KDLT searched for the biggest Minnesota Vikings fan in the Sioux Empire. We think we've found that person.
A man in Mitchell, to put it in his words, says he came out of the womb loving the Vikings. He was born in Minneapolis, but grew up in Mitchell and lives there today with his wife and kids who have all followed suit. They're big fans, too.
“If there's something out there I'm following, I'll stick behind it 100%,” says superfan Jeff Larson.
It's obvious that Jeff Larson is a Vikings fan, from the outfit he sports on Sundays to his front yard.
“He's an absolute diehard fan,” says his wife, Lisa Larson.
His oldest son, Tate, says, “If you asked anyone in Mitchell who's the biggest Vikings fan, they'd probably say my dad."
Inside the Larson household there's plenty of memorabilia collected by Jeff, Lisa, and their boys Tate, Koby and Jace. From everyday items, to a "man cave" decked out in purple and gold, you can't walk through the home without seeing something dedicated to the Vikings.
"Honestly we probably do have something in every room,” Lisa says.
And you know those novelty street signs displaying someone's favorite team? Jeff has those of course, but he took it a step further, legally changing the name of the street they live on to Viking Court. Their neighbors are all diehard fans, too.
Even the actual team has given Jeff credit for being such a big fan. In 2008, he and his friends were the faces of the Fan Playbook.
“That went out to every season ticket-holder, we had posters of us in the dome."
There's a big smile on Jeff's face in that picture, but he admits rooting for Minnesota isn't always easy.
“Some of my worst moments are being a Vikings fan. One of the bad memories I have is them losing to Atlanta. That was a real downer. That was the year of '98 where we had the best team out there."
He's certainly seen his share of wins and losses, the good, the bad and the ugly and still bleeds purple. A season ticket-holder since 1998, Jeff usually goes to eight games a year. His family says watching him watch the Vikings is just as entertaining as the game itself.
“It's kind of funny listening to my dad,” says Jace.
During pre-season, the Larsons always head to Mankato for training camp.
Koby recounts one of his favorite memories, “I got a picture with C.J. Ham. We got a signature from him from training camp this year."
"I was outside in the rain. AP came over and signed for us,” Jace says.
Tate adds, “I'm excited every time I get an autograph."
But, it's not just about the stuff they have, or how loud Jeff cheers, what makes him the biggest fan is his loyalty.
“We've had a lot of ups and downs. If you're a Vikings fan, you know. The loyalty is always there, doesn't matter if it's the sport or the kids, it's what he believes in,” Lisa explains.
And Jeff says it's not just a love for one team, but for football itself. He played growing up, including in college at Dakota Wesleyan University. Now, his sons are in middle school and high school playing football as well. Jeff’s family shares a special bond thanks to the game and the Vikings.
“It means a lot for them and my wife to not only feel the way I do about the Vikings, but just life in general,” Jeff adds.
Jeff says he'll be a fan for life-- of course he misses some of those games to watch his sons play, but says he'll *always know what the Vikings are doing. He goes into each season believing the Vikings can finally win a Super Bowl.