STrib: Former Gophers, Vikings guard Milt Sunde dies at 78

BleedGopher

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per STrib:

Milt Sunde, who played 11 seasons for the Vikings and was a Pro Bowl guard after starring for the Gophers, died Tuesday at age 78. Sunde had Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Born in Minneapolis, Sunde went to Bloomington High School before playing for the Gophers.

He was taken on the 20th round of the 1964 draft by the Vikings, the same year they took his Gophers teammate, Carl Eller, with the sixth overall pick.

Sunde played in 146 games, starting 113, for the Vikings. He also played in 11 playoff games, including two Super Bowls, and was in the 1967 Pro Bowl.

The team, in a statement, said, “He was part of the foundation that helped shape the Minnesota Vikings and contributed significantly to the development of an NFL expansion team into a Super Bowl participant.”

“He wasn’t big enough, strong enough or fast enough, but he built up his weight, speed and strength to become a starter on some great Vikings teams,” former Vikings coach Bud Grant told vikings.com.

Playing for the Gophers from 1961-63, Sunde was on a team that won a Rose Bowl following the 1961 season. He was team captain in 1963.

In 1974, Sunde was presented the YMCA-Brian Piccolo Award for Humanitarian Service for his work as Chairman of the Walk for Mankind in the Twin Cities to provide medical assistance for people living in poverty.

In retirement, Sunde owned a sporting goods store. He was a head coach of the girls basketball team at Trinity, and an assistant coach at Augsburg.


Go Gophers!!
 

#2Gopher

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Great guy and a hard worker. 20th round! I didn't remember that. Clearly knew what his goals were. Enjoy the heavens sir, you earned it!
 

BleedGopher

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Shama chimes in:

Condolences to family and friends of former Gopher and Viking star lineman Milt Sunde from Bloomington, who died this week. Sunde, the Gopher team captain, played his last college game on the surprise date of Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1963. The game against Wisconsin at old Memorial Stadium had been moved from the original playing date of November 24 following the November 22 assassination of President John Kennedy. The Vikings drafted Sunde in the 20th round of the 1964 NFL Draft but he had a surprisingly successful career playing for 11 seasons for his hometown team.


Go Gophers!!
 

cemba99

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Condolences to Milt's family. Saw him speak on a couple of occasions in the 1970's, always entertaining and a wonderful U of M ambassador.

Out of curiosity, I did look up the number of rounds in the various football drafts over the years:
1950's - 30 rounds (of course there were only 12 teams)
1960-66 - 20 rounds (NFL added a few more teams including the Vikes, plus competing against AFL- who typically had about thirty rounds of picks that would be at odds with those of the NFL)
1967-1976 - 17 rounds (one common AFL-NFL draft)
1977-1992 - 12 rounds
1993 - 8 rounds
1994 - current - 7 rounds
 
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