I think Mick Tinglehoff earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I can't say I know how to judge a center who played in the '70s against a wide receiver who played in the 2000s. I'm not sure it can be done.
It's right to give the benefit of the doubt to a great player who was as durable and admired as Tinglehoff, and who contributed to so many team victories.
Now I'll categorize the rest of the inductees:
-Of Course They Should Be In:
Junior Seau. He was dominant, and you didn't need to break down the All-22 film to see it.
-I think they should be in but it's hard to separate them from other candidates:
Tinglehoff. Charles Haley. Will Shields. Ron Wolf. Bill Polian.
Wolf and Polian were both great, but were they both better than George Young, who has not been inducted? I don't think so.
-Really tough call:
Tim Brown was highly productive. He was also the product of quick-passing offenses. Don't think he was as good as Marvin Harrison, who didn't make it. This feels like a chronological pick more than a true choice. I think voters wanted to get Brown in before Harrison, Randy Moss and a slew of modern receivers become eligible.
Jerome Bettis. Never rushed for 4.0 yards per carry in any postseason. Averaged 3.4 yards per carry overall in his career in the postseason. Ranks sixth all-time in rushing but never seemed exceptional to me.
-Should have made it:
Harrison. Orlando Pace, who was truly dominant.
-Probably should make it:
I've been in the Hall of Fame voting room once, when I subbed for Sid Hartman. I gave a presentation on behalf of Carl Eller, and didn't feel anyone in the room was paying any attention to me.
I also know, because i have friends in that room, that Sid's angry presentations turned off other voters and hurt the causes of many Vikings over the years.
Now Star Tribune football writer Mark Craig is handling the presentations, and suddenly just about every worthy Viking is making it into the Hall.
Trust me: That is not a coincidence. Craig is liked and respected in the room, he gives thorough but understated presentations, and he has done very well on behalf of former Vikings.
At 9:30 on Sunday morning, I"ll do a podcast from Phoenix to set up the Super Bowl. My guess will be SportsPress Northwest columnist Art Thiel, a great writer who will provide more insight on the Seahawks than you've heard all season. Trust me. I've already taped it, and it's great stuff.
You can listen live or anytime later at SouhanUnfiltered.com, along with podcasts featuring Mark Craig, Tom Pelissero, Leo Lewis, Terry Ryan and Master Tesfasion. Thanks.