A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...


Sep 4, 2008
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The Packers' recent history of domination over the Minnesota Vikings has put them well ahead in the all-time 54 year history of this rivalry at 59-49-2. Since Mike McCarthy took over as Packers head coach in 2006 the Pack has rolled up a 13-4-1 record on their old divisional rival and it could have been considerably more. Excepting the two games the Vikings won in 2009 with Packer traitor Brett Favre coming out of retirement to "stick it" to his old club Minnesota came within just two field goals - a miss by the Packers and a last seconds make by the Vikings- and a a change in the old "sudden death" rules for overtime from losing 3 more times over this span.

The Packers have swept the season series with the Vikings 5 times in the last decade, have won by two or more score margins 8 times and are undefeated in the last 7 games at Lambeau Field.

But there was a time when the shoe was on the other foot. It was Minnesota dominating Green Bay in the 1970's as they possessed one of the premiere teams in the NFL while the once great Packers struggled in mediocrity. The full game below is from that period and fairly represents how games between these two tended to play out in that era. The Vikings almost always won but the Pack usually gave them a competitive game and left their fans frustrated by blowing winning opportunities.

This game is from December 1977 at Lambeau Field. The Vikings came into it fresh off their fourth losing Super Bowl appearance of the '70's and they would once again that year reach the NFC title game. But their NFC Central Division dynasty was beginning to fade. They would win their 9th and 10th division titles under Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant by tiebreakers over the Bears in '77 and the Packers in '78 and wouldn't go back to any more Super Bowls.

The setting for this game was a Vikings' team locked in a close struggle with Chicago for the division lead and coming off a loss at Chicago the previous week, in which Walter Payton rushed against them for a new league single game record 275 yards.

The Packers had won only 2 games and would wind up 4-10 in their third season under coach Bart Starr. The Vikings needed a win, the Packers could play spoilers if they picked up their first victory over Minnesota since 1974.

In an curious coincidence both teams had lost their starting quarterbacks- Lynn ****ey for the Packers, Fran Tarkenton for the Vikings - with broken legs two weeks earlier. The Vikings had an experienced NFL back-up Bob Lee able to step in for them and that would prove a decisive factor in the outcome of the game. For the Packers rookie David Whitehurst was making his second career NFL start.

Minnesota had its famous "Purple People Eaters" defense of linemen Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall to throw against the Packers' rookie. But the Packers defense would show strong against Minnesota in this one as well.

Color analyst for the game was all-time pro quarterback great John Unitas, working for CBS.

Here's the full game:
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