Blue Bombers and Vikings legend Bud Grant has passed away

Started by Downtown Mikester, March 11, 2023, 04:33:38 PM

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Quote from: Foxhound on March 13, 2023, 04:00:57 PM
Here are some excerpts from Bud Grant's simply phenomenal career:

1. He had poliomyelitis as a kid. He accordingly took up sports to help strengthen his leg muscles!

2. He lettered in three sports at the University of Minnesota - football, basketball and baseball! Twice he was All Big-Ten in football.

3. He was drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1950. But he was also drafted in the fourth round by the Minneapolis Lakers though! He chose basketball and played 35 games for the Lakers in the latter part of the 1949-50 season. He stayed with the Lakers for one more season and played 61 games in 1950-51.

4. He then realized he would never achieve much in the NBA. He elected to switch to football and joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1951 season. He played defensive end that season leading the Eagles in sacks.

5. He switched to wide receiver for the 1952 season and was second in the NFL in receiving yards with 997! He then thought he merited a healthy salary increase. The Eagles disagreed and told Grant to take it or leave it. He opted to leave it, and instead signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for more money.

6. He played both defensive back and offensive end for the Blue Bombers for the next four seasons. He led the Western Interprovincial Football Union in receiving yardage in 1953 and 1956, pass receptions in 1953, 1954 and 1956, and was named a W.I.F.U. all-star in 1953, 1954 and 1956.

7. He still holds the CFL record for most interceptions in a playoff game with five!

8. In 1957 he was named the head coach of the Blue Bombers at the age of 29! When later asked how long it took his former teammates to realize that he was now the boss, he replied "About five minutes."

9. He coached the Blue Bombers to a Grey Cup berth that very first year in 1957 and then again in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1965 with the Blue Bombers emerging triumphant in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962. Ironically all six of those Blue Bomber Grey Cup games were against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

10. The tradition of Blue Bomber linemen playing games in sub-zero November temperatures with bare arms against their similarly bare armed rivals with the Edmonton Eskimos may have originated during Bud Grant's tenure in the fifties. Simple intimidation "What, you call this cold? Welcome to Canada, sissy boy." Those were the days when the Western final was a best of three game affair played over the course of eight days. Football players were tough in those days.

11. He was offered the job of head coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. He turned it down at the time, but relented and accepted the position in 1967.

12. He then engineered a rare trade between teams in the separate leagues when he acquired QB Joe Kapp from the British Columbia Lions in exchange for Canadian WR Jim Young. Young would go on to earn the appellate "Dirty Thirty" with the Lions and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame after retirement.

13. He wouldn't allow heaters along the Viking sidelines during games. He wanted his players to stay focused on winning the game and not warming up by the heaters. When you saw the Vikings standing like ice giants along the sideline in their purple cloaks while the other team huddled miserably by their heaters, it was pretty obvious which team would win the game!

14. He coached the Minnesota Vikings to Super Bowl appearances in the 1969, 1973, 1974 and 1976 NFL seasons.

15. When many players took to celebrating TDs with outlandish antics in the end zone in the late seventies, Viking players did not. When a reporter asked Bud whether there was a team rule prohibiting such celebrations, his reply was "No, there's no such rule. They just better not."

16. Bud Grant didn't like to see players fidgeting during the national anthem. He thought that standing respectfully at attention would earn not just the respect of the fans but also of the players on the other team. He accordingly had giant defensive end and former National Guardsmen Carl Eller lead his Viking teammates in national anthem practices.

17. The player Bud Grant considered to be the best he ever coached in either league was Leo Lewis who played halfback for the Blue Bombers between the years 1955 and 1966. Leo had rushed for 8861 yards with a remarkable average of 6.6 yards per carry. You can therefore imagine Bud's astonishment in 1981 when he was told that a fellow named Leo Lewis had walked into the Vikings' training camp asking for a tryout. The applicant was the son of the Leo Lewis that Bud had coached in Winnipeg. Leo Lewis III not only made the roster that year but played for the Vikings as a wide receiver and punt returner until 1991.

18. Bud Grant had a fear of flying. His Blue Bombers (and of course Vikings) always flew to their games though. "The players sleep more restfully in a hotel than they do on a train. I don't matter." was his explanation. 'Nuff said.

19. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1994.

20. A statue of Bud Grant was unveiled outside Winnipeg's Investors Group Field in October 2014.

21. Bud Grant's name was added to those of QB Ken Ploen, OL Chris Walby, FB Gerry James, WR Milt Stegall, QB Dieter Brock and HB Leo Lewis.on the Blue Bombers' Ring of Honour at halftime of a game against the Edmonton Eskimos that took place in late September 2016:

R.I.P. Bud Grant (20 May 1927 - 11 March 2023)

Perhaps the greatest gridiron football coach ever.


Awesome break down. What a man?s man!


Thanks to my departed parents for loving the Bombers and taking me to the odd game during Grant's marvelous tenure.
My buddies and I went to the Arena, a couple times, to cheer for our Grant led Bomber heroes on their return with the Cup
Winnipeg loved Grant and the roar at the Arena celebrations, when he was introduced, was always tremendous
The Vikings connection to fans of the Bombers certainly was enhanced ten fold when Bud became their coach.

Thanks Mr. Grant and a sincere R.I.P. 
          HUSTLE & MUSCLE


When Bud Grant was asked about the factors behind his successful career as a head coach, he replied "A good wife, a good dog and a good QB". For Bud it seems that roster depth was therefore the key.


Radically Canadian!


Bud Grant was a great player, a great head coach,  great family man and a players' coach.  Like someone else we know who may leave his legacy as another one of the great CFL coaches in the league's history.
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden


Having been a Vikings fan for most of my young life (living in Thunder Bay before escaping in 1982), the Purple People Eaters and Fran Tarkenton were a very big part of my growing up.  Unlike a lot of coaches, it wasn't the Bud Grant show.  Sure, you knew he was there, but it always seemed like the players came first with him, that they were the focus of the fans. 

His time here as player or coach was before my time, but his stamp on the franchise is undeniable.

Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.