Those of you who played for the Vikings under Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Bud Grant know that he was a man of few words. In Bud Grant’s world, an icy stare was worth a thousand words.
Tight end Steve Jordan, who will be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor next Thursday night (October 24), knew that his Brown University degree in Civil Engineering and status as the team’s 7th round draft pick was not going to overwhelm his first NFL head coach in 1982.
“One of the easiest ways to get bounced out of a Bud Grant training camp was by mental mistakes,” Jordan recalls. “My father was a teacher in high school and college. One of the things he taught me was to be prepared, and being prepared in his mind didn’t mean showing up in class just the day of the test.”
Jordan did not have the benefit of a college all-star game or an NFL Combine invitation to impress his new Vikings boss.
“There were some guys early on who would go out at night, but I went back to my room in camp,” Jordan says. “I wanted to study and make sure I didn’t make the mental mistakes that were going to get me cut in camp before I even had a shot at an NFL career.”
Jordan’s career eventually spanned 13 seasons (1982-94). He stayed with the Vikings all those years and retired as the team’s all-time leading tight end for catches and receiving yards.
“Steve Jordan’s impact has carried on past his on-field career,” says Vikings President Mark Wilf. “As great a player as he was, he’s just as great an Ambassador for the Vikings and the game of football. He is a positive role model for young players about the value of education and using your platform as an NFL star for good.”
Cam Jordan, one of Steve’s three children, currently is a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end for the Saints after being the team’s first round draft choice in 2011.
“I am rich in terms of my family being relatively healthy,” says proud Papa Jordan. “I’ve got seven grandkids. It’s been a great life.”
We at NFL Alumni have only this to offer to Steve Jordan and his family as he enters the Vikings Ring of Honor: Skoal!