Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant, back after an 11-month...

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant, back after an 11-month retirement, is known for his stoic manner on the sidelines and his dry humor off the field, especially on April Fool's Day.

Grant returned to the job he left after 17 seasons, replacing Les Steckel who was fired following a 3-13 record in his rookie season.


When the Vikings secretaries went into the ladies room Monday, they found toilet seats missing and three pigeons perched above, making a mess.

On previous April Fools Days Grant has surprised secretaries with chickens and crows in the ladies room. Once, he slid salamanders in the desk drawers and hid all the chairs.

'We'd be shocked if there wasn't something,' said Roz Sorenson, secretary for Viking owner Max Winter and general manager Mike Lynn. 'If there wasn't something in the ladies room, it'd be in our desk drawers.

'The question is never 'Won't there be something?' It's 'what will it be?' He likes to get the girls. He thinks we're kind of squeamish.'

Coffee pots were missing Monday and a snake was found 'just creeping down the middle of the hallway,' said public relations assistant Kernal Buehler.


Office workers who retaliated by putting the snake in Grant's truck found the coffee pots there.

The Vikings front office staff doesn't let Grant have all the fun. When he opened his office door, he found a bear cub, on loan from the Como Park Zoo.

He also found some foul fish food in the mouthpiece of his telephone.

'I guess I kind of expect it,' said Grant innocently. 'They expect the same from me. I don't admit to doing it. People do things here and blame it on me.'

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