Mick Tingelhoff was finally elected to the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday. Over 36 years have passed since Tingelhoff last snapped the final football to Fran Tarkenton. Both players retired from the Minnesota Vikings after the 1978 season.
Mick Tingelhoff played linebacker and center for Nebraska and joined the Vikings in 1962 as an undrafted free agent. At Minnesota he became the starting center in his second preseason game and went on to play the next 240 regular season games. In fact, Mick never missed a practice, let alone a game in 17 years. He was named to 6 Pro Bowls and was a five time first team All Pro.
It was overdue:
“Mick is one of the finest centers of all time,” said Packers Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Robinson.
Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus called Tingelhoff the “toughest center I ever played against.”
“He was a center with a linebacker’s mentality,” former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant said. “He had the mentality of a defensive player playing on offense. He went out of his way to block people and hustled all the time. He was just a great player and a durable player. He played every week.”
Photo is courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings