Krause cut ties with team over un-retired number
MINNEAPOLIS -- Don't expect to see Paul Krause at the Metrodome on Sunday to see if Brian Russell can tie Krause's team record of intercepting a pass in six consecutive games.
Krause, one of six Vikings in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, no longer considers himself part of the Vikings' family and plans to stay away from the franchise because the team has not retired his jersey number. He does not attend team functions or reunions.
"It's ridiculous that my number hasn't been retired," Krause told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It's absolutely ridiculous."
He played for the Vikings from 1968-79.
Krause was particularly upset when the Vikings decided to retire the number of receiver Cris Carter last month. Carter became the sixth Vikings player in their 43-year history to have his jersey retired. The others are Fran Tarkenton (No. 10), Mick Tingelhoff (53), Jim Marshall (70), Alan Page (88) and the late Korey Stringer (77).
"They retired a kid's jersey last month who just retired and who isn't even in the Hall of Fame yet," Krause said. "The kid was a great player and he deserves it, but he's been gone just a year. They don't seem to care about the old guys."
Krause, who wore No. 22 for the Vikings, is in the team's ring of honor. He is the NFL-record holder with 81 career interceptions.
Vikings owner Red McCombs, who has final decision on retiring numbers, said Wednesday he was aware that Krause is upset. Marshall, Stringer, Tingelhoff and Carter have had their numbers retired since McCombs bought the team in 1998. The NFL discourages teams from retiring numbers.
"There are probably a dozen former players who are upset that their numbers aren't retired," McCombs said. "We respect Paul and he was a great Viking. The idea of retiring numbers is an ongoing process."
Eight Vikings players have worn No. 22 since Krause retired; cornerback Ken Irvin wears the number this season.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press