Viking Legends Who Deserve Their Due...
The Vikings of the late 60's and early 70's were legendary teams, the Purple People Eaters years. Gradually, over time, the players on those teams who really stood out for their performances have gotten the recognition they deserve, and induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. Fran Tarkenton was the first, then Alan Page, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Ron Yary, Carl Eller. All of them big names from Vikings history. There are two others from that era who also deserve induction. Mick Tinglehoff is one, and the other is Jim Marshall.
Mick Tingelhoff is the epitome of what the Vikings of the 60's and 70's stood for: hard work, dedication, team-first attitude, everyone working together to accomplish a goal, whatever it happened to be.
40 for 60.
That was their motto back then, and Mick was a big part of it. He started at center from the first game of 1962 and played all the way through the 1978 seas0n. Seventeen full seasons, 240 consecutive games, and never missed a game. THAT is the kind of longevity you just don't see anymore. Mick made 6 consecutive Pro Bowls and was a 5-time 1st Team All-Pro. He started and played in 19 career playoff games, fumbling only 4 times in his career. He is 51st in NFL history in games played (240) and 11th in games started (240).
All that from a guy who wasn't even drafted, but signed as a free agent by the Vikings out of the University of Nebraska before the 1962 season.
When you think of a player like former Vikings DE Jim Marshall, these words come to mind: indestructible, Iron Man, dedicated, committed, energetic, feared. Those all describe Jim Marshall, but he was so much more. Until Brett Favre broke his streak a couple of years ago, Jim had started 282 consecutive games. 282!!!! Jim also holds the NFL record for fumble recoveries in a career with 30, had 130 sacks (according to Vikings official records, because the NFL didn't recognize the sack stat until after Jim had retired in 1979), and was an integral member of the Purple People Eaters defense of the era.
When I was a kid, I remember watching Jim rushing the quarterback. He was RELENTLESS. To see him coming around the right end, chasing the QB or RB (or whomever the ball carrier was) around and around, was a sight to see. He was so quick on his feet, could shed a blocker and had very strong hands. And of course he was ALWAYS around the loose balls.
Like Mick Tingelhoff, Jim Marshall never missed an NFL game as a player. He played in 270 consecutive as a Viking (he played 12 games with the Browns, who drafted him in the 4th round out of Ohio State in 1960 before being traded to Minnesota), and was the NFL's first true Iron Man. He was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings (1968 and 1969), and is tied for the team record with Mick for having started and played in 19 career playoff games. Jim was also a finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004, but wasn't elected.
The glory years for the Vikings were the late 1960's to mid/late 1970's, and both Mick Tingelhoff and Jim Marshall were both immeasurable as important players on those teams. The NFL Hall of Fame, in my opinion, has long held the fact that those Vikings lost 4 Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX and XI) against them when it comes to voting players from those teams into the Hall of Fame.
There are two left who absolutely deserve to be there. I implore each and every voter who is on the NFL Hall of Fame committee: put Mick Tingelhoff and Jim Marshall in.
They've waited long enough.
To help get Jim in, please visit the Jim Marshall Hall of Fame Campaign page