Get Your Viking Spirit On! Everything to Know About Minnesota's "Skol Chant"

Minnesota Vikings fans frequently shout "Skol Vikings!" and for those wondering, they do this because it's the NFL team's war chant.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Oct. 23 2023, Published 3:58 p.m. ET

Minnesota Vikings fans hold up a sign that reads, "Skol!"
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Minnesota Vikings fans are one of the most passionate groups in the NFL community.
  • The fanbase has a wildly popular chant, where they shout "Skol."
  • Vikings fans use the "Skol Chant" as a way to show their love for the team and encourage them.
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We don't know about you, but we absolutely love traditions in sports, especially the NFL. From the Thanksgiving Day football games in Detroit and Dallas to the Gatorade baths, many teams in the popular league have some of the best (and most iconic) traditions that we hope stick around forever.

One of the newer traditions belongs to the Minnesota Vikings and its passionate fanbase. At various points during a home game, the fans in attendance will shout, "Skol!" Why is that? Read on to find out more about the "Skol chant."

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Minnesota Vikings fan hold up a towel that says, "Skol!"
Source: Getty Images

Why do Minnesota Vikings fans say "Skol" during games?

Like other fanbases and their respective chants, Vikings fans yell "Skol!" as a way to show their pride in the team and encourage them to leave it all on the field (and win, of course). For those wondering, the "Skol chant" came to fruition when the Vikings moved to the U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.

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As previously stated, the chant occurs at various points during a home game. If you're wondering how it works, here it goes: Vikings fans raise their hands above their heads, and after two beats of a drum, they clap in sync and scream the well-known word, "Skol!" From there, the drum beats increase in tempo until the clapping is near-constant.

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The chant was reportedly inspired by the "Viking war chant" made famous by fans of the Iceland national football (aka soccer) team during their run to the quarterfinals of UEFA Euro 2016. In October of that same year, the Vikings teamed up with Iceland midfielder Aron Gunnarsson and strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson to introduce the "Skol chant."

What does "Skol" mean?

The word "Skol" dates back thousands of years; it's spelled "skål" in Swedish and means bowl. However, it refers to a bowl (often filled with beer) that was passed from person to person at celebratory gatherings. After each person took a sip, they would say "skål!" The term was similar to the English toast, "Cheers!"

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"It was a greeting of warmth and camaraderie," Gregg White, the executive director of the Minnesota-based Swedish Council of America, told CBS News in January 2018.

Erin Swartz, director of brand and creative for the team, added, "Skol has been in our lexicon since the very beginning of the franchise in 1961. It was really like a Cheers! Vikings! We've scored, we're celebrating, we're winning."

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