If you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan, you recognize the Purple Pimps. It’s impossible to miss them. Whether on the JumboTron, in the tailgate lot, or across official Vikings marketing material, the two men in purple suits have been iconic for the team for several seasons now.
But what is the real story behind the Purple Pimps?
Meet Jon Herzig, the man behind the suit.
Herzig grew up in Minnetonka, MN, and like most of the die-hard fans we’ve met, his father played a major role in his son’s passion for the Vikings.
“Growing up, my dad would listen to the games on the radio when we were doing chores in the garage or yard work,” Herzig said. “Ever since my Dad told me about the Purple People Eaters—talking to me about Jim Marshall, Carl Eller and Alan Page—I was hooked.”
Herzig’s passion for the Vikings was clear from the beginning, but it was not until 2005 that the Purple Pimps concept was born. That year, Herzig borrowed a cheap Halloween purple pimp costume from his brother. His dad added horns to the matching hat, and superfan attended Vikings game in the getup.
“I even went to the Green Bay game at Lambeau, and my dad painted a cheese head hat purple and added horns, so I was a ‘cheesy pimp,'” Herzig said.