Bud Grant says likely HOF-bound Tingelhoff personified durability
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CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff has been nominated as the senior finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2015 class of inductees.
The Hall of Fame made the announcement Wednesday.
His former coach, Bud Grant, said on 1500 ESPN that Tingelhoff personified what he looked for most in a player.
"People ask a lot of times about what makes great players. I always tell them durability. If you play long enough at a certain level you only get better the longer you can play. And there's a personification of that with Mick," Grant said. "And I'm just so tickled to death that he finally has gotten in."
Tingelhoff will join 15 modern-era finalists and two contributor finalists on the ballot, but the endorsement from the Hall of Fame's senior committee was a big step toward enshrinement for the six-time Pro Bowl pick. Tingelhoff went undrafted out of Nebraska in 1962, yet became a starter as a rookie and kept the job his whole career until retiring after the 1978 season.
Tingelhoff never missed a game and was a key part of Vikings teams that won 10 division titles and reached four Super Bowls.
Senior nominees are players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago.
Tingelhoff recently received another accolade, when Grant said Tingelhoff would be the first guy he'd want in his corner in a bar fight.
"I always said if i was in a bar and I got in a fight, I wanted Tingelhoff above anybody else," Grant said in a radio interview on 1500 ESPN.
1500 ESPN staff contributed to this report.© The Associated Press