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Ex-Viking Tinglehoff a Hall of Fame finalist

Former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tinglehoff is a step closer to finally making the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tinglehoff, who played for the Vikings from 1962-78, was named Wednesday as the lone senior nominee for induction. That makes him an automatic finalist for the class of 2015, which will be announced Jan. 31 in Glendale, Ariz., the day before the Super Bowl.

“That’s great news on Mick,” said Hall of Fame tackle Ron Yary, who played for the Vikings from 1968-81. “It’s about time he gets inducted. His record indicates he should be in.”

Yary, Tinglehoff and guard Ed White were the top players on what was then one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Minnesota made it to four Super Bowls between the 1969 and 1976 seasons, and Tinglehoff was named All-Pro five times and went to six Pro Bowls.

Former Vikings star running back Chuck Foreman also can’t understand why Tinglehoff isn’t already enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

“It’s long overdue,” said Foreman, who played for the Vikings from 1973-79. “Why it’s taken him so long, I really don’t know. He should have been in there a couple of years after he got out of the league.”

Yary believes Tinglehoff’s chances have been hurt as time goes on because some younger Hall of Fame selectors don’t understand how good he was. Tinglehoff never missed a game in his 17 seasons.

“He was a tremendous player and he was extremely durable,” Yary said. “Mick played when he was hurt and he played when he was injured. His accomplishments speak for themselves.”

Tinglehoff, 74, was signed as an undrafted free agent out Nebraska in 1962, Minnesota’s second year in the NFL. He then started his streak of playing in

240 straight games.

To be enshrined, Tinglehoff will need at least

80 percent of the vote from the Hall of Fame’s board of selectors.