As football fans, it’s easy to forget that our favorite Minnesota Vikings, like Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater, are just like you and me — human. They laugh, they cry, they smile, and they live everyday lives off the field that aren’t much different than our own.
This simple fact made it that much harder to watch Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer choke up when addressing the media yesterday. He wasn’t holding back tears remembering a defeat or lamenting an injury; he was mourning the loss of his father, Bill Zimmer, who died suddenly Tuesday night in Naples, Florida.
Bill has struggled with his health in recent years, and was unable to travel for his son’s first season with the Vikings in 2014. Last week, Zimmer left Vikings training camp to visit his father in Naples, and the two watched the team’s afternoon practice together on a tablet.
“It’s been rough. My dad was a heck of a mentor,” Zimmer said. “I got some letters from people saying what influence he had on a lot of people’s lives. He had been sick but we didn’t expect it.”