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Continued: Hartman: Tingelhoff nears getting into NFL Hall of Fame

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 21, 2014 - 12:39 AM

Grant on Tingelhoff

Nobody was a bigger booster of Tingelhoff than Grant, who fit his theory that durability is as important as ability. Tingelhoff trails only fellow Vikings Brett Favre and Marshall in consecutive games played by a position player in the NFL and still holds the record for the most for an offensive lineman.

“The greatest ability he had, and all the great ones have it, is durability,” Grant said. “He played 240 straight games. That’s amazing. He never missed a game. He had injuries like everybody had, but nothing that didn’t allow him to play. He was a special guy. He was there when I got there, of course, but I knew about him beforehand. I talked to him because I talked to him about coming to Winnipeg.

“When I got [to Minnesota], I appointed him captain. He had that much respect among his teammates and coaches, as much as anyone ever had.”

Grant, still not happy that Marshall hasn’t received a similar honor, said at least some justice has finally been served. He believes Tingelhoff was such a great athlete that he could have been as good a linebacker as he was a center.

“He was that good of an athlete and football player,” Grant said. “When you’re on defense it’s a different mentality, but he enjoyed being able to go tackle somebody.”

Jottings

• Former Vikings coach Paul Wiggin, who still works for the team, on Tingelhoff: “I think the Hall of Fame is a place for great players. I wonder sometimes when people go in, were they really a great player? I think everyone that’s had anything to do with Mick, whether they were on his team or an opponent, would say he’s a great player and belongs in the Hall of Fame. I believe that.”

• On the same day Tingelhoff’s jersey was retired in 2001, teammate Ron Yary told the Star Tribune that Tingelhoff’s consistency was amazing. “Mick may have had one bad snap in 17 years of football,” Yary said. “And that includes snapping on field goals and extra points. His consistency was almost unbelievable.”

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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