The Hall Will Soon Have Another Viking
Image courtesy of Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsJust over a year ago, as Cris Carter was about to enter the Hall, I wrote a post for VikesCentric at StarTribune.com pleading the case for Tingelhoff to be the next Viking to be enshrined. It’s no coincidence then that the HOF Senior Selection Committee suddenly now, 36 years after Tingelhoff retired and 12 months after my VikesCentric post that six people probably read, has made Tingelhoff their lone candidate for the 2015 class. Connect the dots for yourself.
Apparently I can be pretty convincing.
Maybe Mick will thank me during his acceptance speech in Canton… because that’s where this is heading, folks. Tingelhoff is about to become the first Minnesota Viking to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Senior Selection Committee. For the sake of review, and because it’s always enjoyable to reminisce about legendary Vikings, the first 12 Hall of Famers who were Vikings for most or all of their HOF careers: the aforementioned Carter, Chris Doleman, Carl Eller, Paul Krause, Randall McDaniel, Alan Page, John Randle, Fran Tarkenton, Ron Yary, Gary Zimmerman, Jim Finks and of course Bud Grant.
(Tangent: who’s on your Mount Rushmore of all-time great Vikings? Tell us here.)
Not surprisingly, Tarkenton tweeted that he thinks Mick should join him in Canton.
I mean, he really thinks he should be in the Hall.
And then Fran said this… so I stopped paying attention:
Anyway, I’d be stunned if Tingelhoff gets rejected now that he’s made it this far. The voting will take place the Saturday before Super Bowl XLIX (Jan. 31) and he needs 80 percent of the vote for induction. The data is in his favor, as the vast majority of Senior Selection Committee candidates gain enshrinement on either their first or second time on the ballot.
As I’ve said before, there aren’t many well-known stats for deriving the effectiveness of an offensive lineman, and it’s especially difficult to measure or recognize the greatness of those on the interior of the line. You can, however, use Tingelhoff’s accolades and accomplishments as proper metrics for comparing him to other Hall of Fame centers.
Tingelhoff was a five-time AP All-Pro selection and has seven All-Pro selections when you include non-AP selections from Pro Football Weekly, the Pro Football Writer’s Association and UPI. As of right now, Tingelhoff remains the only center with more than four All-Pro selections not in the Hall of Fame. Oh and he also made the Pro Bowl 13 times.
That’s a pretty good resume.
He was also durable. Absurdly durable. Only 10 players in NFL history ever started more games than Tingelhoff, who started all 240 games he played for the Vikings between 1962 and 1978. Plus he started 19 postseason games. And the legend goes he never missed a practice. By the way, he never missed a game in high school or college either.
I am working to confirm he never missed one in junior high, but it’s safe to assume.
It’s finally time for the Hall of Fame voters to stop holding four Super Bowl losses against one of the greatest players at his position in football history.
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