Bud Grant, Joe Kapp and Jim Marshall tell the story
Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Tom Selleck narrates
The team credo of the 1969 Minnesota Vikings was "40 for 60." In extreme cold with no heaters, in wins, in losses, all 40 members of the team gave it their all for all 60 minutes of the game. The 1969 Vikings, known for their "Purple People Eaters" defensive line and 12 consecutive victories are featured in the NFL Films-produced America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1969 Minnesota Vikings debuting Thursday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET in high definition exclusively on NFL Network.
America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1969 Minnesota Vikings looks at the team that at the time set a record for consecutive wins and defeated the Cleveland Browns in the NFL championship game to reach Super Bowl IV before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. Their story is told by Hall of Fame head coach Bud Grant, star quarterback Joe Kapp, and defensive end Jim Marshall, who played for 20 seasons and never missed a game. America's Game: The Missing Rings - 1969 Minnesota Vikings is narrated by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Tom Selleck.
The Missing Rings, the latest installment of the Emmy Award-winning America's Game series tells the stories behind the story of teams that did not win the Super Bowl. Each episode is a 60-minute documentary (available in high definition) featuring key members of the team telling their behind-the-scenes accounts. With classic NFL Films action combined with news clips and photos, highlights from team radio broadcasts, footage from inside team meeting rooms, sideline audio and other exclusive features, America's Game provides an epic and intimate portrait of extraordinary teams, in one groundbreaking series.
"We never got our blocking straight in the Super Bowl. That sounds like I'm blaming my offensive line. I don't think we ever, as coaching staff and I don't know how Bud would react to this, I don't think we were quite as smart as we needed to be as play callers in that game. I didn't go to the pass on first down… I could critique it to death." -- Joe Kapp.
"You gotta be able to live with losing. That's the hardest thing -- to get over it. You can't let it eat you up. I've never gone back and looked at those Super Bowl games. I don't have a copy of them. That's not my legacy. That's what we did and it's over with. It's not something I live with." -- Bud Grant.
"We never got a win. None of them. Those were four opportunities that we had to prove that we were the best in the world and we didn't do it. We got beat and in some games we got beat soundly. You never get over things like that. It haunts me every day." -- Jim Marshall.
"You agonize after the game. What could you have done? What did you do? What didn't you do? You agonize and you replay it, but then you put it aside." -- Grant.
"Here I am with my chance to win the world championship and I get knocked out. When you get your chance you've got to be ready. You've got to be prepared. We didn't get it done." -- Kapp.
"Nobody cried. Nobody made excuses. Nobody blamed anyone. It was a team right to the end." - Kapp on the team's reaction to losing Super Bowl IV.
On the famous "wrong way" run in 1964:
"I played well the rest of the game. I even forced that fumble that lead to the winning touchdown, but everyone keeps talking about the 'wrong way run.' I just tell them to think about the worst mistake you've ever made and think about 200 million people seeing you make that mistake and tease you about it every day of your life. How would you feel about it?" -- Marshall.
"When God was making defensive ends he made Jim Marshall first. Then everything else followed." -- Kapp.
"Jim Marshall is a special football player and a special man. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here. I love Jim Marshall." -- Grant.
"He had that great capacity of bouncing back from serious bruises and contusions to play. Not only play -- play is easy -- but play at the level he sets for himself. That's the amazing part of it." -- Grant.
"He threw some passes that looked like ducks, but they made it into the hands of the receivers." -- Marshall.
"Here I am at the banquet knowing that the reason for our success is every department. Every player contributed to this thing. The team has earned it together and thank you for saying so, but I don't want it. It was spontaneous, I just couldn't accept it. The credo of '40 for 60' is more valuable to me." -- Kapp.
"I thought it was a great gesture on his part. Joe always had great timing. These things look spontaneous, but Joe is a thinker. This is something he planned." -- Grant.
Quick quotes ...
"I did NOT use the laces. I think that was unique." -- Kapp on how he threw the ball.
"There were seven touchdown passes and at least five of them were spirals." -- Kapp on his record seven touchdown passes in a single game.
"I sold more Squirrel-brand peanut butter than anyone in the history of peanut butter. That's why they called me 'Nutty Joe.'" -- Kapp on his day job prior to joining the Vikings.
"We needed somebody who could get this team off the mark and Joe was that kind of guy. ... All I knew was he was a winner." -- Grant.
"I could have been nice, but I don't think I play nice and I don't like to be nice in the middle of a contest." -- Kapp on his reputation for being mean on the field.
"He was a dedicated teammate and one of the best defensive lineman that I've ever seen." -- Marshall on defensive line teammate Alan Page, a Hall of Famer.
"You never get used to it. It's one of Bud Grant's key coaching points, no one ever gets used to it, you have to prepare mentally." -- Kapp on playing in the cold, bad weather.