That one time a fan caught on fire during a Vikings game

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

During the middle of the 1977 NFC Championship between the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys, a fan in the stands shockingly caught on fire.

After failing to come away with the franchise’s first Super Bowl win in the 1976 season, the Minnesota Vikings had the opportunity to get back to the big game just one year later. All the Vikings had to do was travel to Dallas and defeat the top-seeded Cowboys in the 1977 NFC Championship.

There didn’t end up being much excitement on the field that day for Minnesota as they fell to the Cowboys by a final score of 23-6. The biggest story from this matchup actually came from something that took place in the stands at Dallas’ Texas Stadium.

During the middle of the contest, Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett took a routine toss and he didn’t end up gaining any yards as the Vikings’ defense pushed him out of bounds. Seconds after the play, the television broadcast switched their focus to crowd as their seemed to be some sort of commotion going on.

Play-by-play announcer Vin Scully initially assumed that it was just another argument going on between fans. But Scully quickly realized that this was not the case.

The broadcast cut to a replay of a fan shown engulfed in flames and running through the crowd. Luckily for the victim and everyone else in the stands, a few people were able to push him to the ground and put out the flames before the situation could get any worse.

Apparently, the man who caught fire was wearing a furry snowman costume and it became engulfed after he came in contact with a lit container of sterno fuel that was being used by a stadium vendor selling hot chocolate.

The victim reportedly suffered second-degree burns and it could have been much worse if a Vietnam veteran in the stands hadn’t acted quickly by throwing his fur coat over the fan covered in flames.

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There have been a lot of strange sequences throughout the history the Vikings’ time in the NFL. But this moment has to be near the top of the list as one of the craziest.