EAGAN, Minn. -- Alan Page received a phone call with the news from Roger Goodell while John Randle got it in person from the NFL commissioner.
The hall of fame Vikings defensive tackles were both announced Friday night as members of the NFL 100 All-Time Team. The team is being unveiled in conjunction with the league’s 100-year anniversary celebration.
Page, who played for the Vikings from 1967-78, said he received a call a month or so ago from Goodell, and was told to keep the news “confidential.’’
“I thought this one was pretty special,’’ Page said in a phone interview. “It’s nice to be considered in this group. … I tend not to compare things like (honors). I take each one as it comes, and this is certainly a high one.’’
Randle, who played for the Vikings from 1990-2000, learned about the honor in early November when he was at the league office in New York as part of his role of being director of the Central-North Region for the NFL Legends Community.
“The commissioner told me,’’ Randle said in a phone interview. “At first, I didn’t believe him. At first, it caught me off guard. … It’s a wonderful honor to be associated with men who built this game and to be mentioned with those guys is just so humbling, so unbelievable.’’
Page, who concluded his career with the Chicago Bears from 1978-81, made all nine of his Pro Bowl appearances and had all six of his all-pro selections with the Vikings. Page became in 1971 the first defensive player to win NFL MVP. The only other defensive player to win has been New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
The 6-foot-1 Randle, who concluded his career with the Seattle Seahawks from 2001-03, made six of his seven Pro Bowls and had all six of his all-pro selections with the Vikings. All of that came after he was undrafted in 1990 out of Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he was a 240-pound defensive end.
“You couldn’t write this stuff,’’ Randle said of his NFL career. “Where are you going to start? You’re an undersized free agent and you’re going to a team that nobody really expects you to make, and then you’re playing special teams (at the start).’’
Randle didn’t start any games as a rookie. But after he moved into the lineup and beefed up to 290 pounds, he made six of his seven career Pro Bowls and had all six of his all-pro selections with the Vikings. He ranks 10th in NFL history with 137 1/2 sacks.
The 6-4, 245-pound Page was taken with No. 15 pick in the 1967 draft. Page played before sacks became an official statistic in 1982, but the Vikings unofficially credit him with 108 in his 11 1/2 seasons with them.
After the conclusion of his NFL career, Page went on to become an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court before stepping down in 2015 at the mandatory retirement age of 70. He was honored last year at the White House by President Donald Trump with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Page was asked to name some of the attributes that made him such a great football player.
“I think it’s attributes that have allowed me to do all the things that I’ve done, and that’s the things that will make anybody successful,’ he said. “That’s hard work, being able to focus, being able to make decisions, and understanding the circumstances around you and responding accordingly.’’
In a series of shows this fall, the NFL Network is unveiling the all-time team, which was selected by a 26-person panel. There were 12 running backs announced Nov. 22, and 14 defensive linemen and 12 linebackers were revealed Friday.
Page, 74, and Randle, 51, both were elated to be on the team together.
“It’s incredible,’’ Page said. “It’s great. I’m happy for him.’’
“When I got (to the Vikings), I heard all the stories about the Purple People Eaters and everybody talked about Alan Page, and the unbelievable things he did and how he played,’’ Randle said. “And just to be mentioned with the likes of him, I can remember one of the first times I played at the Metrodome and listening to Alan tell me about what those guys did and how they played.’’
The only negative for Page was that end Carl Eller, a third Vikings hall of famer who was a defensive lineman finalist, didn’t make the team.
“I feel bad for him,’’ Page said. “But being one in a group of finalists is not exactly the worst thing in the world to be considered that good.’’
Page and Randle plan to be at Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2, when the 100 players and 10 coaches named to the all-time team will be honored by Goodell.
“I’m so proud to make this team because it’s the first 100 years of the NFL,’’ Randle said. “Wow. There won’t be another one for 100 years. I think back to all the hard work and all those days of skipping things like hanging out with friends in order to dedicate myself to playing football and by trying to be the best at a position.’’
Thielen, Joseph questionable for Monday's game
Vikings Pro Bowl players Adam Thielen and nose tackle Linval Joseph were both listed Saturday as questionable for Monday night’s key game at Seattle.
Thielen has missed the past two games and three of the last four with a hamstring injury. Joseph has missed the past two games with a knee injury.
Listed as out for Monday was linebacker Ben Gedeon. He suffered a concussion in a 27-23 win over Denver on Nov. 17, Minnesota’s last game before a bye week.
Also listed as questionable were safeties Harrison Smith (hamstring) and Anthony Harris (groin) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (knee). Harris sat out against the Broncos and Smith was hurt in the fourth quarter of that game.
Thielen, who has made the past two Pro Bowls, has been replaced in the lineup by rookie Bisi Johnson. Joseph, who made Pro Bowls after the 2016 and 2017 seasons, has been replaced by Jaleel Johnson.
Monday’s game at CenturyLink Field between the Vikings (8-3) and Seahawks (9-2) could be pivotal for playoff seeding in the NFC.