(Photos courtesy of the Eric Baake/Denver Broncos)
Talk of Fame Network
The Green Bay Packers won five NFL championships in the 1960s and have been rewarded with 11 busts in Canton for players from that era. The Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s and have been rewarded with nine busts for players off those teams.
The Denver Broncos have gone to eight Super Bowls and won three of them. But the Broncos remain one of the most under-represented teams in Canton with just four players in the Hall of Fame: quarterback John Elway, tight end Shannon Sharpe, offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman and running back Floyd Little. And Little snuck into the Hall as a senior candidate.
Safety Steve Atwater was an all-decade choice for the 1990s and joined Elway, Sharpe and Zimmerman on Denver’s back-to-back NFL champions in 1997-98. He became a Hall-of-Fame finalist for the first time for the Class of 2016 but was passed over. The public believes Atwater deserves another shot in the room before the selection committee.
In last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, we asked our listeners and readers to identify the most deserving safety not in the Hall of Fame. Atwater won in a landslide, receiving 56 percent of the vote. Kenny Easley of the Seattle Seahawks was next with 16 percent, followed Darren Woodson of the Dallas Cowboys at 10 percent. Bring up the rear, all with six percent of the vote, were John Lynch (Bucs, Broncos), Eddie Meador (Rams) and Johnny Robinson (Chiefs).
Atwater played 11 seasons and was selected for eight Pro Bowls. Easley, Meador and Robinson also were NFL all-decade selections.