The most enduring athletes in Minnesota history are well-known. Names like Puckett, Killebrew and Tarkenton bring about images of long-term success. But what about those with local ties who only had a chance meeting with the big-time? Here we remember their one victory, their one appearance -- their one moment. Today:
Eric Guliford's magic reception.
The 1993 Vikings were not, to put it mildly, an offensive juggernaut. As such, it makes sense that perhaps the most famous play from that season -- and one from all-time Vikings/Packers lore -- came from a game that did not involve a Minnesota touchdown.
Fuad Reveiz had made four field goals, but another try bounced off the crossbar late in the fourth quarter, keeping the Vikings down 13-12 to Green Bay at the Metrodome. The only touchdown in the game? A 2-yard run by a guy named Brett Favre, playing his first full season as a starter.
The Vikings got the ball back late and needed a desperation drive for one final field goal try. They reached midfield with 14 seconds left -- not much time, and still a long way to go with Jim McMahon at quarterback. In fact, the veteran was being taunted by Packers cornerback Terrell Buckley.
McMahon was quoted in a postgame story as saying: "Qadry [Ismail] told me that Buckley said, 'I'm not even going to cover you deep, because he can't throw it that far.' "
Ismail went to the sidelines for a breather, and Eric Guliford stepped onto the field for his first play from scrimmage all season.
"Cris Carter waved me in the game," Guliford said afterward. "He took over as the offensive coach there at the end."
The Packers, seemingly confused by his presence, lost track of him. Guliford broke open down the field, hauled in a pass that seemed to take all of McMahon's strength, then went out of bounds to set up a chip shot field goal by Reveiz for a 15-13 victory.
It was part of a stretch that saw the Vikings go 9-3 against the Packers, which sounds pretty glorious right now.
More to the point: Guliford ended up making 67 career catches, but that grab was the only one he ever made for the Vikings.