever to be selected first overall. He remained with the Vikings from 1968-1981 and continued to dominate defensive lines with his blend of size, speed and strength that was unique at the time and ushered in a new era of offensive line play. He missed only 2 games in his career due to a broken ankle in 1980, but came back and played through the injury for the rest of the season.
The Minnesota Vikings released the following statements following the passing of longtime athletic trainer and team historian Fred Zamberletti:
The Minnesota Vikings family is devastated by the loss of our dear friend Fred Zamberletti. Fred was a staple of the franchise since its founding, helping build the Vikings from an expansion club in 1961 to a team ingrained in the fabric of life for Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Fred worked tirelessly, at one point building a streak of 1,049 consecutive Vikings games attended, and was loved by everyone throughout the organization – players, coaches, and staff. He cared deeply about the health of his players as well as their lives off the field. With his incredible stories and his passion for the team, he was respected by us as owners. Each of us inside the Vikings has our own personal memories we shared with Fred and those will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with the entire Zamberletti family today. – Vikings Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf
Fred Zamberletti was the epitome of a Minnesota Vikings icon. He was more to players than just an athletic trainer; he was a friend, a mentor and a father figure who earned respect and admiration from everyone he encountered. If there was a category in the Hall of Fame for athletic trainers, Fred would be at the top of the list for inductees. We will miss him dearly. – General Manager Rick Spielman
When I reflect upon the legacy of Fred Zamberletti, I think of a man who was loyal, intelligent, hard-working, tough, and dedicated. Fred was a true Renaissance man. He was incredibly knowledgeable about wide-ranging subjects and could capture your attention with his storytelling ability. We rarely discussed football and primarily focused on family, faith, music and life. Fred had a powerful and unique ability to relate to everyone and was a man with a huge heart who deeply loved God and spent every day striving to make the world a better place. My prayers are with the Zamberletti family. – Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren
Zamberletti was the Vikings head athletic trainer from 1961-1998, coordinator of medical services from 1999-2001 and senior consultant and team historian from 2002-2018. He had a streak of 1,049 consecutive games attended, dating to the start of the franchise in 1961 and extending into the 2011 season before missing his first game. On December 20, 1998, the Vikings celebrated Fred Zamberletti Day, when more than 100 Vikings alumni turned out to celebrate Zamberletti’s induction into the Vikings Ring of Honor prior to the Vikings-Jacksonville Jaguars game.
Born on May 28, 1932, Zamberletti grew up in Melcher, Iowa. A successful entrepreneur and a man of deep faith, Zamberletti was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry. Following his graduation from the University of Iowa, he served as chief physical therapist at Hibbing General Hospital in 1959 and head athletic trainer at the University of Toledo in 1960 before joining the Vikings at the team’s inception at 1961. To the media Zamberletti was known as “Trainer for Life.” Former Head Coach Bud Grant acknowledged him as the “Cornerstone of the Vikings,” while former General Manager Mike Lynn referred to Zamberletti as “Mr. Viking.” Players simply called him “The Man.”
In addition to numerous professional awards, Zamberletti was inducted into the Minnesota Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame and was chosen Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1986 by the Drackett Company of Cincinnati. He and the Vikings staff earned the 1996 NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year award. In 1999 he earned the Cain Fain Award at the NFL Physicians Sports Sciences Symposium and was an Honorary Fellow of the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center. Recognized by the governor as an Honorary Ambassador of the State of Minnesota, Zamberletti also received the Minneapolis Honorary Citizen Award. In 2011, Zamberletti was recognized by his alma mater with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Zamberletti’s Caring Bridge page can be found here.