Why are the Minnesota Vikings Called the “Vikings?”

Short answer, there’s a high concentration of people in Minnesota with Scandinavian heritage. Long answer, Minnesota is where most if not all Scandinavian immigrants settled and their imprint on the state is vastly seen. If you go up north within the state, you’ll see that heritage shine through in facial features among other telling signs.

Minnesota’s Heritage
In the top 10 most common last names in Minnesota according to Forebears, all names end with “son”, which is a very common trend in Scandinavian names. Anderson, Olson, Erickson, all staples of their origin. Minnesota has the highest concentration of Scandinavian backgrounds, according to StarTribune. The 2 particular nations being Sweden and Norway, Minnesota’s connections have set in a foundation that’s led to this historically heartbreaking franchise that just so happens to have a blond dude with braids and a helmet as its logo. The team’s famous color scheme, however, is a different story altogether.

Why the Vikings wear Purple and Gold
Originally, it was simply because it was a heavily underused color scheme in sports. At the time, purple was seen as a more “feminine” color, so to have it associated with such a “manly” sport was absurd. However, the colors and uniforms quickly became iconic as the Purple People Eaters and the Bud Grant-era Vikings gave new meaning to purple on the gridiron. Besides, purple had become a more popular color in sports as time went on, making Minnesota somewhat of a trend setter.

How the Theme Affects the Team Today
To this day, the Vikings have lived up to that name with its aesthetic throughout its brand. Whether it be in the promotional material, the architecture, the uniforms themselves, Minnesota’s done its best to live up to its name in more than violence and power. The Viking’s current uniforms have a particular font style on the numbers that reference old viking ships, as well as on the sleeves to recognize the arches of the bows. The famous Gjallarhorn from Norse mythology is blown before every home game by a celebrity or significant character associated with the team, and many other smaller details that tie together for this greater purpose of honoring the historic backgrounds of this state.

Final Thoughts
The Minnesota “Vikings” is an interesting name until you compare it to the names of the other teams in this league. Hell, a lot of them are named after baseball teams and never got renamed for some reason. What does a Cardinal have to do with football? I don’t know, but they never changed it and here we are. At the very least, Minnesota’s name isn’t racially insensitive, contextually inappropriate, or flat out stupid. It has history, a solid origin, and a memorable war cry that always ages terribly come playoff time. Skol Vikings. Also a small fun fact, it used to be “Skal”, but slowly turned into “Skol”, and it loosely means “cheers”, or is just a general positive cry of comradery.
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