(UPDATED 7/28/13) We are fast approaching the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, and for me this is a bittersweet time. Year after year I have to sit in front of my TV and wonder what kind of drugs some of the sport writer voters are taking. When I look at the selections and wonder why so many notable players are being left off the winners list I have to bite my tongue when I yell at my TV.
I am aware that some of the voters weren’t born when some of the neglected players were plying their trade on the gridiron. But, that is no excuse. I remember the old dude saying, “If you don’t know, ask somebody.” There are some young readers who don’t know what I am talking about, but if they follow this process they will be reminded how former Washington Redskins receiver Art Monk was shunned for so many years. When Art retired he had stats rivaling those of Jerry Rice and a ring on his finger. Finally somebody woke up and decided he deserved a spot in the Hall.
I can make an argument for quite a few deserving players, like Monk, who don’t have a place in Canton. Local fans will remember the 1958 Championship game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts. Fortunately the Colts won, but the Giants had a Hall of Fame worthy QB in Charlie Conerly. Charlie came into the league in1948 and was voted Rookie of the Year. He was League MVP in 1959 even after his loss to the Colts of the previous year. I have two fond memories of Conerly: his loss to my beloved Colts in ’58 and his post-retirement role as the Marlboro Man on TV.
Unfortunately the hatred for the then Los Angeles Raiders has caused some bias in the HOF voting. Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler was affectionately known as “the Snake.” For fans fortunate enough to see him work, they saw a left-handed magician. Ken was selected for the Pro Bowl four times. He was among those voted to the all-decade team of the ‘70s. And, he was able to add a little jewelry to his collection resulting from his Super Bowl win against the Minnesota Vikings.
Former quarterback Jim Plunkett is another Raider who can’t get any love from the voters. Jim was Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and won Super Bowls with two different teams. He was voted Super Bowl MVP, and when he retired he had 25,000 yards passing. The irony in all of this is these guys played when the quarterback wasn’t treated as though he was wearing a dress.
When it comes to being worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, I think these guys should not be among the forgotten, but be in line in front of quite a few who have been enshrined. But, that is just my opinion.
There is an amusing story connected to quarterbacks that I would like to share. When Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw was at Louisiana Tech, he was back-up to Phil Robertson. Both were drafted by the NFL, but Phil missed the woods of Louisiana and returned home to hunt ducks and whatever else was in season.
Terry parlayed his NFL career in to a small fortune, while Phil invented a Duck Call that has garnered his family multi millions. This is not an advertisement, but if you like humorous TV, tune in to Duck Dynasty for the antics of Phil Robertson’s bunch of back woods millionaires.