Bud Grant on short sleeves: ‘I had to make a statement’


When former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant wore short sleeves for a blisteringly cold playoff game, fans and the media praised his toughness.

Excitement was at astronomical levels when the Minnesota Vikings took on the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. However, one of the most talked about moments from that game came during the coin flip, when former head coach Bud Grant came out as an honorary captain for the team.

It wasn’t that Grant was in attendance, although having a legendary coach on hand for the contest is fantastic. The major topic of discussion was the fashion choice of the 88-year-old man, who wasn’t wearing a coat, jacket, sweater, or even long sleeves on a day when temperatures were around -5 degrees fahrenheit.

Related Story: Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer ready to start grinding again

According to an article on the ESPN website, Bud Grant was asked about that day at Polaris-Vikings Winterfest in Duluth, Minnesota, last Friday. He was well aware of the attention that he received from that moment, and knew that he was going to make a statement to celebrate the game.

"“It was our last outdoor game,” Grant said. “I had to make a statement somehow. It was our last [outdoor] game; let’s celebrate. It got a hoopla-la, and that was all afterward.”"

Fans went absolutely wild with the photo of Grant, photoshopping him into some of the craziest situations including this fantastic one from Tim Post on Twitter where the tough coach has made it on top of Mt. Everest:

When the temperatures get low, that doesn’t bother Grant too much. He spent most of his coaching career in cold conditions, but likens playing in the cold to when he’s out on his deer stand.

"“Cold is not debilitating,” Grant said. “Heat is debilitating. Too hot is harder to play in than too cold. I’ve sat in a deer stand for four hours, and been cold the whole time. But maybe a deer’s going to walk out there somewhere. I don’t mind being cold.”"

Next: 5 free agents who should return to the Vikings

Bud Grant was already a Minnesota Vikings legend before his short-sleeved appearance, but now that legend has grown to help a whole new generation of fans understand just how tough the former head coach really is. And while current head coach Mike Zimmer is tough, he’s got quite a way to go before he reached “Bud Grant tough” status.