Former Vikings tackle Grady Alderman dies at 79

Grady Alderman, one of the “50 Greatest Vikings,” passed away Thursday, the Vikings announced. He was 79.

Alderman, an offensive lineman, played for the Vikings from 1961-74. He was a backup for the Detroit Lions his rookie season (1960) before being selected by the Vikings in the expansion draft. Alderman was a six-time Pro Bowl pick and a two-time All-Pro selection during his Vikings career.

You can quibble with a couple of those choices. Maybe you prefer Luck over Wilson, even though Wilson has won a Super Bowl and has been far more productive in Seattle. Perhaps you think Jimmy Garoppolo has already proved to be better than Derek Carr. And there are some cases in which there really were no winners: The Bills would probably prefer to have Geno Smith over EJ Manuel, but you suspect they would rather have stayed out of the quarterback market altogether in 2013. You get the idea, though: The first guy often isn’t the best guy.

It’s fair to note that this doesn’t tell the whole story. Teams that pick first are often some of the worst organizations in football, and they’re among the worst because they’re bad at talent evaluation and subsequent development. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy — in other words, the Browns stay the Browns.

“Honestly, I don’t really care what people say on Twitter or what they say if they are cheering for me or not cheering for me,” Reed said. “I’m out here to do my job, and that’s to play golf. I feel like if I’m doing it the right way, then that’s all that really matters.”

It was a good answer. ESPN writer Kevin Van Valkenburg  made a great observation in 2016: “There is a little bit of New Jersey attitude in Reed.” He isn’t going to be deferential about anything in a sport that rewards the athletes for doing things “the right way.” 

This isn’t the UFC, where throwing a handtruck through a bus window will only improve a competitor’s profile. Still: With so many robotic PGA Tour players out there, you’d think more fans would find Reed’s cockiness is refreshing. There’s only one guy like him. 

“If there was not a mic around, and you went out and asked every single guy, and if they knew you weren’t media, and you asked them where do you want to be, they’d say No. 1 in the world,” Reed said. “And if they don’t, then those guys aren’t winning every week or even having the chance to win golf tournaments because they’re not believing in themselves.” bills_047

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