Remember the Purple People Eaters?
If you were a sports fan in Saskatchewan during the late 1960s or early ’70s, you knew the Purple People Eaters were the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive linemen. You likely admired Fran Tarkenton, the spunky quarterback. And you knew head coach Bud Grant and general manager Jim Finks had CFL connections.
There was no cable, Internet, or social media, but the Vikings were the closest NFL team to Saskatchewan, so we sometimes got to watch their games on TV. In black and white. No purple jerseys!
Grant led them to four Super Bowls, but they lost each time and enhanced themselves as sentimental favourites. They were a lot like the Saskatchewan Roughriders of that era, who kept appearing in Grey Cups but won only in 1966.
When the Vikings pulled out the most heart-stopping playoff victory Sunday against the New Orlean Saints, putting Minnesota one victory away from appearing in another Super Bowl, there had to be some Saskatchewanians cheering along.