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Continued: Craig: Tingelhoff has another shot at Hall of Fame

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 21, 2013 - 12:30 AM

They should. Tingelhoff made the Associated Press’ first-team All-Pro squad five times in six years from 1964 to ’69. That’s equal to or more than four of the seven modern-era Hall of Famers who played their entire careers as a center only.

For the sake of comparison, let’s pick Dolphins Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson (1980 to ’87). He was an outstanding player, obviously. He also played nine fewer seasons, 126 fewer games and has one fewer AP first-team All-Pro selections than Tingelhoff. And, like Tingelhoff, Stephenson also went winless in Super Bowls (0-2).

Rivals, friends

Tingelhoff lives right down the road from former teammate Dave Osborn. They often visit with former teammate Bill Brown and some of the other former Vikings from that era.

“We still get together,” Tingelhoff said. “And we still tell the same old stories.”

Such as?

“I remember the games against Dick Butkus and the Bears,” Tingelhoff said. “We used to call him, ‘Dickie Do’ and he’d get mad and show me one of his fingers.”

Let’s just say Dick wasn’t signaling No. 1.

“Dick was a great player and a good guy, I found out later,” Tingelhoff said. “I played in the Pro Bowl out in Los Angeles one year. I get there and here comes Dick Butkus. He was my roommate.”

If Tingelhoff lands one of the two seniors committee nominations on Wednesday, he and Butkus will have an 82.6 percent chance of rooming together again. In Canton, Ohio.

 

Mark Craig mark.craig@startribune.com

 

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