Dennis Green is who we thought he was — a coach with very few cards


“They are who we thought they were” may be a sound bite he’s remembered for, but Dennis Green also will be remembered as being what many thought he was.

A pretty decent football coach.

The former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals leader died from an apparent heart attack on Friday at age 67. He last coached a decade ago with the Cardinals, going 5-11 to cap his 13-year coaching resume with 113 wins and 94 losses.

Larry-Fitzgerald-(Autographed-by-Dennis-Green)Green appears on fewer than 20 different football cards despite a life spent in the game. He played for the Iowa Hawkeyes for three seasons as a running back from 1968-70, scoring nine touchdowns and rushing for 699 yards before turning to the coaching ranks, working his way up from college to the pros. He was a head coach at Northwestern and Stanford before becoming a receivers coach for the 49ers and then taking the Vikings job in 1992.

That year he appears on six different cards from 1992 between a Stanford card made by Gridiron and his NFL debuts in Pro Set, Pro Line and Skybox. After that, other than a few team issues, he did not appear on cards until his first certified autographs All six of his autos are on cards where his signature appears on a card for new Arizona Cardinals rookie Larry Fitzgerald in the 2004 Fleer Authentix football set.

That’s it for his certified autos and his cardboard career.

On the field he still ranks as the second-winningest coach in Vikings history, leading the team to the NFC Championship Game in both 1998 and 2000.

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