Matt Blair

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For the English footballer, see Matty Blair.
Matt Blair
No. 59
Date of birth: (1950-09-20) September 20, 1950 (age 64)
Place of birth: Hilo, HI
Career information
Position(s): LB
College: Iowa State
NFL Draft: 1974 / Round: 2/ Pick 51
Organizations
As player:
1974-1985 Minnesota Vikings
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 6
Awards: Miller "Man off the year" and Minnesota Jaycees "Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans" recipient for community services
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com

Matt Blair (born September 20, 1950) was an outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for all 12 seasons of his career from 1974 to 1985.

Career[edit]

Blair was an All-American selected out of Iowa State University by the Vikings in the second round of the 1974 NFL Draft with the 51st overall selection. Blair quickly established himself as one of the top and speediest linebackers in the NFC, earning Pro Bowl honors for 6 consecutive seasons (1977–1982) and making the NFL All-Rookie Team. In addition, Blair was selected All-Pro in 1980, All-NFC in 1978 & 2nd Team All-NFC in 1977, 1979 & 1981. He was also an exceptional special teams player, particularly in blocking punts because of his great speed and timing abilities. Blair is 3rd in the NFL with 20 blocked kicks.

Blair appeared in two Super Bowls with the Vikings, Super Bowl IX (1974 season) and Super Bowl XI (1976 season), losses respectively to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders.

Blair started for the Vikings his rookie season for the injured Roy Winston. Blair participated in special teams play in Super Bowl IX, blocking Bobby Walden's punt, recovered by Terry Brown (American football) in the endzone, the Vikings' only points all day, as they missed the extra point. He was a vital part of the Vikings' 1976 season of 11 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie, second in the NFL in least points allowed (176 points, 12.6 points per game). In particular, Blair recovered 5 fumbles and intercepted 2 passes from his linebacker position with Jeff Siemon in the middle and Wally Hilgenberg on the opposite side. The Vikings defeated the Rams again in the NFC championship game of the 1976-77 NFL playoffs, when Blair recovered 2 fumbles.