Four legendary Minnesota Vikings who played for the team during its most successful era will appear Saturday afternoon at Monticello’s Hi-Way Liquors.
Center Mick Tingelhoff, running back Dave Osborn, tight end Stu Voigt and kicker Fred Cox are scheduled to appear from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. during Riverfest.
Randall Johnsen, liquor store manager, said the idea for the “Legends in Purple” event came about during a recent store marketing and brainstorming session. “We were looking at ways in which we could help promote Hi-Way Liquors and the city of Monticello, especially during our Riverfest celebration,” Johnsen said.
“We found out Stu Voigt, Dave Osborn and Mick Tingelhoff were still close friends, so we proposed a ‘package deal’ to get all three of them,” he said. “Next, we reached out to former kicker, and still all-time Viking’s points leader, Fred Cox. He said yes, and ‘legends’ was born. These are the Vikings of my, and many of our customer’s, youth, and my staff and I are personally excited to meet them all.”
People are welcome to bring Viking memorabilia to get autographed, as well as their cameras to capture the moment, he added.
Years before, for Hi-Way’s grand reopening, the store had an event with Minnesota Twin and World Series MVP, Jack Morris, and celebrity vendor Wally the Beerman. “We reached out to those two again for our 2012 Riverfest signing,” Johnsen said. “The response was great, and we decided then to pursue more athletes. In the fall we hosted Krugerfarms.com spokesmodel and former NASCAR Sprint Girl, Paige Duke. The next year we had Minnesota Twin pitcher Juan Berenguer and Minnesota Vikings running back, Chuck Foreman.”
This spring Minnesota Wild players Erik Haula and Marco Scandella made promotional visits. “On the verge of their Stanley Cup run, it was our biggest signing to date,” he said.
Statistically, Cox’s best years were 1969 and 1970, when he led the league in scoring. In fact, his 121 points in 1969 were at that time the most ever by a kicker in a single season. He bested that mark the following season with 125 points. Cox, also the inventor of the Nerf foam football, currently lives in Monticello.
Osborn played for the Vikings for 11 seasons, from 1965 to 1975, and was named All-Pro in 1967, when he rushed for a career-high 972 yards. He played in three Super Bowls. He played his final season with the Green Bay Packers in 1976. Considered one of the greatest centers of all-time, Tingelhoff started 240 consecutive regular-season games. That was good enough for third all-time behind Brett Favre (297) and Jim Marshall (270).
Over his 17-year career, Tingelhoff played on 10 playoff teams and went to four Super Bowls. He was one of only 10 players to play in all four Minnesota Vikings’ Super Bowl appearances.
Voigt was drafted in 1970 and played in three Viking Super Bowls before retiring after the 1980 season. From 1981 to 1989, he was a radio color commentator.
“We hope the community enjoys these types of events,” Johnsen said. “Past event turnout and comments from our customers indicate this a fun promotion.”
Contact Tim Hennagir at firstname.lastname@example.org