Former Vikings star Doug Sutherland, member of ‘Purple People Eaters,’ dies at 73

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Fifty years after the ultimate reign of the “Purple People Eaters” in Minnesota, the Vikings are mourning the lack of one of many unit’s all-time greats, announcing Tuesday the loss of life of former defensive sort out Doug Sutherland, 73. A Midwest native who was born and attended faculty in Wisconsin, Sutherland spent 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Vikings, beginning alongside a feared Nineteen Seventies defensive position that includes Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller.

“Doug Sutherland was one of our proudest legends,” Vikings proprietor Zygi Wilf and president Mark Wilf mentioned in a crew assertion. “His humble nature did not allow for him to talk much about his own playing career, but Doug was a key member of some of the best defenses in NFL history and three Super Bowl teams. Doug was also the consummate teammate after football. He was one of the most active members of Vikings Legends events and didn’t miss a chance to help out at a community event or lend a hand where needed. Our thoughts are with Doug’s friends and family.”

Sutherland was initially a 14th-round draft choose of the Saints in 1970. After one 12 months in New Orleans, the place he performed in 10 video games as a guard and linebacker, he was traded to the Vikings and transformed to defensive sort out. Over the subsequent 10 years, he began 90 video games and appeared in 48 extra, totaling 484 tackles and 26.5 sacks as a part of 5 completely different top-10 defenses, changing Pro Bowler Gary Larsen alongside Page, Eller and Jim Marshall. His hand within the “Purple People Eaters” D-line helped the Vikings to a few of the franchise’s 4 Super Bowl appearances.

“When Gary Larsen left,” former Vikings coach Bud Grant mentioned, per the crew, “Doug Sutherland came in and was the perfect fit. There was no drop off in play. When I think of the Purple People Eaters, I always think of Doug Sutherland as part of that group. He was a very good football player and an equal part of the Purple People Eaters. Playing with those three guys elevated his play, his position and his value.”

Sutherland completed his NFL profession enjoying one season for the Seahawks, in 1981.


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Cody Benjamin

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