Hall of Fame Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff dies at 81

Mick Tingelhoff, Minnesota Vikings pro football. Minneapolis Tribune photo November 15, 1970, by staff photographer Kent Kobersteen. See article page C17, Star Tribune, Sun Nov 25, 2001. ORG XMIT: MIN2013082017552746
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Mick Tingelhoff, a Vikings center who was one of the best linemen of his generation and an iron man who never missed a game in his 17-year career, has died at the age of 81.

Tingelhoff went undrafted out of Nebraska in 1962 but signed on with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent and did much more than just make the roster: He earned the starting center job in his rookie training camp and didn’t relinquish it until his retirement after the 1978 season.

In all, Tingelhoff started 240 games and never missed one, starting all 14 games every season until his last, when the NFL expanded to 16 games and he started all of those as well.

Tingelhoff was selected to six Pro Bowls and played in four Super Bowls. The Vikings retired Tingelhoff’s No. 53, and in 2015 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

12 responses to “Hall of Fame Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff dies at 81

  1. This Packers fan salutes a first-class, old-school warrior.
    RIP, and condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.

  2. A damn shame the Vikings couldn’t get this guy a Super Bowl ring at some point in his career. A true iron man and one of the last of that breed.

  3. He was as tough as they come. Man, 17 years and never missed a start, amazing.
    He was also the long snapper. Him, and Jim Marshall. Those guys… Viking legends.

    Rest in peace Mick.

  4. An Ironman.

    I love those old school football players who played the game the way it was meant to be played.

    Rest easy ol boy.

  5. He started 240 games and Jim Marshall started 270 games. What’s in the water up there. Incredible.


  6. If there was a grievous error in the NFL’s “100 Best Players”, it was Mick’s not being on the list along with the other 4 centers that made the list.

  7. The thumbs-downers on posts like these are so childish. Makes me chuckle to know that not ONE of them would have dared said anything disrespectful to Mr. Tingelhoff’s face.

  8. The fact that he never missed a single game in 17 years in insane, regardless of position played. Even moreso considering he played in a time when the game was WAY more bloody and brutal with far less quality pads.

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