Page 16: Joe’s Connection to One of the MN Vikings

As soon as Christa arrived home, she called and left a message for Joe’s doctor to call her.  She needed to talk to him and find out why Joe’s memory was not coming back.

She waited patiently by the phone as she glanced through more photo albums, wondering which pictures she should pull out for tomorrow’s visit with Joe.

Ah, here we go, thought Christa, as she came upon a picture that she had taken after one of Joe’s football games.  Not until his junior year of high school did Joe decide to go out for the football team.  He was always needed at home for chores, but Joe’s dad had said if Joe could still get his chores done, he could play football.  Joe was determined that he could do both.  

Coach Larson saw him walk on the field that first day of practice, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Joe was white, he would have sworn that Carl Eller, then defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings and one of the infamous “Purple People Eaters,” had just walked on the field.  

Because of his size and similarities to Eller, Coach Larson put Joe as a defensive end.  By the end of practice, he could hardly contain his excitement.  It’s only once in a lifetime that a small-town high school football coach has the opportunity to have a player like Joe, he thought.  By the end of practice, Coach Larson had given Joe the nickname, “Moose,” the same nickname Carl Eller had.  

Facts:  Joe didn’t play football until his junior year.  His coach called him Moose (a nickname that stuck with Joe for the rest of his life) because of his similarities to Carl Eller.

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