I visited Matthew Berry and Michael Smith on Fantasy football pregame while wearing a Chuck Foreman hoodie. It has special meaning today, with the Vikings returning to Buffalo for an interconference matchup.
In December 1975, the Vikings closed out the regular season by playing the Bills in Buffalo on a Saturday. Chuck Foreman, who was competing with Bills running back OJ Simpson to break Gale Sayers’ single-season touchdown record, entered the game with 18. Foreman scored four that day, tying Sayers. Simpson scored once, setting a new record of 23.
Foreman didn’t have a chance to score a fifth touchdown, as he was hit in the eye by a snowball in the third quarter. In 2014, Chris Tomasson of St. Paul Pioneer Press revisited the story – and solved the mystery. Kind of.
Foreman told Tomasson that in 2013, former Bills guard Joe DeLamielleure attended a Vikings-Bills preseason game in Buffalo. DeLamielleure struck up a conversation with a security guard who admitted throwing the snowball, when he was 10 years old.
DeLamielleure had Foreman’s number in her phone, so DeLamielleure called Foreman. The security guard apologized. Foreman agreed. The only problem was that by 2014, DeLamielleure and Foreman had forgotten the man’s name.
As Tomasson explained, the snowballs got so bad late in the contest that Bud Grant sent every player who wasn’t on the field to the locker room. Minnesota’s defense would have played offensively (with Paul Krause at quarterback) had the Vikings regained possession in a game they were leading, 35-13.
Foreman, who ended up leading the NFC in scoring and receiving that season, also came within six yards of leading the NFC in rushing. The far bigger disappointment came eight days later, when Foreman and the Vikings lost to the Cowboys in the Hail Mary playoff game.