ESPN Named Bud Grant the 15th Greatest Coach Ever. Is That a Tad Low?

Jan 11, 1970; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp (11) talks to head coach Bud Grant on the sideline against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium. The Chiefs defeated the Vikings 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

We have another of these entertaining countdowns going on. While NFL Network is busy counting down the 100 best players in the NFL, ESPN is counting down the greatest coaches. Not just the greatest current coaches but the greatest all-time coaches. To the disappointment of many, it doesn’t look like Brad Childress made the list. But another Vikings coach did make the list. The great Bud Grant, architect of four Super Bowl runs, came in at #15.

There’s no disputing Grant’s pre-eminence among Viking coaches. He is #1 and will still be #1 probably until the last game the Vikings ever play. Apologies to all the Dennis Green cultists out there. But Bud Grant rules and all other Viking coaches must take a backseat. Grant created the foundation upon which the entire franchise is built. Apologies to Sid Hartman who we know was also instrumental in bringing the Vikings to Minnesota. But when you list the most significant figures in team history, Grant must be at the top.

His place among all-time NFL coaches is a little trickier to gauge. Surely he belongs in any discussion of the greats. Is he in the top tier? Does he belong with Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Tom Landry and those guys? Maybe not. But certainly he is in the second tier. Arguably top 10. Four Super Bowls? All those playoff runs? All those winning seasons? All those Hall of Fame players he helped produce?

All right I know the counter argument. He made the Super Bowl four times but never won it. The naysayers will go a step farther and say the Vikings never would have made it to those four Super Bowls if not for the homefield advantage that came with playing in chilly Metropolitan Stadium. As if that fact somehow diminishes the accomplishment.

The lack of a Super Bowl victory is an undeniable blemish on Grant’s record. But how much should he be downgraded for that? Does that knock him out of the top 10? ESPN obviously thinks so. We’ll have to see how the list plays out. Only then will we know how outraged we should be about Grant’s meager #15 selection. Hey at least he beat out Mike Shanahan. Seriously, Shanahan is #19. Who the hell voted on this thing?

Mike Golic and Colin Cowherd are on the panel? For real? I guess Chuckles the Clown had other commitments.

Like The Viking Age on Facebook.
Follow TVA on Twitter.
Get the all-new FanSided iPhone app.
Subsribe to the Fansided Daily Newsletter. Sports news all up in your inbox.

Next Vikings Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug7:00at Kansas City ChiefsBuy Tickets

Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • Tommy Yarbrough

    I don’t care what the ESPN panel says, and even if Grant did lose all 4 Super Bowls the Vikings played in, most of the rest of the NFL teams were scared to play the Vikings in those days. Grant’s defenses were scary as hell, and all of the players would absolutely clean your clock.Back then, the Vikings had defenses like the ’85 Bears. Offenses went through hell trying to score on them. On offense, most of those years were either Joe Kapp or Fran Tarkenton. Though Tarkenton was known for his great scrambling ability, both QB’s knew. how to below the weapons they had, and it worked, because Minnesota scored a lot of points back then as well. These whoop-ass, smash mouth football teams were mostly with Bud Grant at the helm. And I mean c’mon, he never even allowed heaters on the sidelines…in Minnesota…at Metropolitan Stadium, outdoors, in the dead of winter, where sometimes the temperature plummeted to 30 or40 below, and tthat’s not even counting the wind!! That fact alone should put Grant in the top ten!!! And number one in myy book if you take into account sheer toughness and disipline in regard to his players. I consider Minnesota a sort of dynasty back in those days. They scored enough to win more than they lost, while the Purple People Eaters held the vast majority of offenses in check, and for the most part, they’d win the division and be in the playoffs every season. 95% of those years of winning and playoff bound football teams were while Bud Grant was the Viking head coach. For these reasons, he gets my vote to at the VERY LEAST be in the top ten coaches of all time.