Turn Back the Clock: Purple People Eaters

By KBJR News 1

August 30, 2011 Updated Aug 30, 2011 at 12:57 PM CST

Two Harbors, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- 16 former Minnesota Vikings players were in Two Harbors this past weekend, helping to raise money for student-athletes at Two Harbors High School.

Among that group were Carl Eller and Jim Marshall, two members of the famed "Purple People Eaters." Eller played 16 years in the NFL, reaching four Super Bowls. Marshall, meanwhile, played 20 years and also reached four Super Bowls.

The players were signing autographs and posing for pictures at the Vikings Legends Sports Bar & Grill, an establishment of which Marshall is a co-owner.

The former defensive end said it was all about raising money for the kids, and he was happy to help out.

"Back during my day, we didn't have to pay anything," said Marshall, a Vikings defensive end from 1961-79. "We had gym class and basketball, and if you wanted to go out for football you could do that. There's a lot of people out there who have a lot of talent, and we found that out when they were on the field. Nowadays, you have to pay to play, so we're trying to get as much as we can for the kids to help them fund the athletic programs that suit them."

Doug Sutherland, another member of the "Purple People Eaters," was also there this past weekend and said it was good to see his old teammates and the fans.

"Vikings fans are great, they always have been," said Doug Sutherland, a Vikings defensive tackle from 1971-80. "We were a special part, we played in a lot of Super Bowls. At least we got to the Super Bowl. It's fun to see the guys, to see Jim [Marshall] and Carl [Eller]. I played in between those guys, and we had a great time."

"It's something that never dies," said Carl Eller, a Minnesota defensive end from 1964-78. "The memories only get better, and it's good to see each other. This is really great for us to get together here in Two Harbors, this part of Minnesota, so it's a great time for us."

Posted by Zach Schneider
zschneider@northlandsnewscenter.com