Where's Ragnar? Vikings fans speak out after absence of team's mascot


What's a football team called "The Vikings" without...well...a Viking?

The team's stalwart mascot, known as Ragnar, was nowhere to be found during Sunday's home game against the Detroit Lions, and his absence was quite conspicuous for fans who consider him a vital part of Minnesota's football franchise.

It was the first time the bearded barbarian was missing since since he first started riling up stadium-goers 21 years ago, KARE 11 notes.

His absence was a big enough deal that it gave rise to a #BringBackRagnar hashtag on Twitter.

But what does Ragnar himself have to say about it? A Facebook update from the motley mascot (real name Joe Juranitch) said it wasn't "his choice" to sit out the game.


A statement issued by the Vikings late Monday afternoon said Jurantich's contract with the team had expired, and no new contract has been reached.


If you want to chime in on the issue, there's an online petition at Change.org.

ESPN says Jurantich is a former educator who stepped into Ragnar's shoes in 1994, when he won a contest to become the Vikings' mascot for that season.

Ragnar and his trademark motorcycle have been a hallmark of the NFL team's opening festivities ever since.

Next Up

Miguel Sano

Twins blow lead, drop to numbing 0-7 in extra innings

Byron Buxton left the game in the ninth inning with an apparent injury.

Minnesota State Fair

There will be no state-ordered restrictions for the State Fair this year

Fair organizers could still implement their own COVID safety restrictions.

Walz-May 6 - address

Walz: Prepare for a summer 'where just the simple pleasures will be back again'

But the governor made clear vaccinations are key to getting there more quickly.

moderna vaccine covid

Drug trial shows Moderna vaccine is 96% effective in teens

The drugmaker still needs federal authorization following more studies.

raku sushi

St. Louis Park restaurant owners accused in 'sophisticated' tax fraud scheme

They're accused of underpaying sales taxes by nearly $240,000.

uss minneapolis bell

Minneapolis Parks to get historic bell, wheel back from Minnetonka HS

The bell and wheel were stolen years ago and were discovered last year at Minnetonka High School.

Kellen Mond

Coller: Draft solidifies that 2021 holds answers to Vikings' future at QB

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.