Mick Tingelhoff’s wait for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was extended by yet another year Wednesday when the Hall of Fame selection committee’s nine-member seniors committee bypassed the former Vikings center and other candidates while choosing former Raiders punter Ray Guy and former Falcons and Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey as the two senior nominees for 2014.
Guy and Humphrey will be discussed and voted on by the full 46-member selection committee on Feb. 1, 2014, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Like the yet-to-be-named modern-era candidates, they’ll need at least 80 percent of the vote that day to be chosen for the Hall’s Class of 2014.
The case for Tingelhoff, who has been eligible for the Hall since 1984, is gaining momentum among senior committee members. This wasn’t Tingelhoff’s first year being discussed by the senior committee, nor is it expected to be his last.
An undrafted free agent in 1962, Tingelhoff went on to play 17 seasons, never missing a game in the preseason (90), regular season (240) or postseason (19). He also earned five Associated Press first-team All-Pro selections, a number that equals or is more than four of the seven modern-era Hall of Famers who played their entire careers at center.
Guy was the first punter selected in the first round when the Raiders used the 23rd overall selection on him in 1973. He went on to play 14 seasons, making first-team All-Pro six consecutive years.
If he’s chosen by the full selection committee, Guy would be the first Hall of Famer who was a punter only. That would make former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe a happy man. Kluwe campaigned for Guy’s selection a year ago, going so far that the league fined him for covering the 50-year Hall of Fame anniversary patch on his game jersey with a Post-it note that read “Ray Guy Hall of Fame” during a nationally televised prime-time game.
Humphrey, meanwhile, played 14 seasons for the Falcons (1968-78) and Eagles (1979-81). He was a five-time first-team All-Pro pick. He also was a senior nominee in 2009, but fell short of the 80 percent of the votes from the full selection committee.
Humphrey is the sixth player to be chosen twice as a senior nominee. Of the 46 senior nominees to be voted on by the full committee, 38 have received enough votes to enter the Hall of Fame.