John J. Ford loved golf, a good cigar and, until the time of his death, the Minnesota Vikings.
The 86-year-old Minnesotan was a Vikings fan right up until their loss this month against the Seattle Seahawks.
It's fitting he'd call out the team he devoted much of his life to in his death.
The way the obituary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tells it, the great-grandfather passed away "after the Vikings allowed 17 unanswered points" in a Monday Night Football match-up.
"He certainly loved the Vikings," his wife, Jane, told CNN. "He passed away right in the middle of the game as they were losing. He just figured he couldn't pull out another win for them."
Vikings worship was a family affair
Ford shared his unflinching loyalty to his home team with his family, his daughter Julie Ford told CNN.
A season ticket holder for nearly 50 years, the Fords "sat and froze their butts off" throughout four Super Bowl trips -- and four losses. The national stage never flattered them, after all, she said.
The family gathered December 2 for what would be their patriarch's final game. He was mostly unconscious, Ford said, but he'd never missed a game and wouldn't start now.
"They say hearing is the last to go, so we were describing what was happening," she said. "And just as the Vikings faded, Dad, too, had had enough."
The Vikings failed to knock the Seahawks off the lead, and the home team bested the Vikes 37-30.
Ford died before he could watch his team succumb.
The team honored Ford at his funeral
Julie Ford and her two sisters said the witty ode to his favorite team is the only way their father would've wanted to be remembered.
"It was just a way to lighten the mood," she said.
The team didn't disappoint him in death -- the Vikings sent a bouquet of flowers to his funeral, where most of the mourners dressed in purple and gold, Ford said.
She misses Ford, she said. But the obituary immortalizes the dad she remembers -- bundled up in a chair in the stinging cold, smoking a cigar and listening to the Minnesota Vikings on his transistor radio.
"I like to put a smile on my face when I'm thinking of him," she said.
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