The MinksNest Crew Tailgating!

Viking fans invented it in the 60’s. Viking fans mastered it in the 70’s. Viking fans were banished from it in the 80’s. Viking fans resurrected it in the 90’s.Now, Vikes fans have perfected tailgating in the 2000’s. Neither Roger Headrick nor Steve Sviggum could deny it. If you look in the masses of parking lots on Washington Avenue and behind the Target Center you’ll spot old and dated commercial trucks converted into modern purple tailgating machines. You’ll see a wave of purple jerseys, clouds of smoke and a ton of aluminum. But that isn’t how it started for the “Mink’s Nest”.In 1995 tailgating was resurrected by the powers that are the Vikings front office. We started with a portable grill and a cooler. The first tailgate we even forgot the football. We were rusty. The Teflon covered hole in the ground that some call a stadium had taken away an art Viking fans of old made famous. We didn’t know it then, but we were simply out of practice. As the cold weather arrived back in 1995 we sat in lawn chairs crunched through 18” of snow and gathered around a little portable grill thinking how great this was.

We eventually had someone bring a portable fire pit and we really thought we had it licked. Our forefathers of the 70’s did the same thing, however, there was one simple difference; they didn’t get to warm up at game time. We were posed with a difficult yet simple question; do we dress in snowmobile suits, drink until we’re numb and go to the game and sweat like pigs? Nope. We decided to where a turtleneck and jersey, drink until we’re numb and arrive at the heated humpty dome like a flock of drunken 70’s fans minus the artic gear. Our self-admitted greatest Viking fan of all time had splurged on a custom purple Viking tent and portable propane heaters. That would be the 6’2” linebacker like fellow in a 5’7” frame known to most as “The Mink”. Ah tailgating. This was the beginning of the Mink’s Nest era. Some memorable moments of the beginning years of tailgating are many, but here are a few that come to mind;

Any windy morning setting up the tent was memorable. Hearing Mink direct the set-up and seeing Gov put up with it would stick in anyone’s memory. Poor Gov. After our buddy Mikes wedding tailgating folks were treated to seeing Mink dressed in a tuxedo shirt and jacket, swimming trunks topped off with black socks and shiny shoes. Those that know Mink will attest that this was quite a memorable but not pleasurable sight. A number of after game festivities which included some unnecessary roughness, a lot of “out-of-bounds” behavior, a few illegal procedures and even Mink “givin the business” to passer bys that weren’t Viking fans (thanks Ben Driect). Four poor souls sitting around a grill drinking cold beer freezing from stupidity in -5 degrees in a snow covered parking lot. A purple ass aimed at Packer fans, Mink being penalized and eventually banned from Bunkers due to intoxication after a major tailgate, Gov buying a season ticket but never making inside the dome and of course the tunes.

Now, courtesy of Mink and his pocketbook we have a 26-foot tailgate machine filled with heat, solid maple cabinetry, satellite TV, deluxe stereo system and a state of the art 1,500-pound trailer grill. Our chief chef, Haas, has spoiled us with marinated this, grilled that and more. We have a personal port-a-potty and a stay-in-the truck bodyguard (when he’s coherent) better known as “Gov”. But if you look closely, you can still see 4 poor bastards freezing their tail off from a combination of stupidity, curing a hangover and football lust.