NFL Player Reps Star Trek Gear in Game

NFL Player Reps Star Trek Gear in Game
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; An END RACISM sticker is shown on the helmet of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has a few informal nicknames from fans like Kirky, Kurt Cousins, King of Sparta (Michigan State days), some iteration of You Like That, etc.

But none are more prevalent than Captain Kirk, referring to the 1960s science fiction television show Star Trek: The Original Series.

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And wouldn’t you know it, the Vikings quarterback evidently endorses the nickname because the Star Trek: TOS logo showed up on his cleats last Thursday night.

Kirk Cousins’ Cleats, December 9th, 2021

The triangular-shaped logo has followed the Star Trek franchise throughout the last seven decades, rooted in the lore of The Original Series and incorporated in some capacity with spin-offs since, including Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1980s and Star Trek: Picard more recently.

Specifically, the emblem was branded on Star Trek crewmembers’ clothes, with the one on Cousins’ cleats unique to the color scheme of Captain James T. Kirk aboard the ship Enterprise.

THEN AND NOW: the Cast of 'Star Trek: the Original Series'

Star Trek: The Original Series was a pioneering television franchise, outwardly touting space exploration on the backbone of elements such as time travel and nonviolence. Captain Kirk, a John F. Kennedy-like leader of the show, championed progressive ideals while exhibiting empathy even for the nastiest of foes.

It is unclear if Cousins is a fan of Star Trek or merely a proponent of the Captain Kirk nickname.

Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In the game on Thursday, Cousins showcased an average performance, tossing two touchdowns, two interceptions, and 216 passing yards en route to a 34-26 victory over the playoff-seeking Pittsburgh Steelers. Minnesota put a stranglehold on the game early on, racing to a 29-0 lead before melting down in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

The Vikings held on, improving their record to 6-7 with sights still set on the postseason. Per The New York Times playoff predictor, Minnesota holds a 31% to reach the 2021 playoffs.

The Vikings version of Captain Kirk travels to Chicago on Monday Night Football for a meeting with the Bears in Week 15. Last season, Minnesota defeated Chicago in the same spot, Monday Night Football, 19-13.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His odyssey with Star Trek starts from beginning to finish, watching ‘The Original Series,’ all the way to the present day. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).