Dan Wiederer began covering the Vikings in 2011, enthusiastically delivering insight on the team across the Star Tribune's print and digital products. Prior to joining the Access Vikings team, he spent seven seasons covering ACC basketball at The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer. He also covered the Chicago Bears in 2003 and 2004. Follow him on Twitter @StribDW.
Mark Craig has covered football and the NFL the past 20 years, including the Browns from 1991-95 and the Vikings and the NFL since 2003. Since 2008, Craig has served as one of the 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. He can be followed on Twitter at @markcraignfl.
Larry Bowie, a guard who played for the Vikings for eight seasons in the 1960s, has died.
Bowie's career with the Vikings ended in 1968 when he had a blood clot removed from his brain during the season.
Bowie, 73, was taken by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 1962 draft out of Purdue. He was a starter in five of his eight seasons.
A memorial service for Bowie is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sandberg Funeral Home in North St. Paul.
John Henry Ward, who was the Vikings' first-round selection (25th overall) in the 1970 NFL draft and played as an offensive lineman with the team for six seasons, has died.
Ward, 64, was a businessman in Oklahoma City.
Here is a story from the Daily Oklahoman's Berry Tramel.
John Henry Ward, a two-sport all-American at Oklahoma State and a lineman on Bud Grant’s grand Minnesota Viking teams in the 1970s, died of cancer Tuesday in Oklahoma City. He was 64.
“He was much more than an amazing football player and wrestler,” said Ross Powell, who played little league football on a team coached by Ward. “His post-NFL career is every bit as impressive as his football career. He was a mentor to hundreds of kids, not only as a football coach but a life coach as well.”
Ward came to OSU from Tulsa Rogers and became a 1969 all-American tackle in football and a 1969 all-American in wrestling, with a third place finish at heavyweight in the NCAA Championships.
Ward played on two Viking Super Bowl teams.
“One of the most likable guys there,” said Terry Brown, a teammate of Ward with both OSU and the Vikings. “Everybody liked to be around him. He was an ultimate teammate. Would go to battle for anybody.”
Ward loved to hunt. He suffered a broken leg in a Viking game. Two weeks later, his cast came off. Turns out Ward would go hunting with his broken leg. So doctors put him in an L-shaped cast so he couldn’t walk.
“Bud Grant would come to Oklahoma and go hunting with him,” Brown said of the iconicMinnesota coach. “They spent a lot of time hunting together.”
After football, Ward ran a cattle ranch, managed a farm/ranch retail store, was elected a county commissioner and eventually became executive director for the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma.
In 2002, Ward became vice president of The Poultry Federation and director of its Oklahoma City operations.
Cris Carter will take another run at making the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The ex-Vikings receiver was among the 27 semifinalists named today for the Hall. The list will be narrowed to 15 in early January for the group of selectors, who will meet and vote Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, to elect five modern inductees and vote on the two senior candidates.
First-time eligible players among the candidates are: guard/tackle Larry Allen, kicker Morten Andersen, safety John Lynch, tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, and defensive end Michael Strahan.
Cornerback Albert Lewis, who was previously eligible, is also a first-time candidate.
Andersen played one season for the Vikings, as running back Roger Craig, who was a star with the 49ers, played two with the Vikings.
The others have all been semifinalists before. The complete list:
• Larry Allen, G/T – 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers
• Morten Andersen, K – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
• Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
• Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
• Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
• Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
• Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
• Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
• Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
• Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
• Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
• Joe Jacoby, T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
• Albert Lewis, CB – 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-98 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
• John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
• Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
• Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
• Jonathan Ogden, T – 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
• Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
• Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
• Warren Sapp, DT – 1995-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Oakland Raiders
• Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
• Michael Strahan, DE – 1993-2007 New York Giants
• Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
• Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
• Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
• George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League
The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are defensive tackle Curley Culp, (1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions) and linebacker Dave Robinson, (1963-1972 Green Bay Packers, 1973-74 Washington Redskins).
Michael Bennett, who made the Pro Bowl for the Vikings as a rookie in 2002 after rushing for nearly 1,300 yards, will spend 15 months in jail in Florida.
The former Wisconsin standout was sentenced on Friday.
He played five seasons for the Vikings, but after his standout second season, he was plagued by injuries and inconsistency. He also played for Kansas City, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Oakland. He was briefly with the New Orleans Saints, but did not play any games for them.
Here's the AP story on Bennett:
By Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A former NFL first-round draft pick has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for taking part in a fraud scheme.
Michael Bennett was sentenced to 15 months on Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud three months ago.
The 34-year-old Bennett was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2001 and played for six teams, last appearing for the Oakland Raiders in 2010.
Prosecutors say the FBI operated an undercover check-cashing store in North Miami used by Bennett, two other former football players and five others from February through April. The group allegedly cashed about $500,000 in fraudulent tax refund checks.
Former Raiders and New York Giants defensive tackle William Joseph and former Syracuse player Louis Gacheline have also pleaded guilty to related charges and are awaiting sentencing.
|Vikings (3295)||AFC (80)|
|Bears (391)||Ex-Vikings (38)|
|Football on TV (46)||Lions (296)|
|NFC (1235)||NFL draft (223)|
|NFL post-season (28)||Packers (439)|
|Super Bowl (220)||Vikings coaches (61)|
|Vikings defense (225)||Vikings fans (108)|
|Vikings injury report (249)||Vikings management (25)|
|Vikings off the field (247)||Vikings offense (316)|
|Vikings quarterbacks (219)||Vikings road games (61)|
|Vikings rookies (23)||Vikings roster moves (31)|
|Vikings special teams (34)||Vikings training camp (125)|
|Injury report (306)||Off the field (116)|
|On the road (73)||Quarterbacks (280)|
|Rookies (71)||Roster moves (15)|
|The draft (262)||Trade talk (2)|
|Vikings players (697)||Adrian Peterson (822)|
|Anthony Herrera (161)||Antoine Winfield (404)|
|Ben Leber (97)||Bernard Berrian (213)|
|Bobby Wade (16)||Brad Childress (634)|
|Brett Favre (804)||Brian Robison (147)|
|Bryant McKinnie (106)||Cedric Griffin (194)|
|Chad Greenway (173)||Chester Taylor (79)|
|Chris Kluwe (107)||Darrell Bevell (109)|
|E.J. Henderson (183)||Heath Farwell (48)|
|Jared Allen (361)||John Sullivan (186)|
|Kevin Williams (186)||Leslie Frazier (795)|
|Madieu Williams (78)||Pat Williams (149)|
|Percy Harvin (660)||Phil Loadholt (144)|
|Ray Edwards (172)||Ryan Longwell (142)|
|Sage Rosenfels (102)||Sidney Rice (271)|
|Steve Hutchinson (188)||Tarvaris Jackson (169)|
|Tyrell Johnson (151)||Visanthe Shiancoe (216)|
|Brad Childress (638)||Darrell Bevell (110)|
|Leslie Frazier (800)||Lynx (1)|