Thinking Of You Today, Freddy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 24, 2011 – 9:55 am


The Minnesota Vikings will do something for the first time in franchise history today. They’ll play a game without legendary former athletic trainer Fred Zamberletti in attendance.

Zamberletti, who was the team’s trainer from the very beginning of the franchise in 1961 and remains with the club as a consultant and team historian, had never missed a preseason, regular season or postseason game in team history, a streak of 1,049 games up until today. He had to remain home because of an illness, but we know he’ll be back with the club in no time.

Zamberletti is a member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and is a voice of reason and wisdom within the organization. During his long tenure with the team, Zamberletti has earned the respect and admiration of players, staff and fans. In fact, over 100 alumni showed up to celebrate with him at the Metrodome when the team held “Fred Zamberletti Day” in 1998.

This trip has not been the same without you, Freddy. We’re all thinking of you on this day and we look forward to seeing you when we get back home.

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National Football Foundation Honors Vikings ’08 Community QB Sean Gothier

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 9, 2011 – 3:20 pm

The National Football Foundation (NFF) has recognized Sean Gothier as the Midwest Region recipient of its Chapter Leadership Awards. Recipients are recognized for outstanding leadership and dedication to amateur football at the local level.

Gothier was selected by the Vikings as the Community Quarterback in 2008, and he initiated the Fred Zamberletti Award, which honors an outstanding Minnesota athletic trainer who has had strong impact in the athletic training profession. Fred Zamberletti (second on the right in below picture) was a long-time athletic trainer for the Vikings and remains with the organization as a consultant and team historian; Zamberletti has not missed a game in the 51-year history of the Vikings and he’s an individual who has earned the respect and trust of countless players and staff during his tenure with the club.

Gothier (far right in above picture) was a 4-year starter at DB for Bethel University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1991; he later added a master’s degree in teaching from St. Mary’s University. Now a sales specialist for a pharmaceutical company, Gothier previously taught social studies and coached high school football for more than 10 years. He keeps a busy volunteer schedule today, and in 2008 he was recognized by the Vikings as the Community Quarterback.

Gothier founded the NFF Minnesota Chapter in 2007, and has served as the Chapter’s president since its inception.

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Fred Zamberletti Honored By University Of Iowa

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 16, 2011 – 8:08 am

Fred Zamberletti is a true asset and source of pride for the Minnesota Vikings. He’s been with the organization since the team’s inception into the NFL, serving as Head Trainer from 1961-1998, Coordinator of Medical Services from 1999-2001 and in his current role as Senior Consultant since 2002.

Amazingly, Zamberletti has not missed a single game in the 50-year history of the Vikings, a stretch of 1,031 contests that includes all preseason, regular season and postseason contests. He’s earned the respect of coaches, players and co-workers over his time with the Vikings and has served as a mentor for a countless number of individuals along the way, even still to this day.

As great an asset as he’s been for the Vikings family, Zamberletti has made a difference in other places, too. He’s a Melcher, IA native and a product of the University of Iowa. Recently, Zamberletti was honored by the University as part of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Zamberletti is a successful entrepreneur, was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry, served as chief physical therapist at Hibbing General Hospital in 1959, was the head athletic trainer at Toledo in 1960 and then joined the Vikings in 1961. In addition to numerous professional awards, Zamberletti was inducted into the Minnesota Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame, was chosen Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1986 by the Drackett Company of Cincinnati, helped earn the 1996 NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year award with his staff, received the 1999 Cain Fain Award at the NFL Physicians Sports Sciences Symposium and is an Honorary Fellow of the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center.

A man of deep faith with a heart of gold, Zamberletti was also recognized as an Honorary Ambassador of the State of Minnesota and he’s also received Minneapolis’ Honorary Citizen Award.

As accomplished and honored as Zamberletti is, you’d never know it by speaking with him. He’d be embarrassed to see this write-up, was actually astonished the University of Iowa was honoring him and cares more about the Vikings than anyone I know.

Congratulations on this latest honor, Freddy!

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Vikings Will Honor John Randle, Fred Zamberletti Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 21, 2010 – 11:02 am

Today marks the 100th meeting between the Vikings and Packers in what is truly a storied rivalry. It’s appropriate that a pair of true Vikings legends will be honored as part of the day’s festivities.

John Randle, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past August, will receive his Hall of Fame Ring during a halftime ceremony. He’ll also be the Vikings honorary captain and will join Vikings captains for the pre-game coin toss.

Fred Zamberletti, who has not missed a Vikings game in team history, is this game’s Honorary Viking and will sound the Gjallarhorn prior to the game.

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Historic Day For Vikings, Zamberletti

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 10:49 am

Today’s game in Pittsburgh is an historic day for the Vikings – it’s the franchise’s 1,000th game (including preseason, regular season and postseason). It’s also historic because one Vikings employee has been with the team for every game in franchise history and he, too, is about to begin his 1,000th career game.

Fred Zamberletti, the Vikings 1st ever trainer, has been with the franchise since Day 1 and he still serves with the club as a consultant and team historian. “Freddy” as he’s affectionately known by all of us, is a wise voice within the organization and truly personifies what it means to be a Viking.

In 43 seasons (1961-2003) as the club’s trainer, Zamberletti also never missed a day of work. He won numerous awards in his field, including being named the Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1986. In 1996 the Vikings staff was honored as the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

Because of his invaluable and continuing contribution to the franchise, Zamberletti, a Melchior, Iowa, native, was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on December 20, 1998.

He’s been a great friend of mine during my time with the Vikings, helping me out with various stories for the website, game programs, the yearbook and many other publications. He’s often the man I go to when I’m in need of some perspective, whether it’s historical perspective or just some advice on life in general.

But I’m certainly not the only individual whom Freddy has influenced. Many Vikings employees would share similar sentiments about Freddy if they had this medium at their disposal. Well, I do have this medium at my disposal. But unfortunately not even I could conjure up the right words to appropriately express the influence Freddy has had on me and certainly on the franchise over his career here.

So, congratulations, Freddy, on your 1,000th game! Even though you don’t want to make a big deal of it and you are the last person who yearns for attention, today is an historic day for the franchise and for you, and it’s more than deserving of plenty of attention.

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