If you’ve ever strapped on a helmet and shoulder pads, you know how violent football can be. From pancake blocks to open field collisions, its a sport that requires a certain toughness, and honestly, a certain level of recklessness. This is especially true for offensive and defensive linemen, who repeatedly crash headfirst into one another like trucks in a demolition derby.
In today’s league, the passing game and up-tempo offense are at a premium, but that doesn’t make the action in the trenches any less violent. Pull up any highlight reel on Youtube, try to ignore the flashy skill players, and fix your eyes on the battle of the “big uglies” — they punch, dive, drive, and rip while slamming into a wall of muscle and aggression.
And this doesn’t happen once; it happens every single play.
With all that violence, it’s highly unlikely a player lines up for every offensive snap. Injuries are a part of the game, and they have a nasty habit of ruining single plays, multiple seasons, or even careers.
What if I told you one player never missed a game in 17 seasons? And what if I told you he was a Minnesota Viking? Better yet, what if I told you he was a seven-time All Pro at one of the toughest positions in all of football?
Meet Mick Tingelhoff, former Minnesota Vikings center and a 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee.