Saturday, January 25, 2014


Joe Senser was one of my very first favorite football players.  When I was four years old and first noticing the Vikings, he was establishing himself as a Pro Bowl tight end - and potentially one of the great offensive players in team history.  It was practically unheard of for tight ends to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season back in 1981, when Senser caught 79 balls for 1,004 yard and eight touchdowns.  That was his second season in the NFL and those reception and yardage totals are still in the Vikings' record book as all-time single season highs for a Minnesota tight end.

Unfortunately, injuries forced him to miss the entire 1983 season.  He attempted a comeback in 1984, catching 15 passes while playing in eight games, and then he was done.  He had remained synonymous with Vikings football and Twin Cities sports over the next 25 years, though, thanks to a gig as a Vikings radio analyst and as proprietor of an eponymous local sports bar chain.

Sadly, his name took on a whole new meaning in late 2011 when his wife fatally hit-and-run a Minneapolis pedestrian and the ensuing investigation and trial became our own little O.J. drama.  To Joe Senser's credit, he has profusely empathized with the victim and, while supporting his wife, has stated in high profile interviews that her sentence is deserved.

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