Posted: Friday August 5, 2005 4:46PM; Updated: Saturday August 6, 2005 5:58PM
It's time to K.O. the endless debate about T.O's contract dispute.
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SI.com's Peter King will keep a daily blog as he travels across the country visiting NFL training camps. Click here to read all of Peter's entries.
I can't keep quiet any longer
On the road to Mankato, Minn. -- 10:30 a.m.
I've heard enough about this Terrell Owens thing. Over the last few days, either late at night on television or early in the morning in the issue of USA Today that lands on my hotel doorstep, it's been everywhere.
We knew T.O. was going to be a distraction. We knew his agent was going to continue whining about his contract. And we knew the Eagles weren't going to do anything about it. Philadelphia was going to make Owens play the second year of his seven-year contract. To do anything else would have been total nonsense.
I expect the media to cover the Owens story, certainly. But the debate over who's right and who's wrong needs to stop right now. The Eagles are totally, unequivocally within their rights to force Owens to play under the terms of his current contract. If Owens and Drew Rosenhaus want to keep griping about it, that is completely within their rights. But it's time to stop giving them a forum and allowing their dissatisfaction to make headlines. Nothing is going to change. Let it die. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is it news? That mixed metaphor is how we should be treating this incredibly loud non-story.
Mankato, Minn. -- noon
Text message from a business peer: T. PINKSTON OUT FOR YEAR. ACHILLES.
You''ve got to be kidding. Poor kid. Good kid.
I am now prepared for more T.O. crappola. And I understand now. There is a vortex over Bethlehem, Pa., a never-ending Eagle news vortex.
I have a feeling I'll be seeing Sal Paolantonio in my dreams -- and on 2 a.m. SportsCenters -- for a long, long time.
Put Mick in the Hall
Mankato, Minn -- 12:30 p.m.
Peter King chats with Mick Tingelhoff, a center on four Vikings Super Bowl teams in the 1960s and '70s.
Tom West/ Minnesota Vikings
I have never met the most deserving candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But there is Mick Tingelhoff, on the sidelines of Vike practice.
I don't know what to say when we shake hands. He is 65 now, hearty and friendly.
"Great to meet you,'' I say. "An honor. Sorry we haven't put you in the Hall by now.''
"Thank you,'' he says.
I tell him I'm going to write to Rick Gosselin, a respected member of the Seniors Committee, before the Aug. 22 Seniors meeting in Canton, held to pick the two senior candidates for next year. I tell him I will try my best.
Tingelhoff entered the NFL as a free-agent center from Nebraska in 1962. He was the staarting center by the third week of training camp. He started the first preseason gme, the first regular-season game, and then every single pre-, regular- and post-season game in Vikings history for the next 17 years. He made more all-pro teams than any center of all time, including the two centers from his era, Jim Langer and Jim Otto, who are in the Hall.
I am befuddled. He snapped for punts and kicks for 17 years. He played through six finger dislocations, a fully torn calf muscle, a separated shoulder --a nd, remarkably, no broken leg or arm bones and no torn knee ligaments. That he knows of, anyway. There were FULL SEASONS when he did not miss a single play. the Vikings went to four Super Bowls with him anchoring the offensive line.
"Sometimes it bothers me,'' he tells me. "I think I belong. Is it something I did? Or didn't do? I can't figure it out.''