(EDITOR’S NOTE: To listen to the Chuck Foreman interview, click on the following link: Megaphone )
When the Minnesota Vikings used their first pick of the 1973 draft – the 12th overall – on Chuck Foreman, the University of Miami star first learned about it sitting in his apartment in South Florida … and he was concerned.
He should have been.
With the Hurricanes, he practiced and played in tropical temperatures. With the Vikings, he would practice and play in frigid winters for a franchise that sometimes used flamethrowers to thaw the field before games at Metropolitan Stadium.
“Believe me,” he said on the latest “Eye Test for Two” podcast, “playing in Minnesota compared to Miami … it was a shock, no doubt.”
There were other reasons, too, notably where he would line up. At Miami, he played several positions, including cornerback and wide receiver. But, with the Vikings, he wasn’t sure he fit in. Mostly, though, his initial fears centered on the Arctic cold of December in Minneapolis and how he’d adjust to it.
Fortunately, he had someone to talk him off the ledge. He had Viking’ coach Bud Grant.
“Playing in my first 20-below-zero game,” Foreman said. “I remember it like it was yesterday and the talk that he gave me personally.”
“What did he tell you?” he was asked.
“He said, ‘Accept the cold. Embrace the cold. Because there’s nothing you can do. You’re going to be cold.’ “ Foreman answered. “There were some guys who used to put stuff called ‘Stickum’ on their fingers. He used to say, ‘Make sure you don’t do that because what happens is it freezes on your fingertips and then it makes the ball go right out of your hands.’
“And I said, ‘Well, listen, I’m going to try this anyway.’ He was right. That stuff froze to my fingers. I had to go in, and they used to have to scrape it off my fingers. With everything this man told you, there was always a reason. He was that type of guy. He taught me how to be a professional.”
Ep 119: Patrick Mahomes' Top 5 List
by Full Press Coverage on May 27, 2023 at 7:49 pm
Foreman went on to become a star running back with the Vikings, scoring more touchdowns (75) in his career there than anyone anywhere during his tenure. He also led the league in receptions with 73 in 1975, the same season he scored 22 times, and became the first Vikings’ back to rush for 200 yards in a game.
Around Full Press Coverage
NFL OPINION: Morten Andersen: The Toughest Place To Kick? For Me, It Was This Place
NFL: Joe Klecko: How Fate Changed My Life … And Sent Me To Canton
NFL: 2023 AFC West Free Agency Preview
NFL DRAFT: 2023 NFL Draft Profile: QB C.J. Stroud
FULL PRESS HOCKEY: After Trade Deadline, Leafs’ Major Experiments Will Happen on Defense
PODCAST: According To Who? Ep 2: Top 5 Super Bowls Of All Time
He was a four-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler and one of four former Vikings who served as Grant’s pallbearers at his March 18 funeral. Grant passed away earlier this month at the age of 95.
“What’s the best piece of advice you got from him?” Foreman was asked.
“Respect your profession,” he said. “Be on time. Do the things that you need to do to be all you can be.’ He always told you what you needed to know, not what you wanted to hear. To me, that’s what a great coach is: A guy who tells you want it is that you need to know.”
When Foreman arrived in Minneapolis, he needed to know what position he’d play … and Grant told him. It wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear, but, as he said, it was one he needed to know.
So Grant told him.
“He said to me, ‘Chuck, look, this is what’s going to happen: We’ve got this offense we’re going to, and you’re going to be our fullback.’ And right away I was upset about that part. But then he said, ‘But hold up. This position is going to change how football is going to be played from a running back position.’
“We had the runner/receiver, (with) me as a fullback, and created an offense that was unlike any of its time. So in ‘75 and ‘76 we blew it out of the water. He was just a quiet guy, but he had so many expectations of you because when you were on his team you knew that he knew you were one of the best …
“He was an innovator. He was a guy who could see a talent and create around that talent. And, with me, that’s what he did.”
Leave a Reply