The Vikings honored 96-year-old Star Tribune sports columnist Sid Hartman on Tuesday, dedicating the media entrance at U.S. Bank Stadium to him. It brought out a swarm of "close, personal friends" — including, of course, former Vikings head coach Bud Grant.
The two are best friends and have known each other for what must be close to 70 years now. "I am the original close, personal friend," Grant said, drawing laughs and applause from the crowd.
Grant told familiar stories and was quite comfortable doing so. He also reminded the crowd that the day was important because it meant "Sid Hartman will always be part of this community and Sid Hartman will always be a part of this stadium." And then he went right for the heart at the finish.
"As one man can love another, I love you Sid Hartman," Grant said, with tears in his eyes, as he walked away from the podium to give his best friend a hug.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.