The backup quarterback has had a dynamic place in Vikings history. The suggestion could be made that this started with the first-ever game, a 37-13 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sept. 17, 1961, when rookie Fran Tarkenton came off the sideline and instantly became "The Scrambler.''

In an act of solid stupidity, the Vikings had given up their 1962 first-round pick for George Shaw, a veteran backup for both the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants.

Shaw lasted three series vs. the Bears, the Vikings went nowhere, Tarkenton entered, and the NFL discovered the advantage of a quarterback with mobility. Sixty-two years later, by happy coincidence, the Vikings and their fans are being reminded of that advantage once again.

No one would consider Tarkenton to have backup status, of course, since he started 10 games that season and was Fran the Man for 18 seasons, his first six and last seven here at Met Stadium.

We're thinking momentous backup arrivals these days, what with the emergence of Joshua Dobbs, a Viking since Halloween.

And not backups entering the lineup by coach's choice, such as Jeff George in 1999 and Gus Frerotte in 2008, but Dobbs-like — pressed to perform due to injuries by the quarterback(s) in front of them.

Bobby Lee (1977)

Tarkenton had set a record single-game accuracy by going 17-for-18 vs. Cincinnati in the ninth game on schedule. Then, with the Vikings leading 21-10, he suffered a broken leg.

Tommy Kramer, the rookie first-rounder, threw three touchdown passes in relief. Three weeks later, he came in for Lee, a nine-year veteran, with the Vikings trailing San Francisco 24-7. Two-Minute Tommy threw three TDs in the fourth quarter for a 28-27 victory.

He was our hero – but not Bud Grant's, after throwing three interceptions vs. Oakland. The Vikings went back to Lee and he quarterbacked a 30-21 victory over Detroit to win the NFC Central.

Lee and the Vikings went to LA, with the Rams finally getting their chance to plunder the Purple in a home playoff game. And then it rained for three days, turning the Coliseum field into mud, and Lee and the Vikings won, 14-7.

The Mud Bowl. Yeah, Bobby.

Wade Wilson (1987)

Wilson was Kramer's perennial backup. Kramer nicknamed him "Whiskey,'' even though Wade wasn't a large consumer. When Tommy was injured in 1983, veteran Steve Dils quarterbacked the rest of that 8-8, non-playoff season.

Jerry Burns became the coach in 1986. He could have been the honorary president of a Kramer fan club, but the injuries kept coming. Wilson made three starts that season.

In the messed-up 1987 season, with the three games (all Vikings losses) played by strike-breakers, Wilson and the banged-up Kramer were both getting starts. Wilson was the quarterback when the Vikings lost to Washington in Game 16, and it looked like this team, 8-4 in real games, would miss the playoffs.

They backed in, and then Wilson had Minnesotans drinking much whiskey in celebration, as he led astounding victories at New Orleans and at San Francisco, missing the Super Bowl by one play in the NFL title game in Washington.

Randall Cunningham (1998)

Starter Brad Johnson sprained an ankle in the second game of the season. Cunningham took over for Johnson and triggered perhaps the most-amazing offense in NFL history.

A 15-1 record, a 41-21 playoff blowout of imposter Arizona, and then … well, that was a heck of a season, Randall.

Brad Johnson (2005)

The quarterback who was replaced in 1998, then was traded to Washington, later returned as Daunte Culpepper's backup in 2005. He was back in the lineup after Culpepper's injury in the infamous Steve Smith/Love-Boat Game in Carolina.

Culpepper had been playing awful, and with this mediocre team, Johnson somehow won six straight games and the Vikings almost sneaked into the playoffs in the final season for the vastly underrated coach, Mike Tice.

Case Keenum (2017)

Sam Bradford was here after replacing the badly injured Teddy Bridgewater in 2016. He left the opener with a bone bruise, came back for a game, was sacked in the end zone, wound up with a knee injury that required surgery — and Keenum became the man.

Although ... coach Mike Zimmer never really said that. Keenum did not get the Wednesday interview at the podium reserved for starting QBs. Message: "Do the mid-weeker in the locker room, Case. Zim isn't quite sure yet."

The rest of us were: a 13-3 record, and a Minneapolis Miracle in the playoffs that will live for generations.

Then, Keenum was gone to Denver, replaced in Minnesota by Kirk Cousins, a highly paid statistical standout – but never quite equaling the Keenum Magic of 2017 (and Jan. 14, 2018).

So far, the mobile Dobbs is a Minneapolis Miracle of his own, and who knows? He might make us finally forget the wonder of Case.