Vikings Kleinsasser Leaves Lasting Legacy
at Alma Mater
Michelle Knoll - KSTP.com 01/02/2012
Former Vikings Jim Kleinsasser is going to leave a lasting
legacy off the field long after he's done playing.
The former University of North Dakota player presented a $10,000
scholarship to 17-year-old Jacob Greenmyer after Sunday's game.
Greenmyer will attend UND in the fall. He is a cancer survivor
who plans to use that money to pursue a career in medicine. More
than 250 people applied for the scholarship.
Sunday was Kleinsasser's final game after a 13 year career with
More about Jim Kleinsasser:
Kleinsasser calls it a career, has no regrets
Published January 01, 2012, 11:15 PM
MINNEAPOLIS — Jim Kleinsasser was
making his way to the postgame interview room looking about as
comfortable as an old farm boy walking the red carpet with boots
and a simple black-and-white “North Dakota football” T-shirt.
“It’s the first time I’ve been up here in my 13 years,” said the
Vikings’ now-retired blocking tight end, looking down from the
spot normally reserved for stars with names like Peterson and
legends with names like Favre.
Kleinsasser, the team’s second-round draft pick in 1999, had
just finished the 181st and final game of his NFL career, a
record for a Vikings tight end. He spent pregame posing for
about as many photos as he has career receiving yards (1,688).
He went to midfield for the coin toss as the team’s only
captain, a nice gesture from his head coach, Leslie Frazier.
A game was played. The Vikings lost, 17-13 to the Bears.
Kleinsasser didn’t add to his season receptions total of one,
nor was he even targeted. But he did what he does, which is
block about as well as any tight end in today’s NFL can block.
His highlight, for those who squinted to see it, came near the
end of the first half, when he went in motion from left to right
and blocked Julius Peppers, one of the game’s best pass rushers,
well enough to allow Joe Webb to complete a 19-yard pass to set
up a field goal.
After the game, Kleinsasser posed for more photos and hugged his
parents, Carter and Kathe, about as many times as he has career
receptions (192). Then, with his helmet raised, he disappeared
into the tunnel as the last player to leave the field.
“Just kind of overwhelming really,” Kleinsasser said. “I never
expected coming into this game that anybody would even care if I
walked out of the game.”
But people did care. Do care. A lot of them.
About 125 of them sat in the rafters of Sections 238-239 wearing
gold T-shirts with Kleinsasser’s No. 40 and the words “Pride”
and “Carrington, N.D.” on the front, and “Kleinsasser” on the
The Vikings donated those 125 tickets to the folks in
Kleinsasser’s hometown of Carrington, pop: 2,200. They also sent
two coach buses to Carrington High School to gather them at 8
a.m. Saturday. They arrived in town six hours later and spent
part of New Year’s Eve with the town’s favorite son.
“Jimmy’s represented Carrington extremely well,” said Marty
Hochhalter, Kleinsasser’s high school football coach. “When I
watch Vikings games, I watch Jimmy. He’s laid it on the line
every Sunday for 13 years for this team. Now he can walk away
proud of what he accomplished. Proud that he got to determine
when it was his time to go.”
Carter, Kleinsasser’s father, guessed that Jim will “hunt and
fish for a while and then go back and finish college.”
“I’m guessing that’s what he’ll do,” Carter continued. “But for
now, we’ll spend some time just enjoying all the good memories
with the Vikings.”
Teammates couldn’t say enough about what those memories mean to
“He’s a pro’s pro,” rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “It’s
hard to say this because it makes him sound old. But he’s like a
father to me.”
Kleinsasser, who turns 35 this month, said he made up his mind
before the start of training camp that this would be his final
season. He has no regrets and said there’s absolutely no way
he’s pulling a Favre and coming out of retirement.
“I’m the luckiest guy,” Kleinsasser said. “From Day 1, I’ve been
a lucky guy.”
(Note: I really like this
article about Jim Kleinsasser, so I copied it in its entirety,
just in case it disappears from the Grand Forks Herald website.)
about Carrington, ND.
Carrington, North Dakota, The Central City
Carrington Chamber of Commerce
Carrington, North Dakota: Wikipedia
Carrington, ND: Citi-Data.Com
US Census: Quick facts - Carrington, North Dakota
Foster County, ND: Official Website
South Central North Dakota
US Census: Quick Facts - Foster County, ND
North Dakota State University: Carrington Research Extension Center
North Dakota State Government
Come to the Senior
Citizens Card Parties
The Carrington Senior
Citizens Club will have public card parties on the first and
third Sundays, starting in October and running through
April. They will start at 2 p.m.
There is a
charger of $5 per person which also includes a lunch with
sandwiches, bars and a beverage. You do not need to be
a senior citizen to attend. You just need to like
playing cards, having fun and visiting with people!
Foster County Museum
County Museum invites you to visit on Sundays during the
months of July and August.
Wigs for Cancer
Free wigs are available for
cancer patients at Hair & Nail Designs in Carrington. Please
call 701-652-3200 for an appointment.
FOSTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
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