As temperatures plunge for the NFL Vikings – Seahawks wildcard game this Sunday, in Minneapolis, the response to former mascot Joe Juranitch has heated up. As reported by LetsGoDU earlier this week, Juranitich, who played the mascot ‘Ragnar the Viking’ for 21 years, received his unconditional release this fall after seeking a hefty pay raise from $1,500 per game to $20,000 per game. On a Fox pregame video prior to last weekend’s Viking-Greenbay game, Juranitich ditched his Viking helmet & horns and donned a cheesehead – enough to boil blood in Minnesota.
In Minneapolis’ City Pages, he was labeled a “bearded traitor” and “Benedict Ragnar”…”after the crap he pulled ” before the Greenbay game. But, as recently as September, a glum Juranitich claimed to be trying to reconcile with the Vikings in this Ragnar Video on WCCO news in Minneapolis.
Attacks extended off the field as well. In one rambling blog interview, Juaranitich a onetime Hopkins High School hall monitor, is accused by the interviewer of suspending a student for taking extra french fries for his chicken tender basket. This thing has gotten BIG up north!
Some fans have started a petition to the Vikings to bring Ragnar back. More than 11,000 have signed the petition at Change.org calling for Ragnar’s return to the Vikings sideline. However, these signatures were secured prior to Juranitich’s cheesehead antics on national TV.
The Vikings have moved on to a new mascot, Viktor (their spelling, not ours!) Viking.