Today, October 6th, Is a Minnesota Vikings Holiday

Oct 17, 2010; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss (84) points to the crowd during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2023 Minnesota Vikings began October with a win, changing their losing ways from the previous three weeks and hoping to hit a .500 record before too long.

Today, October 6th, Is a Minnesota Vikings Holiday

Fast forward five days, and October 6th arrived on the calendar, which is a day of historical significance for the organization.

It’s not known by many, but all four of these items occurred on October 6th.

The Love Boat

Image via Road Arch.

Date: October 6th, 2005

That isn’t the boat pictured above, but it’s a symbol of a controversial event on October 6th, 2005.

Various Vikings players set sail on Lake Minnetonka — and scandal ensued. Promiscuous shenanigans allegedly occurred, and the rest is history.

There were actually two boats — a fact that many don’t know or forget because the words Love and Boat imply a single large vessel — and 90 to 100 folks were involved. Another overlooked detail about the trip? No ghastly illegal actions took place. The tomfoolery was merely a bad look for the team. A few players paid fines for disturbing the peace.

The media pounced as the Vikings had a 1-3 record at the time of the cruise — the team was on a bye week, too — and the story ignited like wildfire. Ultimately, the Love Boat lives tongue-in-cheek in Minnesota sports lore.

Immediately after the scandal, the Vikings won seven of their next nine games.

Randy Moss Acquired via Trade

October 6th
Sep 11, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; ESPN personality Randy Moss prior to the game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Date: October 6th, 2010

Half a decade later, Randy Moss reunited with the Vikings — but not for long — via trade with the New England Patriots. Minnesota traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders five months before the Love Boat with one of the most sinful moves in Minnesota sports history.

But on October 6th, 2010, all was right with the world because Moss “came home,” sending a 3rd-Round draft pick to the Patriots that would turn into Ryan Mallett. The reunion was short-lived, though, as Moss was released just 27 days after the trade. He did not jell with head coach Brad Childress, who was also on borrowed time. The Vikings fired Childress about three weeks after jettisoning Moss.

The Hall of Famer caught 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in those 27 days. Moss even caught Brett Favre’s 500th career touchdown pass during his brief stint back with the franchise.

Josh Freeman Signed

Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

Date: October 6th, 2013

With the 2013 campaign rapidly spiraling out of control, the Vikings signed quarterback Josh Freeman on October 6th, 2013, from the free-agent market.

Freeman played one game in purple — that was enough — a Monday Night Football tryst versus the New York Giants. He completed 20 of 23 passes for 190 yards, no touchdowns, and a pick. Generally speaking, he played horribly.

Freeman was a good dude, but as a Viking and per the team’s histrionics, he is remembered in a negative light, probably because the franchise was so quarterback-starved at that time. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts the following season and called it a career after the 2015 season.

Bonus: Tony Dungy’s Birthday

Nov 29, 1992; Anaheim, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Date: October 6th, 1955

There’s nothing scandalous about this one — Dungy is a wonderful human and former Viking coach + Golden Gopher player.

Dungy turned 68 on Friday and is an NFL analyst. He became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl, as his Colts took down the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

But before that, Dungy got his NFL start as a coach with the Vikings in 1980, leading defensive backs. He hopped around the league for the next decade, later settling in Minnesota again from 1992 to 1995 as Dennis Green’s defensive coordinator.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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