Chuck Foreman – Minnesota Vikings #44

Minnesota Vikings #44

Walter Eugene ‘Chuck’ Foreman was born on 26th October 1950 in Frederick, Maryland.

Foreman was a supreme athlete and could easily have been a professional basketballer or a track and field competitor but it was his love of the game that saw him turn down scholarship offers for basketball and instead concentrate on football with the University of Miami, where he represented the Hurricanes.

Such was his athletic ability, that Chuck was used in a variety of positions, including wide receiver, cornerback and running back. It was as a running back that he flourished and his ability at catching the ball made him one of the best pass-catching running backs of all-time in the NFL.

While in college, Foreman also corrected his habit of fumbling the ball by having special coaching that left him ready for the professional game.

He was drafted as the twelfth overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft, by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings weren’t sure how best to utilise the utility player but Foreman insisted on taking a running back role to prove his old coach wrong who said he would never make it in that position in the NFL

Not only did he make it in that role but Foreman went on to rush for 801 yards plus another 362 pass-catching yards in his rookie season and was selected for his first Pro Bowl and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. His old coach must have been proud…

The Vikings reached the Super Bowl in Foreman’s rookie season, losing 7-24 to an excellent Miami Dolphins team who were playing in their third consecutive Super Bowl. One point to note about Super Bowl VIII, is that it was the last game (not counting the Pro Bowl) where the goal posts were at the front of the endzone instead of their now familiar spot at the back of the endzone.

In 1975, Chuck became the first player in Vikings franchise history to record a 1,000+ yard rushing season. He was also the NFL reception leader with 73 catches, which was a record for a running back at the time. He was also the only Viking to rush 200+ yards in a single game, right up until Adrian Peterson did it in 2007.

By the end of his career – his final season was spent with the New England Patriots – Foreman had played in 3 Super Bowls and 5 Pro Bowls, amassing 5,950 rushing yards, 3,156 receiving yards and 76 touchdowns.

Not bad for a man who would never make it as a running back in the NFL.