Up North: Vikings Legend Jared Allen Chasing Spot on Olympic Curling Team

Chelsie Brown
Updated: December 05, 2018 11:04 PM

Channeling his inner Bo Jackson, former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen may have found his second wind in professional sports.

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"I made a bet that I could try and become an Olympian," said Allen. "Badminton looked like it was going to be too taxing on my back."

Which is why about 10 months ago, Allen decided to take up curling.

"We're out here having fun trying to learn," Allen said about his team. "I'm out here to compete. I'm obviously a serious competitor and I want to be good at this. We might not be the top, but we're not slouches. We can throw a stone, we can sweep a stone."

Assembling a team highlighted by former NFL quarterback Marc Bulger, Olympic curler John Benton, and curling professional Hunter Clawson, Team Allen competed in their first professional curling match over the weekend at the Curl Mesabi Classic in Eveleth, Minn.

However, the All-Pro Team didn't know they would be matched up against the defending Olympic gold medalists Team Shuster until seeing the draw sheet.

"This is baptism by fire, you know what I mean," Allen said laughing. "The only way I would have it and I was cracking up because this is the only sport where you can come in as a complete novice and play the world, you know the champions of champions," he added with a laugh.

"It was interesting. We didn't know what to think coming here because I knew what kind of players John and Hunter were, but I had no idea what Jared and Marc brought to the table," said U.S. Olympic gold medalist John Shuster. Jared actually played pretty darn good," he added.

Allen's curling dreams started before the John Shuster Rink went on their historic run. Even with the new addition of Chris Plys, Team Shuster lived up to their name sweeping past the rookies by winning 11-3.

The loss was expected, but it now allows Team Allen some time to work on catching to some of these elite players.

"The fact that he started curling you know, in February, to what he's throwing the rock now, he's made pretty good strides," Shuster said about Allen.

Allen plans to live out the bet he made with his friend by reaching the 2022 Olympics.


Chelsie Brown

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