One of the coolest things about entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year for former Chiefs offensive guard Will Shields will be his enshrinement with a fellow Nebraska Cornhusker.
For Shields, this was a recent discovery.
Not that Shields was part of the 2015 Class with Mick Tingelhoff, but that Tingelhoff, the former Vikings great, was a Husker.
“I’m excited he’s going in,” Shields said during a Hall of Fame teleconference Wednesday. “He’s one of those guys in Husker history, he sort of got lost.”
Shields said he didn’t know about Tingelhoff’s Nebraska roots until after learning about the Hall of Fame voting results at the Super Bowl in February.
“It’s surprising,” Shields said. “As Husker linemen we build ourselves on tradition, but I hadn’t heard of him.”
Tingelhoff started one season at Nebraska, as a senior in 1961. That was the year before Bob Devaney arrived and started building the Big Eight powerhouse that included Shields’ teams from 1989 to 1992 under Tom Osborne.
Nebraska became an offensive-line factory. Six of the nine Outland Trophy winners from the school were offensive linemen, including Shields as a senior.
Tingelhoff didn’t win the Outland, but he shares with Shields a durable pro career. Tingelhoff started at center in all 240 regular-season games he played and all four of the Vikings’ Super Bowl appearances.
“He was a true iron man,” Shields said.
Shields didn’t start the first game of his Chiefs career, but when Dave Szott was injured in the opener, Shields started the second game and every other game of his career, 223 in all. His 12 consecutive Pro Bowls tie for the sixth most in NFL history.
The Shields and Tingelhoff families have since met, and Shields said entering the Hall with a fellow alumnus will make the enshrinement ceremony on Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio, more special.
“It’s nice to know we’re going in as fellow Huskers, especially two linemen,” Shields said.
The induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, will be Aug. 8