Minnesota Vikings Great Matt Blair Passes At 70
The Minnesota Vikings announced via Vikings.com that Viking Ring of Honor inductee Matt Blair passed away at the age of 70.
Matt Blair was an interesting man, being so aggressive on the Vikings defense, but a kind and generous man off the field. According to the Vikings Website, people were touched by him and he brought joy to many.
Vikings.com says he was drafted in the second round out of Iowa State. Only Scott Studwell and Roy Winston played more games at linebacker. He was one of the few that played his whole career in a Viking uniform. (1974-85). He was second in tackles all-time. He was a 6-time pro bowler. He holds team records for blocked kicks (2nd) interceptions (1st) and sacks (1st).
Besides being in the Ring Of Honor, he was also honored as one of the 50 greatest Vikings ever to play for the team. He was part of the team that went to two Super Bowls.
Fox Sports says Matt Blair died of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is the neurodegenerative brain disease that some doctors have linked to playing football and having a number of concussions, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Scott Studwell, a former teammate told the Star Tribune he was great to play with because he was generous to the younger players but took his job seriously. He went on to say that he was diagnosed in 2015 and passing was a blessing in disguise because he was suffering for a long time. The Star Tribune went on to say because he was diagnosed with CTE, his dementia would grow quickly. He is reportedly believed to have had Alzheimer’s disease toward the end of his life.