Captain Munnerlyn doesn’t officially know if he has a nickname or not. Captain Cum-Back, Captain Money, Captain Crunch, Skipper … All are potential nicknames for the newer Vikings cornerback, but none of them adequately capture the tough circumstances Munnerlyn has found himself throughout his entire life. That’s why he instead goes by “Miracle Baby.”
You see, Captain Munnerlyn was born three months prematurely. It’s nothing short of a miracle that he was able to develop from that stage, and become an NFL player. He faced the difficult situation of growing up in Mobile, Alabama, in some of the meaner streets in the city. When Munnerlyn was four years old, he lived through a drive-by shooting near his neighborhood. Two years later, his father was murdered. A year after that, at age seven, Munnerlyn’s brother killed a man and was eventually sentenced to life in prison.
But some of Munnerlyn’s luck started turning around. He eventually got a scholarship to play football at South Carolina, and was even drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by the Carolina Panthers. After the 2013 season, Munnerlyn decided to test free agency. It was at that time that he realized he had lived through one more miracle; he signed with the Vikings in 2014, and not 2013.
You see, Munnerlyn likely had a premonition that he was going to end up with the Vikings. Taking a look at their defensive roster the last several years, it wasn’t hard to see that ANY cornerback hitting the market would garner interest from the Vikings. But for Munnerlyn, he had to have been counting down his contract years carefully, to make sure that the pursuit of the Vikings did not overlap with the coaching of Leslie Frazier. For what quicker way for a cornerback to end their career than to be coached by Leslie Frazier? Ask Cedric Griffin. Ask AJ Jefferson. Even Chris Cook. Munnerlyn wanted to move up, not down the ladder.
Luckily, the stars aligned for Captain, and he experienced one more miracle in 2014. The Vikings pursued him, and agreed to a contract with him for three years. And it wasn’t a year too soon, either. The Vikings had fired Frazier, hired defensive wizard Mike Zimmer, and Munnerlyn was going to get a chance to be coached by actual coaches. One year earlier, and his life story could have been entirely different.
If that’s not called a “miracle”, I don’t know what is.