After the Minnesota sports community lost legendary sportswriter Sid Hartman this past weekend, another legend joins him. Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor member Matt Blair passed away Thursday.
The details of Blair’s death are currently unknown. Vikings president Mark Wilf says Blair’s legacy will stand the test of time in Minneapolis.
“Matt Blair was a great presence at Vikings events and a tremendous teammate long after playing. He embodied the best of what it means to be a Viking,” Wilf said. “Matt is a Ring of Honor player whose legacy will live on forever with the franchise and in the community he loved.”
According to the Vikings’ website, Blair is currently third all-time in terms of games played at linebacker. Further, his number of games is only eclipsed by fellow legends Scott Studwell and Roy Winston.
Additionally, Studwell also offers words in the statement.
“Aside from being a tremendous athlete and player, Matt was a better man,” Studwell said. “He was smart, worked at his craft and gave everything for the team. [Blair] was a great teammate and fun to be around. He took his work very seriously but had a great life away from football. I’m sad to see him go.”
Legacy with Minnesota
Blair was a one-team player, spending all of his seasons with the Vikings. In addition to being a career-long Viking, Blair also started 130 of the 160 games he played.
Further, Blair is currently the Vikings’ second all-time leader in tackles with 1,452.
While Blair is a Viking legend, his six consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1977 to 1982 solidified him as one of the NFL’s greats from the era. Additionally, Blair notched an All-Pro selection in 1980.
In 2012, the linebacker was inducted into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor. Blair was also named as part of the 50 Greatest Vikings in 2010 by the organization.