Posted at: 05/01/2013 6:57 PM
Updated at: 05/02/2013 1:40 AM
By: Laura Kennedy
Superior, Wisc. - Bud Grant is known for his 18-years as the Minnesota Vikings coach, but he was a Superior Central Viking first and is proud of his roots.
"Everything that happened to me in superior was good," says Grant.
During his long career, Grant achieved legendary status. A three-sport star athlete at the University of Minnesota, longtime Vikings coach, and Pro Football Hall of Famer. Grant has played in and coached hundreds of games, including four Super Bowls. But some of his clearest and fondest memories are of growing up in the Twin Ports.
"Sometimes as you grow older, the experiences you have don't have a place to be stored up here. but all your younger years and your high school years, they're all in there., I can almost entertain myself by remembering all the good things that happened."
On Wednesday, Grant returned to where it all began. The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance recognized him as part of their "Hometown Hall of Famers" program. In honor of the occasion, Grant put on the letterman sweater he earned in 1941, when his career as a Viking began.
"I thought it was a good omen. We were the Superior Central Vikings, purple and white. It was kind of natural to go to the Minnesota Vikings, purple gold and white. I felt comfortable and I still do. I don't like green for some reason, I don't know."
He also got an early taste of the border battle rivalry, frequently playing games against Duluth teams.
"Rivalries are good. They bring out the best in you. Our games with Central and Denfeld and Cathedral and Morgan Park were always big games."
Grant is one of three Hall of Famers with Superior roots, a town he is proud to hail from.
"I used to tell people it's the water we drank out of Lake Superior that made us big and strong and athletic. The Heritage we have here."
In a gym full of eager young athletes and students, Grant offered some simple advice about building a bright future.
"Decide what you would like to do, pursue it if you can pursue it, but don't take the wrong road. Don't make the bad decisions or the easy decisions. Make the tough decisions and you'll be in good stead."