MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings on Sunday will go for the 500th regular-season win in team history, and Jerry Reichow couldn’t think of a better team to do it against than Green Bay.
Reichow scored a touchdown in Minnesota’s first game as an expansion team, a stunning 37-13 upset of Chicago on Sept. 17 1961 at Metropolitan Stadium. He ended up being with the Vikings for their first 59 seasons as a wide receiver, scout, player personnel director and consultant before retiring after the 2019 season.
Starting with that first win, the Vikings have a regular-season record of 499-417-11. Their first try to become the 15th NFL team to reach 500 regular-season wins will come against the rival Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“That would be great,’’ Reichow said Saturday from his home in Tucson, Ariz. “They’d be a very good team to do it against. That would be a heck of a deal.’’
The Vikings reached the 500-win mark when playoff games are included with a 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 22, 2019. Including their 21-30 playoff mark, they have an overall record of 520-447-11.
Reichow has fond memories of Minnesota’s first win. The Vikings were given little chance to beat the Bears, but they rolled to the win behind rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton passing for 250 yards and four touchdowns.
Tarkenton also ran for a touchdown. One of his touchdown passes was a 29-yard strike in the third quarter to Reichow, who caught three passes for 103 yards.
“That game was so much fun to play in because there was no pressure to win,’’ Reichow said. “We played a heck of a game. It was a big surprise to the Bears.’’
Reichow remembers the stands at Metropolitan Stadium only being about half full.
“We were still trying to get fans interested in pro football,’’ he said. “The University (of Minnesota) was strong at the time and most of the fans were over there. There wasn’t much cheering going on. It was a just a different feeling out there.’’
It will be a completely different situation on Sunday. U.S. Bank Stadium will have a sellout crowd of more than 66,000 on hand as the Vikings look to record a milestone victory.