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  1. #1
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    Dec 1969
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    The Purple People Eaters

    Although you probably got a different impression from my first post, actually I came across this site looking for stories of the old Purple People Eaters. At the time I hated them for always stomping the Packers flat, however I happened to run into them once at the Miller Hill Mall when I lived in Duluth a decade ago and have since gained a great deal of admiration and respect for them. Especially since a few years ago I got into analyzing football statistics and I was absolutely dumbfounded at how good that defense actually was.

    I can barely remember them, and I never saw them at their peak, as my first recognizable football memory is Super Bowl 9. I have vague memories of them, and I was hoping some true Vikings fans could share some stories of their feats. Nowadays I think it one of the tragedies of football that they never could quite put the finishing touches on a season.

    What I remember is how that defense used to march down the field on opposing offenses. When they played a bad team, like the Packers were eternally back then, I swear it was even money who would score if the Packers had the ball. They'd get it on the 30, get sacked on first down, tackled for a loss on second, sacked on third and then the kick blocked and run into a touchdown for the Vikes. That was when we got lucky and didn't fumble or get intercepted.

    Another is how they blocked so MANY kicks. How did they do that? It never happens nowadays, they must have changed the rules or something. I swear, when I was a child and the Vikings were facing an important kick it seemed like it was fifty-fifty whether the Vikes would block it.

    Does anyone have favorite memories of the greatness of that fantastic defense they could share? :-)
    "He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    Who dares not put it to the touch,
    To win or lose it all. "

  2. #2
    triedandtruevikesfan is offline Jersey Retired
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    The Purple People Eaters

    ahhhhhhhhhhh sad to say I am too young to have any recollection of that D, but god how I wish I did. Purple Pain, Purple People Eaters... since my day of being a Vikes fan we've had a pretty mediocre D. Not saying I haven't had my favorite players on D such as John Randle, but I've yet to witness the incredible D that we once had. Luckily we've had an offense to be proud of.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    133

    The Purple People Eaters

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by triedandtruevikesfan

    ahhhhhhhhhhh sad to say I am too young to have any recollection of that D, but god how I wish I did. Purple Pain, Purple People Eaters... since my day of being a Vikes fan we've had a pretty mediocre D. Not saying I haven't had my favorite players on D such as John Randle, but I've yet to witness the incredible D that we once had. Luckily we've had an offense to be proud of.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    They were bloody unreal, and it makes my teeth ache to see they're not given the credit they deserve. Far too many list the Steel Curtain, but they don't compare to the Vikes either for single season dominance or for any length of time. When the Vikes led the league in least points allowed in '69, no one else was even close. The following two years they led again and only the Rams were in the same area code. They had an off year in '72, but were still 3rd in the league in least yards allowed, and then followed that up with another fantastic run from '73-76 where every single year they were in the top three for points. Over a gfive year periooed they gave up barely 10 points a game, since then teams like the Bears and Ravens try to make their claim doing that in ONE year.

    It all fell apart in '77, but from '69 to '76 the Vikings had either the dominating best, or at least a close runner up to the best defense in the year every year but one, and even that year they were 3rd in yards allowed.

    It's too bad I can't seem to find any data on points scored by defense, which was the most frightening thing about those old Purple People Eaters. I saw the Steel Curtain too, and a little older and can remember it better, but they were never scored nearly as many points on defense as the Vikings did.

    Also, it was their special teams that made them so menacing, the Steeler special teams were pretty pathetic, witness their haplessness in Super Bowl 10.
    "He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    Who dares not put it to the touch,
    To win or lose it all. "

  4. #4
    dan3ski's Avatar
    dan3ski is offline Coordinator
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    The Purple People Eaters

    Bud Grantbelieved in using starters on special teams and he even praticed blocked kicks. I do remember a game won by the Vikings when Bobby Bryant blocked a kick late in the 4th quarter. Man I really loved that defense. Did you know Alan Page was the first defensive down lineman to win the MVP award?
    can we clone Bud Grant?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    The Purple People Eaters

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by dan3ski

    Bud Grantbelieved in using starters on special teams and he even praticed blocked kicks. I do remember a game won by the Vikings when Bobby Bryant blocked a kick late in the 4th quarter. Man I really loved that defense. Did you know Alan Page was the first defensive down lineman to win the MVP award?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Yeah and not only that, it was at one time actually uniquely legal to hold Alan Page. When he was at his top form, he was so fast and overpowering he was literally unstoppable. He disrupted the game, he'd get to the handoff before the running back could, you couldn't play against him. So the refs stopped calling holding on Page so everyone else could play too.

    Heh, one year all four down lineman started in the Pro Bowl, this in the NFL where the Ram's exquisite Fearsome Foursome also existed. Those Rams were truly great, HoF's there and everything, but they weren't in the Purple People Eater's class. :-)
    "He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    Who dares not put it to the touch,
    To win or lose it all. "

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