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Sports Echoes – Oct. 20

“My father always told me if you play poker, don’t bluff on small pots,” Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant said. “You save it for the big ones.” Tied 16-16 in sudden death overtime, Grant pulled out a show business bluff the Vikings had practiced for 10 years, but never used. With a first down 11 yards from the Chicago Bears’ goal line, ‘Old Stone Face’ sent in kicker Fred Cox to set up a 29-yard field goal attempt with safety Paul Krause as the holder. Fans were wondering: Why kick on first down when you’re only 11 yards out? Krause pulled off the fake and passed to Stu Voigt for a 22-16 victory. “Really, there wasn’t much risk,” Grant said. “If the primary receiver is covered, Krause throws the ball away and we would have second-and-10. We would have gone for the field goal before fourth down, though.” Even so, Grant later told The Telegram’s Stan May only five Viking players on the field -- Krause, Cox, primary receivers Voigt and Steve Craig and secondary receiver Jeff Siemon, a lineback in as a key blocker on the field goal unit -- knew the play involved a fake kick and a pass attempt. (1977)

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