Vikings mascot Ragnar 'heartbroken' over benching

- Minnesota Vikings mascot Ragnar is heartbroken that he won’t be leading the purple onto the field this weekend.

Last Sunday, Sept. 20, Joe Juranitch, better known as Ragnar, the ax-wielding, horn-wearing human mascot, missed his first Vikings home game in more than two decades.

Juranitch sent out an emotional Facebook post in front of the television, stating his absence wasn't his choice. The post ignited a huge storm amongst the purple fan base.

The Vikings followed up with a statement Monday that his contract expired and an agreement was not reached.

"This is heartbreaking,” Juranitch told Fox 9. “This isn't the way it can end."

Juranitch insists being on the sidelines, cheering on his team and revving up fans, is the only place for him. 

"I'm trying to pick myself up. I can't begin to tell you how much it hurt to see all the Vikings fans on TV,” Jurnanitch said.  “I'm normally there."

According to Juranitch's account, the Vikings are committed to retiring Ragnar and limiting his appearances.

Contract negotiations eventually broke down between the two sides. Some reports have said Juranitch asked for $20,000 a game, an enormous spike from his previous $1,500 fee.

While he wouldn't talk specific numbers with Fox 9, Juranitch did admit he made a big mistake by trying to handle the situation personally, instead of using either an attorney or an agent.

"I knew for a fact we weren't going to settle on a certain price,” Juranitch said. “It's like Vikings fans going to buy a car, you ask for a price, it doesn't mean you will pay it."

The Vikings did not respond to Juranitch's assessment of the situation. As it stands now, no Ragnar on Sunday against the chargers. However, the team plans to honor their human mascot at some point on the field this season.

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