Tom Clancy tried to buy Minnesota Vikings in 1998

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Legendary author Tom Clancy passed away on Tuesday night in Baltimore, his publisher confirmed. Clancy, 66, authored 19 books, including a crazy 17 that reached No.1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

He's best known for the Jack Ryan series of novels, including -- most notably -- "Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger." But Clancy was also a huge sports fan. He was part owner of the Baltimore Orioles and, according to Joe Browne of the NFL, once attempted to purchase the Vikings.

It was reported that Clancy wanted to buy the Vikings for more than $200 million in 1998, but the deal eventually fell through.

"Of course I'm excited," Clancy said at the time. "This has been a dream of mine for a long time."

That price tag was a then-NFL record, which tells you how far the league has come in terms of franchise value in a relatively short amount of time.

One of Clancy's novels The Sum of All Fears actually involves the Vikings -- featuring star rookie running back Tony Wills -- playing in the Super Bowl against the Chargers when terrorists explode a nuclear device over the game in Denver, Colorado. (Random and terrifying: I was reading that book on my Kindle when making the trip to the New Orleans Super Bowl last year. The lights going out was not fun. You can see why the NFL didn't participate in the movie rendition.)

It's possible that Clancy's deal for the Minnesota franchise fell apart because of concern he would move the team, though the late author vehemently denied that at the time.

"I'm not moving the Vikings to Texas. It has the worst climate in America. My name is not Irsay, it's Clancy," Clancy said in 1998.

Whatever the cause, Clancy never purchased an NFL team, falling just short in one dream during a remarkable lifetime.

 
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