At Bud Grant’s garage sale, people come for more than Vikings gear

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Everybody wants a piece of Bud Grant.

The beloved old Minnesota Vikings coach returned to Twitter last week after a year-long hiatus, re-opening his dormant account to once again promote his garage sale, a local institution that routinely turns quiet Oakmere Road into a shrine for devout Vikings fans.

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One such supporter turned up with his dog, Tucker, who sports his own little road jersey signed by retired defensive tackle Kevin Williams.

And with the eclectic contents of Grant’s basement arranged in semi-neat piles on the driveway and strewn across the front lawn, there’s a little something for everyone, even Tucker.

Barb Field walked out with armfuls of Grant gear, including a few posters signed by the man himself.

Grant, she said, reminds Field of her own father, a faithful Vikings fan.

"He watched every game since they started," she said, shifting a few signs around in her arms to show off her haul. "He’s exactly like Bud."

The now 89-year-old — his birthday was Friday — football coach holds court from atop his driveway, signing autographs and entertaining a line that stretches all the way down to the road, past all manner of Vikings memorabilia, some worn, some new.

Jerseys, jackets and posters; a massive collection of caps; faded scrapbooks documenting his 18 seasons with the Vikings, with more, per his Twitter account, pouring in all the time.

But there’s more to the now-annual garage sale than vintage Vikings gear.

DVDs, tools, furniture and jewelry.

Pet supplies, coasters and fishing gear.

A pricy wooden mallard dubbed "Bud’s Duck."

An even pricier stuffed bobcat (don’t touch).

But not everyone is here to shop or snag an autograph.

Carol Dunbar of Eden Prairie was heading home when she noticed something was up.

"I knew when I saw the estate sale signs and all the cars, I put two and two together," she said.

Bud’s son coached her son once upon a time, and Dunbar, who has her share of neighborly stories to share about the Grants (the contents of Bud’s grocery bags, for instance: white bread and dog food), said she often stops by for the garage sale.


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Not to buy anything, she said, just to say hello.

"We just peruse around, just to wave to Bud," she said.

A local icon after leading the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances (the one thing he isn’t selling? A Super Bowl ring, Bud told another reporter), Grant’s gruff demeanor, penchant for disciplined play and abiding love for the outdoors endeared him to the Vikings’ faithful, and earned him a special spot in the hearts and minds of suburban Minneapolis.

Everyone, it seems, has some sort of connection to the Grant family.

"They’re just good people," Dunbar said. "And good people are hard to come by sometimes."

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