Tim Irwin’s legacy with the Minnesota Vikings will grow this weekend.
The former University of Tennessee standout (1978-80) and 13-year veteran with the Vikings was selected to the All-Mall of America Field Team, commemorati ng t he tea m’s final season at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
I r w i n played offen sive tackle for the Vikings from 1981-93 and during one stretch started 181 consecutive games.
Vikings fans voted during the past month and recognized players they thought were the greatest Vikings to play in the Metrodome, where the playing surface has been called Mall of America Field since 2009.
The All-Mall team will be honored Sunday at halftime of the Vikings’ game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Irwin was also selected to the Vikings’ 40th- and 50th-year anniversary teams and was honored at the Metrodome, which is scheduled to be demolished in February.
“It’s pretty neat to get to go back again,” Irwin said Friday. “As long as they keep asking me, I’ll always go back. It’s nice of the fans to remember me after all these years.” The All-Mall team consists of 27 current players and former players.
Irwin is one of 12offen sive pl ayers on t he All-Mall team. Current Vikings on the team are Adrian Peterson (running back), Jared Allen (defensive end), Kevin Williams (defensive tackle), and Chad Greenway (linebacker).
“I read the list of guys, and some of them I played with,” Irwin said. “It will be neat to see those guys that I lined up with, and get a chance to see the players I didn’t play with. It’s nice to be this far removed and still be remembered.” Dennis Green, who coached the Vikings from 1992-2001, was chosen coach of the All-Mall tea m .
Irwin looks forward to rekindling old memories.
“I’ll get to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while,” he said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll see Harrison (Smith, Vikings safety and former Catholic High School player). I coached him in the eighth grade.” Irwin, co-founder of Catholic Youth Football League, has practiced law for more than 23 years and is a judge of the Juvenile Court of Knox County.
He has sponsored the Tim Irwin/Food City Bass Tournament since 1987, and proceeds of more than $700,000 have been raised by t he event to benefit t he Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley.