NFC North: Ted Brown

Ahmad Rashad, Bob Bruer, Brent BoydAP Photo
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This is the second of three plays nominated as the most memorable play in Minnesota Vikings history. We looked at Brett Favre’s interception in the 2010 NFC Championship Game on Monday, and we’ll feature Gary Anderson’s missed field goal in the 1999 NFC Championship Game tomorrow. Please vote for your choice as the Vikings’ most memorable play.

Score: Vikings 28, Browns 23
Date: Dec. 14, 1980 Site: Metropolitan Stadium.

Description: The Vikings' 1980 NFC Central Division championship was the last of 11 titles they'd win under coach Bud Grant, and they clinched it on one of the most dramatic finishes in team history.

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Which is the most memorable play in Vikings' history?

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    49%
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    21%
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    30%

Discuss (Total votes: 35,147)

Trailing the Cleveland Browns by a point with 14 seconds left, the Vikings got the ball on their own 20 with no timeouts left. They needed just nine seconds to move to the Browns' 46, thanks to a hook-and-lateral pass that wound up in the arms of running back Ted Brown. Then, quarterback Tommy Kramer -- whose 456 passing yards are still the most by a Vikings quarterback in a non-overtime game -- lofted a pass toward the right side of the end zone as time expired. Three Browns defenders leaped for the ball, but tipped it back to receiver Ahmad Rashad, who reached out and caught the ball as he backpedaled across the goal line. Vikings players piled on top of Rashad -- who finished with nine catches for 142 yards and two scores -- in the corner of the end zone, and both teams poured off the field before the extra point could be attempted.

The victory secured the division title for the Vikings with a week to go in the season and set up a matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Vikings lost the game, 31-16, and by the time they reached the playoffs again, in the strike-shortened season of 1982, they had already moved into the Metrodome. That meant the "Miracle at the Met" was the last great moment of Grant's coaching career at Metropolitan Stadium, and with the Vikings set to move back outdoors for two seasons starting this fall, the old footage of players mobbing Rashad on a frigid day (wind chill at kickoff was 11 degrees) is particularly poignant.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

If you wanted to make a documentary on how to destroy a career in less than 12 months, former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young has provided all of the elements. As first reported Tuesday evening by Paula Pasche of the Oakland Press, Young was arrested twice in a span of 15 hours last weekend in southern California.

The first was for suspicion of driving under the influence and the second was for burglary because Young had jumped the fence of an impound lot and was attempting to retrieve his car.

I'm not sure the Lions' decision to draft Young in 2011 looks any different this morning than it did last week. They've already released him, eating the $1.8 million signing bonus they paid him as well as the value of the second-round draft choice they used to acquire him. It was already a disastrous decision. This most recent turn of events reinforces the dangerous and sad life spiral Young is still in.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Here's what Young's former high school coach, E.C. Robinson, said about the incidents via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Based on the last time I did see him, I knew unless he got some help there was going to be some issues, and I told him that, too. And I thought maybe since I hadn't heard anything from him he was in some institute getting some help. That's what I just figured. But I know the last time I saw him, I was just shocked the stage he was in at that time."
  • The Lions claimed two players on waivers, as Chris McCosky notes for the Detroit News: Linebacker Cory Greenwood and guard Derek Hardman.
  • The Lions will host free-agent offensive lineman Winston Justice on a visit, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
  • Mending the Green Bay Packers' defense starts with defensive end Datone Jones and linebacker Nick Perry, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will appear on "The Office" on Thursday night, according to the Associated Press. He will play a judge for a singing competition.
  • Former Minnesota Vikings running back Ted Brown has been selected for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame, notes the AP.
  • Here is a podcast of former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe speaking on ESPN Radio about his release.
  • Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com runs through the recent changes in the Chicago Bears' front office.
  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune addresses the Bears' front-office turnover. Pompei: "We have to look at each situation individually to understand what happened."

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