It’s Been 15 Years Since The Vikings ‘Love Boat’ Incident
Today marks the ugly anniversary of the Minnesota Vikings 'Love Boat' incident. The incident, which happened on Lake Minnetonka during the Week 5 bye week for the Minnesota Vikings, included two houseboats and over 90-people and lead to the Wilfs' code of conduct for all Minnesota Vikings players in the future. This is a look at some of the Vikings that were on board the boat, and what happened to them after that 2005 season which saw the Vikings organization sold to the Wilf family in May of that year.
The team that year went 9-7, and missed the playoffs after starting the season 1-3 before the bye week.
Daunte Culpepper QB - Culpepper was one of 17 Vikings players aboard the love boat that October day. During the 2005 season, Culpepper was injured during week 7, and saw Brad Johnson take over and help guide the Vikings to a 7-3 record with Johnson as the QB. Culpepper forced a trade to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason was out of the NFL after the 2009 season.
Fred Smoot CB - Smoot was alleged to have organized the boat excursion on Lake Minnetonka. In 2005 Smoot was a newly acquired free-agent with the team, and in 2006 was benched twice. Smoot after two season with the Vikings returned to the Washington Football Club in 2007. Smoot played in the NFL, much like Culpepper through the 2009 season.
Mewelde Moore RB - Moore played for the Vikings until 2007 and then went to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he later won a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl 43 in 2008. Moore was out of the NFL in 2012.
Pat Williams DT - Williams, one half of the later dubbed 'Williams Wall' was a free agent acquisition for the Vikings in 2005. From 2005 - 2010 Williams tallied up 7.5 sacks for the Vikings to go along with 5 forced fumbles. Wiliams was out of the league in 2010 and now coaches high school football in Monroe Louisana.
Bryant McKinnie OT - McKinnie was a Minnesota Viking for another 5 years and went on to play for the Ravens and Dolphins before retiring in 2013. McKinnie went on to win a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. McKinnie started every game for Minnesota from 2003 to 2007.
Nate Burleson WR - Burleson left the Vikings after the 2005 season for the Seattle Seahawks as part of "retribution" over the Vikings signing former Seattle Seahawk Steve Hutchinson in the offseason. Burleson played in the NFL through 2013, and is now working on TV for the NFL Network, CBS, and the TV Show Extra.
Head Coach Mike Tice* - Tice was fired after the season, which was his 4th with the team as Head Coach. Tice in his 4 years with the team went 32-33-0 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. (* it should be noted that Mike Tice was not on any of the boats, he was however no longer with the team after the season.)