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    Why Are the Vikings Uniforms Different? A Look at Minnesota’s Throwback Style

    What era are the uniforms that the Minnesota Vikings are wearing on Monday night from? Who were the best players on those teams?

    The Minnesota Vikings will have a different look on Monday night against the Chicago Bears. Minnesota will be wearing uniforms that pay tribute to the franchise’s teams from the 1960s and 1970s. The uniforms feature deeper purple and larger numbers with gold trim and retro sleeve stripes.

    The team calls this uniform version “Vikings Classic” and debuted it during the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is the first throwback jersey for the Vikings since the 2011 season.

    How Good Were the Minnesota Vikings in the 1960s and 1970s?

    Minnesota’s first season in the NFL was in 1961, and it took until the fourth year for them to have a winning season. Norm Van Brocklin, the team’s first head coach, went 29-51-4 in six seasons with the Vikings. Minnesota went to the CFL to find Van Brocklin’s replacement and hired Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Bud Grant in a move that would change the direction of the franchise.

    Grant’s first Vikings team went 3-8-3 in 1967, but it would be the team’s last losing season for over a decade. over the next 11 seasons, Minnesota won 112 games and won the NFC Central 10 times between 1969 and 1978.

    Grant led the Vikings to the Super Bowl four times during his time as head coach, including three times in four seasons between 1973 and 1976. Minnesota lost all four Super Bowl appearances under Grant. In each of the four games, the team did not score in the first half and suffered a double-digit loss.

    The Vikings had the unfortunate luck of running into some of the best teams in the history of the league, losing in the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Those three teams combined for 12 Super Bowl appearances in the 1970s.

    Grant was 168-108-5, including a 10-12 postseason record, in 18 seasons with the Vikings and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

    Who Were the Best Players?

    The Pro Football Hall of Fame includes six players who primarily played their careers with the Vikings during the 1960s and 1970s. Quarterback Fran Tarkenton, defensive linemen Carl Eller and Alan Page, offensive linemen Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Yary, and defensive back Paul Krause are all enshrined in Canton.

    Tarkenton was a starting QB during the franchise’s first season in 1961, and he started three of the four Super Bowls. He played 13 of his 18 seasons with the team but was with the New York Giants during the team’s first Super Bowl run.

    When he retired, Tarkenton was the NFL all-time leader in pass completions, passing yards, and touchdowns.

    MORE: What Is the Minneapolis Miracle?

    Eller and Page were two members of “The Purple People Eaters,” which was the nickname of the Vikings’ outstanding defensive line. In their careers, Page had 148.5 sacks, and Eller had 133.5. (Both stats are unofficial because sacks didn’t become an official statistic until 1982.)

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