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Equipment manager Dennis Ryan celebrates 40-years with Vikings

June 04, 2019 06:04 PM

Dennis Ryan has seen a lot in 40-years with the Minnesota Vikings. Who knew as a 16-year-old kid that he'd find his calling with his favorite team as the eventual equipment manager.

"I've been very fortunate to be doing what I do, to be blessed with good health and enjoy the activity on the field on game day, always being on the move. I've really enjoyed the journey," Ryan told KSTP.

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Ryan is the Vikings' longest-tenured full-time employee.

***To see a chat with Dennis Ryan, and to see him in action, CLICK PLAY ON THIS PAGE***

Ryan has worked with every head coach the Vikings have had, with the exception of Norm Van Brocklin. Of course, as an impressionable 16-year-old, legendary coach Bud Grant had a little fun at Ryan's expense.

"I remember my third day. It was breaking camp in Mankato. I helped the team move down to Mankato in 1975, and we went to move the team back to Midway Stadium. I was assigned to get the playbooks out of Bud Grant's room, so I went to the room and picked up the box and the bottom fell out and the playbooks went everywhere and Bud was standing directly behind me. I was just a kid in awe of Bud. Years later I realized Bud set the whole thing up," Ryan recalled amid laughter.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman applauded the effort that Ryan has done over the years, simply saying that if no one is complaining, he must be doing a great job.

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