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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Steelers

GAME SUMMARY

The Minnesota Vikings (7-9 in 2014) kickoff the 2015 NFL season in the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5 in 2014) this Sunday, August 9. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. It will be the 4th time the Vikings have participated in the Hall of Fame Game and the 1st time since 1997. The game will be nationally televised on NBC as well as being radio broadcasted nationally on Westwood One and locally on KFAN 100.3.

Former Vikings C Mick Tingelhoff will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, August 8. Tingelhoff is the 6th player who spent all or most of his career in Minnesota to be selected for the Hall of Fame in the past 8 years and 13th person to be enshrined as a Viking. Tingelhoff never missed a game in his 17-year career, starting 240 consecutive games.

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MICK TINGELHOFF - 2015 PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

MICK TINGELHOFF

MINNESOTA VIKINGS 1962-78

6-2 / 237 / DOB 5-22-40 / Rookie Free Agent 1962 (Vikings)

COLLEGE: Nebraska HIGH SCHOOL: Lexington, Neb.

One of the Vikings leaders by example was a truly self-made player that toiled on the interior of the offensive line for a remarkable 17 seasons and never missed a game- 240 straight regular season starts. Mick Tingelhoff's durability, accountability and humility made him a respected and integral part of the Vikings great teams of the 1960s and 1970s.

Overlooked coming out of college, Tingelhoff came to Vikings camp as a rookie free agent in 1962 for the year-old franchise and stepped into the starting lineup by the 2nd preseason game. He didn't turn over the job until his retirement after the 1978 season. Over that 17-season span he started all 4 Super Bowls the Vikings played in, snapped to Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, blocked for 4 RBs who earned 13 trips to the Pro Bowl, paved the way for a 100-yard rushing performance 40 times, won the Division title 10 of his final 11 seasons and played in 19 post-season games. The Vikings did not have a losing record in his final 11 seasons and posted an overall regular season mark of 112-42-2, winning 10 games 7 times in that 11-year span.

Tingelhoff also handled all the long-snapping chores for the Vikings, setting up Fred Cox to become the club's all-time leading scorer with 1,365 points and 282 FGs. An aggressive player on special teams, Tingelhoff notched 15 tackles on punt coverage after snapping the ball and recovered 13 career fumbles, 12 of those were Vikings miscues- the most fumble recoveries by an offensive lineman.

The Vikings offense thrived during Tingelhoff's career, ranking in the top 10 of the NFL in rushing offense 10 times and in the top 10 in total offense 8 times. Tingelhoff is 1 of 6 Vikings that have had their jersey number retired and was inducted into the club's Ring of Honor in 2001.

BROADCAST INFO

TELEVISION: NBC (Channel 11 in Minneapolis)

Play-By-Play: Al Michaels Analyst: Cris Collinsworth

Sideline Reporter: Paul Burmeister

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS

Play-by-Play: Scott Graham Analyst: James Lofton

Pre-Game/Halftime Show: Jason Horowitz

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman/Ben Leber

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 6:00 p.m. CST

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 6-state Vikings Radio Network.

VIKINGS IN THE PRESEASON

  • The Vikings have a combined record of 144-96-3 (.597) in their 243 preseason games.
  • The team has finished undefeated in the preseason 7 times (1964, '65, '73, '92, '98, '01, '14).
  • The Vikings have finished with a .500 record or better 41 times in the team's 54 preseasons.
  • In the 41 previous preseasons when the Vikings have finished at .500 or better, the team has gone on to finish at .500 or better 31 times in the ensuing regular season.
  • In the 13 preseasons when the Vikings have finished below .500, the team has gone on to finish below .500 seven times in the ensuing regular season.
  • Mike Zimmer and the Vikings won all 4 games in the 2014 preseason before going 7-9 during the regular season, Zimmer's 1st as a head coach.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. STEELERS

  • RB Adrian Peterson had 140 yards on 23 carries in a 34-27 win in London over the Steelers. Peterson had a 60-yard TD run in the victory on 9/29/13.
  • LB Chad Greenway recorded 10 tackles, 1 sack and 1 INT in the game at Wembley Stadium on 9/29/13 vs. the Steelers.
  • CB Terence Newman set a career high with 12 tackles vs. the Steelers on10/17/04.

VIKINGS-STEELERS CONNECTIONS

• Vikings RBs coach Kirby Wilson served in the same role for the Steelers from 2007-13.

• Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin served as the Vikings Defensive Coordinator in 2006, his last job prior to accepting his current position.

• Vikings WR Mike Wallace played for the Steelers from 2009-12 earning Pro Bowl honors in 2011.

• Steelers RBs coach James Saxon held the same title for the Vikings from 2011-13, coaching RB Adrian Peterson during his 2012 MVP campaign.

• Vikings WRs coach George Stewart coached special teams for the Steelers from 1989-91.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Steelers TE Matt Spaeth attended high school at St. Michael-Albertville HS in Albertville, MN and played collegiately at the University of Minnesota from 2002-06.

• Vikings rookie 4th round pick T T.J. Clemmings attended college at the University of Pittsburgh from 2010-2014. Vikings Quality Control- Offense coach Andrew Janocko also played at Pitt from 2006-09.

• Vikings QBs coach Scott Turner coached at the University of Pittsburgh from (2008-10).

• The Vikings roster features 2 players from the state of Pennsylvania - G Brandon Fusco (Cranberry Township) and DT Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia).

• Vikings TEs coach Kevin Stefanski played collegiately at Pennsylvania and attended high school in Philadelphia.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

• Vikings 2015 1st round pick CB Trae Waynes spent the 2010 season at Michigan State with Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell.

• 4 former Louisville Cardinals are rostered for the HOF Game - Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (2011-13), Vikings DL B.J. Dubose (2011-14), Steelers S Gerod Holliman (2012-14) and WR Eli Rogers (2011-14). Bridgewater and Rogers also attended HS together at Miami Northwestern and are good friends.

• Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Steelers LB Vince Williams were teammates together at Florida State from 2009-12.

• Steelers WR Marcus Wheaton and Vikings DE Scott Crichton played at Oregon State together in 2011 and '12.

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