Bud Grant was hired as the second head coach of the Vikings on March 10, 1967. Nearly five decades later, the possibility has arisen that Minnesota has been home to the three coaches and managers to offer the least amount of bull slinging in America's major team sports.
First, there was Grant, who served 18 seasons [1967-1983, 1985] with less preoccupation over how he was perceived by the public than any coach I had witnessed in action.
Then, along came Tom Kelly, who served 23 games as the Twins interim manager in September 1986, and then managed the club for 15 seasons [1987-2001]. He was the second coming of Grant, not in style but with his "this-is-me, take-it-or-leave-it'' approach.
Grant was 10 days shy of his 40th birthday when he was brought in from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to coach the Vikings. Kelly was a month past his 36th birthday when he got his interim shot with the Twins.
Mike Zimmer was 57-plus when he was hired as coach of the Vikings. The age difference will be the only thing to prevent Zimmer from wearing as well as did Grant and Kelly with his combination of smarts and candor.
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