VIKINGS TEAM CHARITY
Vikings Legends Reunite at Team's Annual Golf Tournament. Courtesy Alli Rusco/Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings Foundation Golf Tournament gives back
MINNEAPOLIS—More than 30 Vikings Legends linked up earlier this month for the Minnesota Vikings Foundation's Golf Tournament presented by Molson Coors.
It was the sixth consecutive year for The Meadows at Mystic Lake to host the fundraiser that enables foun- dation initiatives like the Vikings Table charity food truck to positively impact the community.
SCHEELS, Viking Lakes, PXG, Little Six Casino, Mystic Lake Casino and Molson Coors offered fun activities for golfers to play for chances to win prizes between holes. Jim and Cody Edgeworth Insurance also spon- sored the event that raised more than $250,000.
"The Minnesota Vikings Foundation is all about youth health and education," said Minnesota Vikings Foun- dation Executive Director Brett Taber. "We always love to remind our donors and sponsors that they're supporting programs like the Vikings Table food truck, which has served over 30,000 meals to at-risk youth in our community. Today is all about giving back and helping our community that needs it the most."
The event also was about welcoming home Vikings Legends who helped foster a culture of giving back during their playing days that has continued.
Steve Hutchinson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 who was enshrined last summer, returned to Minnesota for the tournament. The backswings brought back memories of participating in a similar event when he was with the team.
"You take a sense of pride in knowing that once you're a Viking, you're always in the Vikings family," Hutch- inson told Vikings Entertainment Network's Tatum Everett. "The Wilfs have done a great job since they've taken ownership of realizing that there's more than just the product on the field. It's the responsibility of the organization to use its platform to help the community in any way possible, so it doesn't surprise me that it's grown the way it has.
"There is a trickle-down effect," Hutchinson added. "I think everybody from the top down knows the respon- sibility and genuinely embraces it and appreciates it."
The five-time First-Team All-Pro who totaled 169 regular-season starts with Seattle (68), Minnesota (89) and Tennessee (12) from 2001-12 said he's enjoyed connecting with Minnesota's newcomers, including Head Coach Kevin O'Connell and offensive line coach Chris Kuper.
Kuper started 79 of 90 regular-season games played for the Broncos from 2006-13. He spent the past three seasons assisting Denver's offensive line under Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard who had been Hutch- inson's head coach in Tennessee.
"I met Coach Kuper the other day at the hotel. We were discussing o-line stuff, as we usually do. … We're both former players, played in a different era," Hutchinson said. "It's really a lot of complaining, just talking about how things were and kids these days don't know what it's like. Every generation does the same thing.
"He had the opportunity to coach under Mike Munchak … so everything Kuper was taught … I think he knows the way to do it, so I'm excited to see what he has in store," Hutchinson added.
Hutchinson said he's watched a lot of golf lately, especially major tournaments, but he has come to the conclusion he doesn't play or practice enough to "actually be good."
That change in expectations has added to his enjoyment.
"You get older, and you think you get a little wiser, and you go, 'Well, how can you be great at something you don't do so much?' So I stopped trying to worry about it," Hutchinson said. "I just try to get good shots. I don't need to string them together. I don't need to win a hole on my own. That's why scrambles and tourna- ments like this, the format is pretty forgiving. You can leave here feeling good about yourself because you're not chasing your ball all over the place because you're using somebody else's good shot, so you kind of boost your ego."
Steve Jordan flew in from Arizona to participate for the second year in a row.
The former tight end enjoyed reuniting with teammates like fellow Vikings Ring of Honor member Joey Browner, as well as players who have followed. Jordan described his golf game as "decent on occasion."
"The only thing that's consistent about it is I'm inconsistent, but I have a lot of fun with it, so it's cool," Jordan said. "I know over the years the Vikings have done a lot in the community, so this is an opportunity for us to come together and raise some money, have some fun and generate a little more community engagement. That's a win, win, win."
Linebacker Ed McDaniel readily admitted, "I'm a horrible golfer, but you get out of the house for four or five hours, and you might as well enjoy yourself."
The broader goal of the day wasn't as lost on McDaniel as some of his golf balls.
"We all have to give back. Someone gave to me. I was fortunate enough to play in college and then with the Vikings for 10 years and still am fortunate," McDaniel said. "If we don't help the next generation, if we don't help someone behind us, where are we going to be?"
Marion Barber III
Barber competed for Minnesota from 2001-04 and ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards with 3,276
The University of Minnesota football program is mourning the death of former Gopher great Marion Barber III, who was found deceased in his apartment in Texas on June 22.. He was 38 years old.
"Marion was one of the best to ever play at Minnesota, and he is a big reason why many people are Gopher fans today," said head coach P.J. Fleck. "The Barber family is synonymous with Gopher football and we are absolutely heartbroken for Marion Jr., Karen, Dom, Thomas and the entire family. We will do everything we can to support the family during this difficult and tragic time."
Barber competed for Minnesota from 2001-04 and ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards with 3,276. His 35 rushing touchdowns rank second in school history and his 575 career carries ranks seventh.
Barber rushed for 1,196 yards and 17 scores in 2003 as the Gophers went 10-3. It was the first time that Minnesota had won 10 or more games in a season since 1905.
Barber was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft with the 109th overall pick. He would play seven seasons in the NFL—six with Dallas and one with Chicago—before retiring in 2012. He played in 99 career games and rushed for 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns. He added 1,330 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions. Barber was selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl in 2007 after rushing for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns for Dallas.
Barber's father, Marion Jr., and two brothers, Dom and Thomas, all played for Minnesota in college as well. Marion Jr., played running back from 1977-80 and ranks seventh all-time in program history with 3,094 rushing yards. Dom was a defensive back from 2004-07 and notched 187 career tackles. Thomas, who is currently an Offensive Graduate Assistant for the Gophers, played linebacker from 2016-19. He ended his career with 274 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Marion Barber III