Bud Grant funeral: Loved ones remember his life and legacy
Bud Grant’s memorial service brought out a who’s who of important Vikings, but it felt like a family affair with his former players and his son bringing the crowd to tears.
Bud’s legacy on the field is widely known.
Four Super Bowl appearances, the most wins of any Vikings coach ever.
He was a pillar for the team, so you saw current coach Kevin O’Connell and his predecessor Mike Zimmer at the Bud’s memorial service, along with legendary players like Chuck Foreman and Paul Krause.
Only his closest friends and family members knew he was a secret softy.
"Let me get ready," said his son Mike Grant as he removed his clip-on necktie and pulled three handkerchiefs out of various pockets during his eulogy.
He didn’t realize when he was speaking that one handkerchief was not enough when he would get emotional.
Mike Grant says his dad was a pillar for their family, too, and he gave the Minnesota community everything he had — sometimes literally at his garage sales.
He wasn’t shy about sharing his wisdom off the field, either.
He advised Fran Tarkenton through a successful career after the quarterback’s retirement in 1978.
"For all the years ever since, he continued to be my coach, my mentor, and my friend," Tarkenton said in a video eulogy. "The biggest influence in my life."
Friends told us Bud would’ve appreciated the pride reflected in his service, but he might’ve been surprised by the size of the crowd paying tribute.
"Bud didn’t like all the attention. "He’s a very reserved, quiet guy," said former Vikings running back Oscar Reed.
"I remember Bud saying ‘old people, you know, not many people come to their service. When they die young, they do," said Joe Florenzano "But Bud was definitely wrong."
"But we’ll all carry something away from Bud," said defensive lineman Jim Marshall, a member of the Vikings' Ring of Honor. "You as a family and me as a player. I loved you, Bud. We’ll all miss you."
Saturday’s service was just for friends and family members.
The Vikings are planning a public memorial at U.S. Bank Stadium sometime in May.