The Story of The Minnesota Vikings Through the lens Of Maurice Washington

"They can no longer tell the story of the National Football League without including our family"- Delmer Washington

The Root of Greatness

"My life, my journey, from Avondale, Arizona to this stage here today, should be proof enough that caring individuals can and do make the difference in one’s life." - Randall McDaniel

An integral part of the Minnesota Vikings franchise history was born in Avondale Arizona on December 19, 1964, to Robert and Lela McDaniel. My father's first cousin Randall, realized his god-given gifts at an early age, therefore, he used them to accomplish amazing athletic feats.

The Pride of Agua Fria

"He has a wonderful work ethic that has sustained him through every plateau, and every benchmark of his illustrious career." - O.K. Fulton Agua Fria High School Coach
"Your cousin Randall was LeBron-like back in his heyday" - Les Washington

At Agua Fria High School, Randall McDaniel became one of the greatest prep athletes in Arizona prep history. McDaniel earned All-State honors twice in football and basketball and was also a track and field star, setting a school record in the 100-meter dash during his senior year.


Avondale's Own All-American

Randall McDaniel played at the University of Arizona State from 1984-1987. In his tenure at Arizona State, McDaniel earned All-American honors and helped the Sun Devils make their first Rose Bowl appearance during his senior year. An ESPN poll conducted in 2008, voted McDaniel the best football player to ever come out of the state of Arizona.


The Vikings Greatest Decision

“He was the standard by which all others will be judged." “I’ve seen grown men shaking in their boots in meetings when they learned they had to go up against Randall.” - Warren Sapp

Randall McDaniel was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 19th pick in the 1988 NFL draft and the great wall of Minnesota was formed. McDaniel quickly became one of the best guards in the NFL history and cemented his legacy as an All-Time great. In his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, McDaniel set the NFL record by starting in 12 consecutive Pro Bowl’s, awarded 9 First Team All-Pro honors, 10 First Team All-NFL honors, a member of the 1990’s All-Decade Team, selected to the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor, and won the Morris Trophy.

A Risk Worth Taking

"The Vikings saved my life" - Cris Carter

Cris Carter was claimed by the Minnesota Vikings on September 4, 1990, after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles due to alcohol and drug abuse. A troubled Cris Carter was on a head-on collision with jail or death, but the Minnesota Vikings took the ultimate risk on a kid who they wouldn't let falter. In his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, Cris Carter became "statistically" the second best receiver in NFL History upon retirement, and accumulated countless NFL awards. Since being acquired by the Minnesota Vikings in 1990, Cris Carter has not used a single drug or alcohol, and his sobriety currently extends 20 plus years and counting.


Coach Denny The Mentor

"Denny made his mark in ways far beyond being an outstanding football coach, he mentored countless players and served as a father figure for the men he coached" - Vikings.

Dennis Green was named the Minnesota Vikings Head Football Coach on January 10, 1992, becoming the second African American Head Coach in the NFL's modern era. In his tenure in Minnesota, Green was heralded by peers as a great Head Coach and mentor. The Vikings football team was littered with misfits in the 90's, and there was no better role model to rally a group of troubled men.

Rolling The Dice On Randall

"Admittedly a selfish player in Philadelphia, Cunningham appears to have traded in his ego for a purple jersey" - Austin Murphy

Dennis Green took a chance on an aging All-Pro quarterback, with character issues. Randall Cunningham had been out of football for a full year and many assumed he would retire. Dennis Green signed Cunningham in 1997 and gave him the keys to a talented offense. Cunningham checked his ego at the door, and with offensive weapons galore in 1998, Randall Cunningham produced his most prolific season of his illustrious career and set franchise records that still stand today.

The Arrival of The Freak

"God has not given those other guys the ability that he's given Randy"- Bob Pruett

The Minnesota Vikings selected Randy Moss with the 21st pick in the 1998 NFL draft. Moss was widely regarded as the best player in the entire draft, but teams took him off their draft boards due to his checkered past. Pre-draft, Jerry Jones said he would select Moss, but later abandoned his word during the draft. Coach Dennis Green pushed aside the pre-draft red-flags, because he saw a transcending talent who would make an immediate impact on his football team. Moss torched the NFL the very first day he stepped foot on NFL soil and stayed scorching until retirement. Moss's stated in his first NFL interview, "My whole goal is to come in here and wreck this whole league". 19 years later, Moss is up for a bid in the NFL Hall of Fame, having wrecked the NFL record books.

"Don’t be surprised if Randy Moss runs into trouble more often than he runs into the end zone for the Vikings this season." - Bob Sansevere of The St. Paul Pioneer Press

Wreck This League

"He told everyone who was listening, what he was going to do to this league, and for some reason the Dallas Cowboys ignored the warning." - Randall McDaniel

Thanksgiving day, November 26, 1998, the entire sports world got a dose of the freakish skill-set of Randy Moss. Moss had 3 catches for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns. Moss obliterated the Dallas Cowboys secondary and reminded Jerry Jones he made a franchise-changing mistake. Moss's performance was his coming out party to the NFL, and all other NFL teams feared the invitation.

The Best That Never Was

"I’m reminded of it every day" - John Randle
"Here's the snap, the kick is up, and it is... no good! No good! Gary Anderson has missed a field goal for the first time in two years!" - Falcons Radio Broadcaster

The 1998 Minnesota Vikings finished the season with the NFL's best record at 15-1. Their prolific offense rewrote the NFL record books, and their defense imposed their will on the opposition. All three facets of the team were clicking on all cylinders, as Greg Anderson became the first NFL kicker in history to not miss a kick In the regular season. The Vikings were the odds-on favorites to win the Superbowl, and they steamrolled all the way to the NFC Championship game against the Falcons. The Vikings held the lead most of the game, and it looked like the Vikings were minutes away from heading to their first Superbowl. Kicker Greg Anderson had a chance to extend the Vikings lead to 10 points with 2 minutes left in the game, but he missed his first kick of the season. Falcons then forced overtime on their next possession, and eventually won the game via a field goal in overtime. Vikings players and fans have yet to recover from the agony of their defeat.

The End of An Era

“He was the best offensive guard I ever saw in my 25 years in pro football. And he was one of the nicest, classiest guys I was ever associated with in football.” – Jerry Burns, former NFL coach

My cousin Randall McDaniel walked away from the NFL in 2001, without a Super Bowl ring. McDaniel is currently fulfilling a dream of his as an educator in the Minnesota school district.

Handing off the Baton

"Adrian Peterson is one of the two best running backs of his era" - Cris Carter

The Minnesota Vikings handed off the baton of their prolific passing attack to Adrian Peterson in 2007. Peterson was selected by the Vikings with the 7th pick of the 2007 NFL draft. Peterson quickly became the best running back in the NFL and rewrote the Vikings and NFL rushing record books. Peterson, is arguably the best running back of his era and a bust in the Hall of Fame currently awaits him post-retirement.

Redemption with Favre

"He was a gunslinger, and he was a risk taker, he wasn't going to check it down as often as he should. So you live by the sword, you die the sword sometimes." - Steve Mariucci

NFL legend Brett Favre, signed with the Minnesota Vikings on August 18, 2009. The Vikings had high expectations in Minnesota and Brett Favre delivered in his first year. The Vikings went through the regular season with a 12 and 4 record, and advanced to yet another NFC Championship game. In a tied contest against the New Orleans Saints, with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Favre's gunslinger mentality got the best of him. Favre made an erratic throw across his body and was intercepted. The game then went into overtime, and Garrett Hartley nailed a 40-yard field goal to send the New Orleans Saints to the Superbowl. Yet again, the Vikings were at the doorstep of a historic feat but miscues closed the door.

The Formation of Zim Reapers

"He's like an explosion, as soon as the ball is snapped, he's like a bomb went off. He's the best edge rusher in the NFL" - Mike Daniels

My cousin Everson Griffen was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 100th pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Griffen, a native of Avondale Arizona, was also an All-American at Agua Fria High School. Upon leaving Agua Fria, Griffen was the second highest ranked prospect ever recruited out of the state of Arizona. Griffen went to the University of Southern California and earned All-Pac 10 honors. In the NFL, Griffen has established himself as one of the best defensive players in the entire league. Griffen was selected to the Pro-Bowl 2015-2016, and he’s currently a leading candidate for Defensive player of the year, tied for the league lead in sacks

From Where It All Started

“Home is where your story begins.” - Annie Danielson

If you drive 28 miles down I-10 West, you’ll approach a city named Avondale. The city is rarely visited and has no historic landmarks. Though insignificant to many, Avondale is the home of two men who play an integral roll in Minnesota Vikings history. Everson Griffen and Randall McDaniel put Avondale on the map, and the Minnesota Vikings owe the city a huge thank you for raising them.

Reference Page

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ASU’s 50 Best Professional Athletes No. 5: Football’s Randall McDaniel. (2017). House of Sparky. Retrieved 28 November 2017, from https://www.houseofsparky.com/2016/8/20/12569684/asu-s-50-best-professional-athletes-no-5-football-s-randall-mcdaniel

Randall McDaniel | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site. (2017). Profootballhof.com. Retrieved 28 November 2017, from http://www.profootballhof.com/players/randall-mcdaniel/

For 14 years, Randall McDaniel was on guard for greatness – Twin Cities. (2017). Twincities.com. Retrieved 28 November 2017, from http://www.twincities.com/2009/07/31/for-14-years-randall-mcdaniel-was-on-guard-for-greatness/

ESPN, E. (2017). Former NFL Coach Dennis Green Dies at Age 67. ABC News. Retrieved 28 November 2017, from http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/dennis-green-dies-age-67/story?id=40802638

Schottey, M. (2017). Cris Carter: Remembering the Career of a Legendary NFL Wide Receiver. Bleacher Report. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1724648-cris-carter-remembering-the-career-of-legendary-nfl-wide-receiver

Games Cricket Rugby Endurance CFL, &., FB, R., BB, R., Sports, O., Olympics, S., & Games, X. (2017). Trip down Randy Moss memory lane. ESPN.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from http://www.espn.com/blog/dallas/cowboys/post/_/id/4673120/4673120

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys - November 26th, 1., Cowboys, D., & Vikings, M. (2017). Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys - November 26th, 1998 | Pro-Football-Reference.com. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199811260dal.htm

John Randle: ‘I’m reminded every day’ of Minnesota Vikings 1998 season. (2017). The Viking Age. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from https://thevikingage.com/2017/02/04/minnesota-vikings-john-randle/

transcript, R. (2017). Randall McDaniel's Enshrinement speech transcript | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site. Profootballhof.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from http://www.profootballhof.com/news/randall-mcdaniel-s-enshrinement-speech-transcript/

Vikings, M., & Players, 2. (2017). 2009 Minnesota Vikings Statistics & Players | Pro-Football-Reference.com. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/min/2009.htm


Everson Griffen. (2017). NFL.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from http://www.nfl.com/player/eversongriffen/496790/profile

No one wanted to draft Randy Moss. (2017). Freezing Cold Takes. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from http://thecomeback.com/freezingcoldtakes/nfl/no-one-wanted-to-draft-randy-moss.html

Murphy, A., & Murphy, A. (2017). Second Coming Rejuvenated after a year in retirement, Randall Cunningham is setting the league on its ear and leading the Vikings to new heights. SI.com. Retrieved 29 November 2017, from https://www.si.com/vault/1998/12/07/253136/second-coming-rejuvenated-after-a-year-in-retirement-randall-cunningham-is-setting-the-league-on-its-ear-and-leading-the-vikings-to-new-heights

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