Francis Asbury Tarkenton (born February 3, 1940) is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback, television personality, and computer software executive. He played in the NFL for 18 seasons and spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings.
Tarkenton's tenure with the Vikings spanned thirteen non-consecutive seasons, playing with the team for six seasons from 1961 to 1966, then for seven seasons from 1972 to 1978. In between his years in Minnesota, Tarkenton was a member of the New York Giants for five seasons. At the time of his retirement, Tarkenton owned every major quarterback record. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
In addition to his football career, Tarkenton served as a commentator on Monday Night Football and a co-host of That's Incredible!. He also founded Tarkenton Software, a computer-program generator company, and he toured the U.S. promoting CASE (computer-aided software engineering) with Albert F. Case Jr. of Nastec Corporation. Tarkenton Software later merged with KnowledgeWare (with Tarkenton as president), until selling the company to Sterling Software in 1994.
Tarkenton in January 2010
|Born:||February 3, 1940|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Athens (GA)|
|NFL Draft:||1961 / Round: 3 / Pick: 29|
|AFL draft:||1961 / Round: 5 / Pick: 34|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Fran Tarkenton was born on February 3, 1940, in Richmond, Virginia. His father, Dallas Tarkenton, was a Methodist minister. Tarkenton went to Athens High School in Athens, Georgia, and later attended the University of Georgia, where he was the quarterback on the Bulldog football team and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
The Minnesota Vikings drafted Tarkenton in the third round of the 1961 NFL Draft, and he was picked in the fifth round of the 1961 AFL draft by the Boston Patriots. He signed with the Vikings. Tarkenton, 21, played his first National Football League game (and the Vikings' first game) on September 17 against the Chicago Bears coming off the bench to lead the Vikings to a come-from-behind victory by passing for 250 yards and four touchdown passes and running for another as the Vikings defeated the Bears 37–13. He was the only player in NFL history to pass for four touchdowns in his first NFL game, until the feat was repeated by Marcus Mariota in the Tennessee Titans' 2015 season opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He played for the Vikings from 1961 to 1966. His early years with the team were plagued by the trouble expected for a newly created team, with the Vikings winning a total of 10 games combined in their first three seasons, with Tarkenton winning eight of them. He threw 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for 1,997 yards in his first season. He rushed for 308 yards on 56 rushes for five touchdowns. The following year, he threw 22 touchdowns and 25 interceptions for 2,595 yards. He rushed for 361 yards on 41 rushes for two touchdowns.
Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants in 1967, at which time he moved to the New York City suburb of New Rochelle, New York. In the first game of the 1969 season, Tarkenton's Giants played the Vikings. After trailing 23–10 in the fourth quarter, Tarkenton threw two touchdown passes to secure a 24–23 comeback victory over his former team. The 24 points allowed by Minnesota's defense were a season-worst for the unit, one more point than the Vikings allowed in losing Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tarkenton enjoyed his best season with the Giants in 1970. The club overcame an 0-3 start to win nine of 10 and move into position to win the NFC East division championship in week 14. However, New York was routed 31-3 by the Los Angeles Rams at Yankee Stadium, leaving the Giants 9-5, one game behind the division champion Dallas Cowboys and the wild card Detroit Lions. 1970 was the closest the Giants came to making the playoffs during a 17-year drought, spanning the 1964 through 1980 seasons.
Tarkenton was traded back to Minnesota in 1972, for three players (Norm Snead, Bob Grim and Vince Clements), plus a first and second round draft choice. He led the Vikings to three National Football Conference championships, but in each instance the Vikings lost the ensuing Super Bowl. In Tarkenton's first Super Bowl appearance his team lost to the Miami Dolphins 24–7 in Houston. It lost the second to the Pittsburgh Steelers 16–6 in New Orleans, and in the last Super Bowl Tarkenton played (and Minnesota's last Super Bowl to date), the Vikings lost to the Oakland Raiders 32–14 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
In his 18 NFL seasons, Tarkenton completed 3,686 of 6,467 passes for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns, with 266 interceptions, all of which were NFL records at the time of his retirement. Tarkenton's 47,003 career passing yards rank him 8th all time, while his 342 career passing touchdowns is 6th all time in NFL history. He also is 6th on the all-time list of wins by a starting quarterback with 124 regular season victories. He also used his impressive scrambling ability to rack up 3,674 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns on 675 carries. During his career, Tarkenton ran for a touchdown in 15 different seasons, an NFL record among quarterbacks. He ranks fifth in career rushing yards among quarterbacks, behind Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, Michael Vick and Cam Newton. He is also one of four NFL quarterbacks ever to rush for at least 300 yards in seven different seasons; the others are Cam Newton, Michael Vick and Tobin Rote. When he retired, Tarkenton held NFL career records in pass attempts, completions, yardage, and touchdowns; rushing yards by a quarterback; and wins by a starting quarterback.
The Vikings finished the 1975 season with an NFC-best 12–2 record and Tarkenton won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award while capturing All-Pro honors in the process. He was also a second-team All-Pro in 1973 and earned All-NFC selections in 1972 and 1976. He was named second-team All-NFC in 1970 and 1974. Tarkenton was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls.
Despite not winning a Super Bowl, he won six playoff games, and in 1999 he was ranked #59 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Tarkenton was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1977, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Athens, Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
A biography of Tarkenton titled Better Scramble than Lose was published in 1969. This followed Tarkenton's 1967 autobiography No Time for Losing and preceded by several years his 1977 autobiography Tarkenton co-written with Jim Klobuchar. The autobiographies chronicle not only his football career but also his personal evolution from his early football days as a preacher's son. Tarkenton co-wrote with Brock Yates a book in 1971 titled Broken Patterns: The Education of a Quarterback, a chronicle of the 1970 New York Giants season.
In 1986, Tarkenton, with author Herb Resincow, wrote a novel titled Murder at the Super Bowl, the whodunit story of a football coach killed just before his team is to participate in the championship game.
Tarkenton wrote the self-help, motivational books Playing to Win in 1984, and How to Motivate People: The Team Strategy for Success in 1986. He also wrote the motivational self-help business book titled What Losing Taught Me About Winning, and Every Day is Game Day. In 1987, Tarkenton hosted a Think and Grow Rich TV infomercial that sold the book with an audio cassette version (the audio cassettes contained an introduction and conclusion by Tarkenton).
Mark McCormack helped Tarkenton invest, making him wealthy enough to "retire this week if [he] wanted to", as New York magazine wrote in 1971. Tarkenton was a pioneer in computer software, and founder of Tarkenton Software, a program generator company. He toured the United States promoting CASE or "computer-aided software engineering" with Albert F. Case, Jr. of Nastec Corporation, but ultimately merged his software firm with James Martin's KnowledgeWare, of which Tarkenton was president until selling the company to Sterling Software in 1994.
In 1999, Tarkenton was fined by federal regulators as part of a securities fraud sweep. According to the LA Times, "In Tarkenton's case, the Hall of Fame quarterback and 10 other former executives of his computer software and consulting firm, KnowledgeWare Inc., were accused of inflating by millions of dollars the company's earnings in reports for its fiscal year ended June 30, 1994. The former Minnesota Vikings quarterback agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and $54,187 in restitution. He did not admit any wrongdoing".
Since then, Tarkenton has been promoting various products and services including Tony Robbins and 1-800-BAR-NONE. He also founded GoSmallBiz, a small-business consulting website. He also operates an annuity marketing firm called Tarkenton Financial.
|Led the league|
|AP NFL MVP|
The 1961 Chicago Bears season was their 42nd regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–6 record under George Halas, which was an improvement over the 5–6–1 record of the previous season.1961 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1961 season was the Minnesota Vikings' first in the National Football League after being created as an expansion franchise. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 3–11 record. The team's first ever regular season game was a 37–13 victory against their divisional rivals, the Chicago Bears; in that game, rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton came off the bench to toss four touchdown passes and run for another.
The Vikings' defense surrendered 5.41 rushing yards per attempt in 1961, the fifth-most of all time.1962 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1962 season was the Minnesota Vikings' second in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 2–11–1 record that still stands as the franchise's worst season record in terms of winning percentage, both by today's standards (.179) and at the time (.154), when ties weren't counted as games played. The Vikings have won at least three games in every season since.1965 Pro Bowl
The 1965 Pro Bowl was the NFL's fifteenth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1964 season. The game was played on January 10, 1965, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 60,698. The coaches for the game were Don Shula of Baltimore Colts for the West and Blanton Collier of Cleveland Browns for the East. The West team won by a final score was 34–14.The West dominated the East, 411 to 187 in total yards. West quarterback Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings was named "Back of the Game" after he completed 8 of 13 passes for 172 yards. At one point during the game, the West backfield was all-Vikings: Tarkenton (No. 10), Tommy Mason (No. 20), and Bill Brown (No. 30).
"Lineman of the Game" honors went to the West’s Terry Barr of the Detroit Lions; Barr had 106 yards receiving on three receptions.Frank Ryan, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns' who had defeated the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game, was knocked out of the Pro Bowl when he was sacked in the third quarter by a group of defenders including the Colts' Gino Marchetti. Some thought that Marchetti, who was playing in his tenth Pro Bowl, was trying to teach Ryan a lesson for considering running up the score against the Colts in the championship game. Marchetti denied this, and he and Ryan remained on good terms.1968 Pro Bowl
The 1968 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's eighteenth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1967 season. The game was played on January 21, 1968, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The final score was West 38, East 20. Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears was named the back of the game for the second year in a row and Dave Robinson of the Green Bay Packers received the lineman of the game honors.
Attendance at the game was 53,289. The game had controversy because East coach Otto Graham of the Washington Redskins benched quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the fourth quarter. Some players questioned the benching of a player of Tarkenton’s stature in a charity game. The coach of the West squad was Don Shula of the Baltimore Colts, who won his second Pro Bowl in four years.1971 New York Giants season
The 1971 New York Giants season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League (NFL). The Giants had a 4–10 record for the season and finished in last place in the National Football Conference East Division.The Giants selected Rocky Thompson in the 1971 NFL Draft, with the 18th overall pick. After a winless preseason, New York began the regular season with a 2–1 record before posting a 2–9 mark in its final 11 games. The team was affected by numerous injuries, including a thigh injury suffered by running back Ron Johnson, who had gained more than 1,000 yards rushing in 1970. The 1971 season was the last for quarterback Fran Tarkenton with the Giants; after he requested a trade, the Giants dealt him to the Minnesota Vikings in 1972 for three players and a pair of draft picks.1972 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1972 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 12th in the National Football League. It marked the return of Fran Tarkenton to the Vikings after he had been traded to the New York Giants in 1967. In return, Minnesota sent three players to the Giants (Norm Snead, Bob Grim and Vince Clements), plus a first and second round draft choice. Tarkenton's return also led to the previous season's QB, Gary Cuozzo, being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal which sent wide receiver John Gilliam to the Vikings along with second- and fourth-round draft picks in 1973. Cardinals coach Bob Hollway was familiar with Cuozzo, having served as Minnesota's defensive coordinator under Bud Grant prior to leaving for St. Louis in 1971.
The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and seven losses and failed to improve on their 11–3 record from 1971. This would be one of only two times during the 1970s in which the Vikings failed to reach the playoffs, as they would win the NFC Central six straight years from 1973–1978 before posting a 7–9 record in 1979. The Vikings started the season with just one win in their first four games, including a surprising 19-17 loss to the lightly-regarded Cardinals in week four, when Gary Cuozzo bested his former team as Vikings kicker Fred Cox hit the upright on a potential game-winning field goal. The team recovered from their slow start, winning five of their next six to sit at 6–4. However, the Vikings would lose three of their final four games to finish the season at an even 7–7.1975 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1975 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 15th in the National Football League.
The Vikings began with ten wins before losing by one point to the Washington Redskins, though there was generally very little expectation they would equal the 1972 Dolphins’ perfect season. The 1975 Vikings had an even easier schedule than the often-criticized schedule of the unbeaten Dolphin team, with their fourteen opponents having a weighted average winning percentage of .332 and nine being 4–10 or worse. Football journalists noted during their streak how the Vikings had been playing very weak schedules for several years and flattered thereby. Their 10–0 start was not subsequently equalled until the 1984 Miami Dolphins began 11–0. Only the Super Bowl-winning 1999 Rams have had since, according to Pro Football Reference, a weaker schedule than the 1975 Vikings, playing only one opponent with a winning record during the regular season.They sealed their third straight NFC Central title on Thanksgiving Day in this same week when the Detroit Lions lost to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Vikings finished with a record of 12 wins and two losses, before losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 17–14 in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at home due to a play known as the "Hail Mary". Earlier in the season, the New York Jets made their first appearance in Minnesota in a much-anticipated match between Super Bowl quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Joe Namath, in what was the first regular season game sold out during the summer.1977 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1977 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 17th in the National Football League. After starting the season 5–3, the team's starting quarterback Fran Tarkenton broke his leg in week 9 and missed the rest of the season. Despite losing Tarkenton, the team managed to finish the season with a 9–5 record and went to the playoffs as winners of the NFC Central division title. They beat the Los Angeles Rams 14–7 in the Divisional Round in a game played in Los Angeles and termed the Mud Bowl, although the Vikings had lost 35–3 to the same opponent in week 6. In the NFC Championship game in a game played in Dallas, the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys 23–6.1978 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1978 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with an 8–7–1 record, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division, despite having a regular season point differential of −12. The team appeared in the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years; as in each of their previous playoff seasons, this one ended with a loss. Following the season, longtime quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired.1978 NFL season
The 1978 NFL season was the 59th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season from a 14-game schedule to 16. Furthermore, the playoff format was expanded from 8 teams to 10 teams by adding another wild card from each conference. The wild card teams played each other, with the winner advancing to the playoff round of eight teams.
The season ended with Super Bowl XIII when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
The average salary for a player in 1978 was under $62,600, up 13.2 percent over the previous year. Fran Tarkenton was the highest-paid quarterback at $360,000 and running back O. J. Simpson was the highest paid player, at just under $733,400.Bob Grim (American football)
Robert Lee Grim (born May 8, 1945) is a former American football player in the National Football League who played from 1967–1977.Lee Calland
Lee Calland (born September 14, 1941 in Louisville, Kentucky) is a former football player, a defensive back for ten seasons in the NFL. In 1968, his last of three years with the Atlanta Falcons, he helped seal the victory with an interception off Fran Tarkenton of the New York Giants late in the 4th quarter, one of only 2 victories for the Falcons all season, losing 12, in their 3rd year of existence. Out of the University of Louisville was the first rookie to ever start at the position of cornerback in the NFL when he joined the Minnesota Vikings in 1963. In 1963 made all-rookie team.List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). A franchise was granted to Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). The ownership forfeited their AFL membership in January 1960 and received the National Football League's 14th franchise on January 28, 1960 that started play in 1961.The Vikings have had 36 starting quarterbacks in the history of their franchise; they have never had more than three starting quarterbacks in one season. The Vikings' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Fran Tarkenton, Brett Favre and Warren Moon. The team's first starting quarterback was George Shaw; he was replaced by Tarkenton in the franchise's first game, and the future Hall of Famer retained the starting role for most of the remainder of the season. As of the 2018 season, Minnesota's starting quarterback is Kirk Cousins.List of National Football League career passing completions leaders
This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks by total career regular season pass completions. This list includes all quarterbacks who have completed at least 2,500 passes.List of New York Giants starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the New York Giants of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Giants.Super Bowl IX
Super Bowl IX was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1974 season. The game was played on January 12, 1975, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Vikings by the score of 16–6 to win their first Super Bowl championship.This game matched two of the NFL's best defenses and two future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain defense, the Steelers advanced to their first Super Bowl after posting a 10–3–1 regular season record and playoff victories over the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings were led by quarterback Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters defense; they advanced to their second consecutive Super Bowl and third overall after finishing the regular season with a 10–4 record and defeating the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.
The first half of Super Bowl IX was a defensive struggle, with the lone score being the first safety in Super Bowl history when Tarkenton was downed in his own end zone. The Steelers then recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff, and scored on fullback Franco Harris's 9-yard run. The Vikings cut the score, 9–6, early in the fourth quarter by recovering a blocked punt in Pittsburgh's end zone for a touchdown, but the Steelers then drove 66 yards on their ensuing possession to score on Larry Brown's 4-yard touchdown reception to put the game out of reach.
In total, the Steelers limited the Vikings to Super Bowl record lows of nine first downs, 119 total offensive yards, 17 rushing yards, and no offensive scores (Minnesota's only score came on a blocked punt, and they did not even score on the extra point attempt). The Steelers accomplished this despite losing starting linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Lambert, who were injured and replaced by Ed Bradley and Loren Toews for most of the second half. On the other hand, Pittsburgh had 333 yards of total offense. Harris, who ran for a Super Bowl record 158 yards (more than the entire Minnesota offense) and a touchdown, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.Vince Clements
Vince Clements (born January 4, 1949) is a former American football running back. He played for the New York Giants from 1972 to 1973. Clements was acquired by the New York Giants in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings for quarterback Fran Tarkenton.Before his pro career, Clements played college football for the Connecticut, where he was a major contributor on the team.WKKP
WKKP Classic Country 100.9 FM and 1410 AM broadcasts on 1410 kHz at a power of 2,500 watts daytime and 58 watts at night from a tower located on Racetrack Road in McDonough, Georgia, a southern suburb of Atlanta. The station is owned by Henry County Radio Co, Inc. and originates from studios located on Brownlee Road in Jackson, Georgia. The FM translator broadcasts at a frequency of 100.9 MHz with a power of 250 watts from the tower located on Racetrack Rd.
The station callsign was originally WJGA and was assigned to a frequency of 1540 kHz and located in Jackson, GA. The station was sold and moved to McDonough, the calls changed to WZAL, assigned to 1540 kHz, and owned by Dallas Tarkenton (older brother of Fran Tarkenton). Broadcasting as WZAL continued until it was purchased by DeVan-Moore Communication, Inc. in 1980. The station saw successful growth in the hands of Jim DeVan, former manager of WMCD (Statesboro, Georgia), and moved to 1410 kHz in the late 1980s.
Jim DeVan managed WZAL until his sudden death from a work-related accident in 1991. The station was sold to a former Tarkenton associate (Earnhart), who changed the call letters and moved the studios to Jackson several years later, But left the transmitter in McDonough. WKKP (Kopy Kat Programming) aired local programming in the morning, followed by simulcast programming from sister station WJGA-FM in Jackson, Georgia.
The station has gone through many format changes, and currently broadcasts Classic Country programming from satellite. WKKP also broadcasts AP network news at the top of the hour. The Henry County Schools high school football game of the week is also aired Friday night and they also broadcast high school baseball and basketball games in season, with Rob Gulley providing play by play.