RALE 1.2: Alan Page, Tackling the Big Cases


With the ProBowl underway it is appropriate to post a 1978 trading-card for Hall of Fame defensive tackle Alan Page. Page is (with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White) perhaps one of the two great “two-sport” (football and law) players to ride a judicial bench.  White may have reached a higher pinnacle (for now), but the Colorado-born running back’s three NFL seasons cannot compare with Page’s reign as one of the greatest defensive players of all-time.

Page began his career winning a national championship ring in 1966 for Notre Dame. He anchored the Minnesota Vikings famed “Purple-People Eaters” defense in the 1970s, in 1971 becoming the first defensive player to be named as MVP. He was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls, 1969-1977 and in 1988 the Canton native joined the Football Hall of Fame.

At the same time he was flattening offensive backs in the autumn, he was attending law school in the spring.  In 1978, Page graduated University of Minnesota Law School and joined the law firm of Lindquist and Vennum.  In 1992, Page was elected to as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, becoming the first African-American to join the state’s high court. He was re-elected in 1998 and 2004.  This year, Page was asked to choose the three-judge panel deciding the election dispute involving Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seat.  Page has been suggested (at least by bloggers) as a possible appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court.