Who should be the 2018 HOF senior candidate?


Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a senior sub-committee charged with resurrecting the candidacies of players who may have slipped through the cracks. Players have 25-year windows of eligibility for Canton before they are moved into the senior pool. The senior committee was created in 1972 and has brought forth 56 candidates, 43 of whom have been elected to the Hall of Fame. Seattle safety Kenny Easley was the sole senior candidate for the Class of 2017 and will be inducted in August.

The senior committee will meet at the end of August and this time will offer up two nominees for the Class of 2018. There are 26 established NFL franchises, and every one of them believes it has 2-3 players who have been unfairly overlooked by the Hall-of-Fame selection process. That’s a pool of about 75 worthy candidates.

So who is the most deserving senior nominee for the Class of 2018? That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. Here are your options:

Ken Anderson, QB, Cincinnati. NFL MVP in 1981 and a four-time NFL passing champion. The first quarterback in NFL history to complete 70 percent of his passes in a single season in 1982. Anderson was voted to four Pro Bowls and took the Bengals to one Super Bowl in his 16-year career.  

Robert Brazile, OLB, Houston. NFL all-decade selection for the 1970s. Brazile played only 10 seasons but went to the Pro Bowl in seven of them and was a first-team All-Pro in five of them, helping reinvent the outside linebacker position in the 1970s with his pass rush skills. Nicknamed “Dr. Doom.”

Alex Karras, DT, Detroit. NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. A three-time first-team All-Pro and two-time second teamer in his 12-year career. Collected 97 ½ career sacks and went to four Pro Bowls. But he was suspended for the 1963 season for gambling. Paul Hornung also was suspended for gambling that season but has since been enshrined in Canton.

Joe Klecko, DL, NY Jets. The only defensive player in NFL history voted to the Pro Bowl at three different positions – end, tackle and nose tackle. A member of the New York Sack Exchange, Klecko collected 77 ½ career sacks and went to four Pro Bowls in his 12 seasons.

Jerry Kramer, G, Green Bay. Chosen by the Hall-of-Fame selection committee as the greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 seasons. An NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. Kramer also doubled as Green Bay’s placekicker in 1962-63, scoring 177 career points. He helped the Packers win five championships and played in three Pro Bowls.

Jim Marshall, DE, Minnesota. Shares the NFL record with Hall-of-Famer Jason Taylor with 29 career fumble recoveries. Marshall played 20 seasons and more games than any defensive linemen in NFL history (282). He played in four Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls.

Andy Russell, OLB, Pittsburgh. Russell played 12 seasons and spent the final 10 of them as defensive captain before retiring after the 1976 season. He was twice voted team MVP, went to seven Pro Bowls and started on the franchise’s  first two Super Bowl champions.

Johnny Robinson, S, Kansas City. NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. The third overall pick of the 1960 NFL draft, Robinson opted to sign with the rival AFL and went on to intercept 57 passes, 12th most of all time. Robinson went to seven Pro Bowls and helped the Chiefs win three championships.

Vote now!

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92 Comments

  1. July 26, 2017
    Reply

    I have an idea: for 2018, eradicate double murderer O.J. Simpson from PFHOF and add on an extra senior candidate, O.J. Anderson to replace this now open spot. Anderson is the only player in NFL history to win Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, two time Super Bowl winner and SB MVP! He also touts nine Super Bowl winning coaches (Parcells, Coughlin and Belichick) who enthusiastically endorse him. No other candidate brings this historic and unprecedented credentials to the PFHOF debate! So why shouldn’t the PFHOF “change its brand of O.J.”?

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Except that he was found NOT GUILTY…..

    • Tom K
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      You can’t take OJ out for something that is completely irrelevant to his NFL career.

    • David O'Brien
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Let it go, Eugene. What Simpson did outside of the game has nothing to do with his contribution to the sport.

    • David O'Brien
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Let it go, Eugene. What Simpson did outside the game has nothing to do with his contribution to the sport.

    • Sports Fan
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      “Dr. Data”!

      Great Post….but oh so difficult too…!

      Questions/Comments for you and Everyone at TOF:

      Re: “That’s a pool of about 75 worthy candidates”
      WHO ARE THE 75 worthy candidates?

      Re: O.J. “Anderson is the only player in NFL history to win Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, two time Super Bowl winner and SB MVP!”
      may I add Jim Plunkett? or is that incorrect?

      look forward to hearing back from you/TOF
      thanks

      • Joseph Wright
        July 26, 2017
        Reply

        Right you are, Sports Fan!

    • bachslunch
      July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Bad idea, Eugene.

  2. John McGuire
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Every time the Senior Committee meets, the same question stands out like a sore thumb. Why isn’t Jerry Kramer in the Hall of Fame. It is a question that has stumped fans for too many years. For the life of me, I look at offensive linemen who are in the Hall, and they don’t stand up against Jerry Kramer. As a fan of the game, I simply ask that the committee FINALLY, do what needs to be done and elect Jerry Kramer to the NFL Hall of Fame.

    • Ed Simons III
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      I agree completely. Jerry Kramer deserves to be in the HOF. Greatt football player

      • Kenneth Rast
        August 2, 2017
        Reply

        NO. He’s had too many chances already, and spent a good deal of time injured. He doesn’t even personally care about it anyway! Alex Karras, or Jim Marshall, please.

    • Kevin
      July 30, 2017
      Reply

      To follow. There was another guard on that team that also deserves to be in. #63. Fuzzy Thurston

      • bachslunch
        July 31, 2017
        Reply

        Fuzzy Thurston’s profile is very meager (2/0/none), though he reportedly looks good on film.

        Interestingly enough, have read over at the PFRA forum site that the o-lineman who consistently graded out best on those Packer title teams was Bob Skoronski (0/1/none). He scores very well over at Ken Crippen’s site.

        And surprisingly, no one has brought up Gale Gillingham’s name. Has good honors, too (5/5/none).

  3. Tom K
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    This is the order in which I think they should get in.

    1. Jerry Kramer: Until he gets in, anyone but him as the senior candidate is the wrong choice.

    2. Jim Marshall. Don’t mistake the wrong way play for such a tremendous career with the Purple People Eaters.

    3. Alex Karras. Vince Lombardi once said that the 2 players that gave them the most trouble were Dick Butkus and Alex Karras. That says something.

    4. Joe Klecko. One of the most versatile DL of all time.

    5. Andy Russell. Overshadowed by Lambert and Ham. Russell could certainly hold his own.

    6. Johnny Robinson. One of the AFL’s best DBs of ever.

    7. Robert Brazile. One of the best defenders of those great Bum Phillips Oilers teams.

    I’m not so sure I think Ken Anderson deserves to be in the Hall.

    • JOHN H
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Jerry Kramer all the way.

      BTW: Alex Karras’ suspension was for the 1963 Season. They also suspended Paul Hourning

    • RGB
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Great list and rationale. I clearly agree on Jerry Kramer at #1, but see Marshall and Karras interchangeable at 2 & 3.

  4. July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer and only Jerry Kramer. Every year he gets passed shows either a biased opinion against him making it political or a complete ignorance and lack of knowledge. Either way, any other choice is the wrong choice until you finally do the right thing. Please put Jerry Kramer in the Pro Football Hall of fame where he belongs. Can you imagine the news coverage this would finally get? It’s a WIN WIN for everyone. 👍

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2017
      Reply

      I totally agrer!

  5. Rasputin
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    You seriously don’t even offer Chuck Howley or any other Dallas Cowboy as an option? Epic fail, Mr. Dallas “rep”. You’re a Michigan guy, not a Texas guy, who was appointed by a bunch of people who don’t like the Cowboys to represent the Dallas region. I see you have a Detroit player there. Again.

    If we can’t even get a glimmer of hope out of the Dallas rep then you see why fans are increasingly viewing the HoF process as hopelessly rigged and illegitimate, which is a tragedy if one cares about the sport’s history and legacy. Just because every team “believes” they have 2-3 deserving candidates doesn’t mean they’re all equally deserving.

    None of those players are as qualified as Chuck Howley. Howley was AP first team NFL All Pro 5 times and a Pro Bowler 6 times spread out over 7 seasons combined, a Super Bowl MVP, and a Super Bowl champion. The only reason he wasn’t All Decade was because his career peak straddled decades, as we’ve seen with numerous other HoFers. But respected football historian John Turney and the folks at Pro Football Journal did recently name Howley first team LB on the 1965-1975 “Mid Decade Team” alongside Dick Butkus and Bobby Bell. You can’t get any better than that.

    “Andy Russel” was NEVER first team All Pro and was certainly far from Super Bowl MVP. Alex Karras was only a 4 time Pro Bowler with 3 first team All Pros who never won a championship. Ken Anderson was a 4 time Pro Bowler with 1 first team All Pro selection who never won a championship. Klecko had 7 Pro Bowls but only 2 first team All Pros and never won a championship. Jim Freaking Marshall only has 2 Pro Bowls, 0 first team All Pros, no championships, and doesn’t belong in a serious HoF discussion. Johnny Robinson was an AFL player when that was a league of expansion teams and his accolades aren’t comparable on an apples to apples basis with NFL players’ any more than those of great WFL, USFL, or CFL players are (probably even less so). I think Robinson is deserving, but no more so than Howley. Kramer is the only guy to match Howley in first team NFL All Pro selections with 5, but Jerry only made 3 Pro Bowls and obviously wasn’t a Super Bowl MVP.

    Furthermore, all these players are either younger than Howley or already dead (like your Detroit guy Karras) except for Jerry Kramer, and Kramer has been a HoF finalist 10 TIMES while so he’s already had his chances. Howley has never gotten to be considered in the room. Ever. And he’d still be able to enjoy it if he were inducted now, but he’s 81 and counting.

    What the hell are you doing?

    • Joseph Wright
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      So…Sorry-ass Cliff Harris AND Chuck Howley can’t even get love from a DALLAS sportswriter? LMFAO!!!! The power of pure objectivity!

      • Rasputin
        July 27, 2017
        Reply

        A Michigan transplant and Detriot Lions booster who’s hardly objective. I posted a bunch of objective facts showing that Howley has a stronger case than these guys. At the very least he certainly belongs in the top 8.

        • bachslunch
          July 28, 2017
          Reply

          I’ll pass on what Rick may or may not think on the matter (note that when you have three people negotiating eight names to pick, there will likely be compromises happening), but I agree with Rasputin 100% that Chuck Howley is easily within the top 8 biggest Senior snubs, and likely top 5 or less. Definitely think he’s the worst LB snub out there, and I think he belongs on this list. And Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson definitely belong in the HoF as well, though perhaps not within the top 8.

          Last year, I posted a list at Football Outsiders of those I considered to be the 10 worst Senior HoF snubs as follows: Lavvie Dilweg, Al Wistert, Duke Slater, Johnny Robinson, Chuck Howley, Kenny Easley, Billy Howton, Maxie Baughan, Harold Jackson, Jerry Kramer. Easley is now in, and at present I’d bump Ken Anderson into my top 10. In fact, I got as far as a top 50, which I’ll post further down.

      • Anonymous
        July 27, 2017
        Reply

        Spot on

    • Tom K
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Alex Karras is better than both of them so that’s 1 reason.

      • Rasputin
        July 27, 2017
        Reply

        No. He’s also deceased, and the priority should be inducting elderly players who are still alive. That Howley is a more deserving candidate to boot just makes his omission even worse.

    • RGB
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Good point. Howley, like a few others noted, is deserving, for sure.
      It has to be Jerry Kramer first, but this guy (Howley) should be in as well.

    • dfr52
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you!

  6. mike tanguay
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer, who was named as the greatest offensive guard during the NFL’s first 50 years. And was also on the All decade team for the 1960. Jerry’s ability on the field more than qualifies him for the Hall. The fact that he has been nominated 10 times is a testament to that. We can not let some biases of a few voters stop him from his rightful spot in the HALL. Please right the wrong and Canton ” Open your doors for # 64″

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2017
      Reply

      I totally agree!

  7. Dark shadow 22
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Other than your opinion on how let which I agree on you other opinions rasputin are rather stupid so what if Robinson played in the afl

    • Rasputin
      July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Dark Shadow 22, I was going to ask you to rewrite your post at above a first grade level, but instead I’ll just guess what you’re trying to say and will go ahead and respond.

      You support Chuck Howley’s inclusion (good). You missed that I said I think Johnny Robinson is Canton worthy too, even though his accolades are inflated, and you missed where I already explained why AFL accolades aren’t on par with NFL ones in the 1960s. We think of the expansion 1976 Bucs or the 1967 Saints as bad teams. But that’s because they were playing against established professional teams. If instead they had started in a league where EVERY team was an expansion team, they might have won a lot of games or even been champions. The AFL was a league full of teams that only began their existence in 1960 at the earliest. Think about it.

  8. Stmruler
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Klecko had only 4 Pro Bowls

  9. George Jones Jr
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    The Most Deserving former NFL Player not in the Hall of Fame is the “Only” player in the history of american professional football to have won Championships in all 3 Profesional Football Championship eras: John B. Sample (Johnny) won an NFL, AFL, and 1969 Super Bowl III Championship with the NY Jets as the Team Co-Captain along with Joe Namath and started as LCB…. He revolutionized the shutdown cornerback position in the NFL..
    His name, record. and a plaque should at least be displayed in the HOF; because it is impossible for anyone else to break his record.

    • Joseph Wright
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      The late, great Johnny Sample. Good one!

    • bachslunch
      July 26, 2017
      Reply

      Sample was only named a 1st team all pro one year (1961), never made a pro bowl, and is on no all decade teams. Those are really meager honors for a HoF aspirant.

      And everything I’ve seen about him suggests he was a bump and run style corner, not a shutdown style corner.

      • George Jones Jr
        July 26, 2017
        Reply

        In my opinion, the best measure in determinig whether Johnny Sample was HOF material is by asking those guys who played with and against him in that era; like Jim Brown, Charlie Taylor, and Joe Nameth; etc…. Ask Joe whether he belongs in tbe HOF… You can’t fairly judge the revolutionary and pioneering effect that he had on the game for African-Americans in that era by statistics alone.. He challenged the league’s stance on Race head-on and didn’t back down. That’s really what shutdown his trip to Canton…. The one thing that you and I must agree on is that he was a Winner Par Excellence; and did what no other player will ever do… It’s a Unique Professional Football Record… Unlike many professional football players of today, guys in those days valued winning way more than statistics…

        • bachslunch
          July 27, 2017
          Reply

          George, thanks for replying. Here’s what I value when it comes to HoF worth:

          -postseason honors profiles, especially for non-skill positions.
          -stats used in good context.
          -good-quality film study from reliable sources, especially if it is well documented.

          Problem is, Johnny Sample doesn’t have the first two in his favor, and I don’t have the third piece of information. I’ll give a post over to the PFRA forum to see if anybody has looked at game film on him.

          I’m particularly skeptical of narrative-based arguments in favor of HoF membership, and that’s all I’ve seen so far regarding Sample. Narrative can’t be quantified and is far too easily influenced by partisanship. And I’m especially wary of testimonials, especially from teammates and those from within the organization played for (Namath in Sample’s case); what teammate will speak ill publicly of a peer when cornered for a response? Narrative also cuts both ways — for example, why was Sample traded around so much in T.O. style? That’s something I’d like to definitively know the answer to. He also had a reputation, even for the time, as a flagrantly dirty player. And he doesn’t appear to have been a starter on either of the Colts championship teams he played with (Andy Nelson and Ray Brown look to have been the starters both seasons). Besides, if we’re going to give props to someone for challenging “the league’s” racial stance, I’d sooner go with someone like Art Powell, who has a far better HoF argument best I can tell.

          At least that’s how I see it, anyway.

          • bachslunch
            July 28, 2017

            Have gotten a few replies so far over at the PFRA forum on my Sample inquiry. Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

            Positives: hard-hitting, bump and run style defensive back. Very athletic, particularly early in his career. Excellent kick returner for the couple years he did so. Likely a better player than his honors suggest.

            Negatives: slowed down and got heavier by the time he reached the Jets, though his athleticism belied his looks. Very hard hitter on receivers, but timid tackling running backs. Flagrantly dirty player even for that time, lots of late hits, cheap shots, and mouthing off. Disliked by both opponents and teammates, the latter of which likely accounted for his frequent team changes (Art Donovan reportedly accused Sample of stealing his wallet from the locker room, and he was gone from the Colts not long after) and may have affected his honors numbers.

            Poster Bryan’s nutshell quote: “I wouldn’t put Sample in the HOF, but I think his lack of honors doesn’t accurately reflect his career, either.”

            Thread link:

            http://www.profootballresearchers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4434

            I wouldn’t put Sample in either, given what I know so far.

          • George Jones Jr
            July 29, 2017

            Re: Johnny Sample comments that were made in your most recent post, I’ll refer you and your researchers to an article in the Washington Times Newspaper dated: April 28, 2005; entitled ‘Dirty’ Sample Finally at Peace…
            This article will give you the real answer and insight as to why Johnny Sample moved from team to team every few years; and you’ll find that it wasn’t for the reasons indicated by one of your researchers… Before some of these PF Forum researchers give you an expert opinion on a former Pro Football veteran and legend such as Sample, Id suggest that they do research on their own research; or you may need to depend on someone more credible…

          • bachslunch
            July 30, 2017

            Read this, and the article you’re touting claims that one of the reasons Sample got traded around a lot was because he wore out his welcome with his coaches (Weeb Ewbank, Buddy Parker, Bill McPeak, and Otto Graham are all mentioned here). And I see no reason to toss a blanket condemnation towards those posting in the thread I referenced. How do you know what they’re saying is biased or inaccurate?

          • George Jones Jr
            July 30, 2017

            In Response:
            1) Johnny Sample was not traded from the Batimore Colts not long after the accusation made by Art Donovan of a stolen wallet; and to make that statement without knowing that was irresponsible or either intended to be biased. He played the entire season with the Colts after that incident was cleared up and was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers after his refusal to pay (what he considered to be) an unjust fine of $100 levied by Coach Weeb Eubanks at the beginning of the Colts next season’s training camp. Both he and Big Daddy Lipscomb were traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers…
            2) Coach Buddy Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers was known at that time to treat Black Players on his teams with a considerable amount of disrespect; but Sample wouldn’t stand for it and let Parker know as much. In addition, he also challenged the inequity in pay for black players on the team as well. In spite of all these things, he went on to have an All Pro Year in Pittsburgh… After his All Pro Year in 1961, he asked the Steelers to renegotiate his contract for higher pay amount; based upon his proven production. The team declined and he was traded to the Washington Redskins after the next season… He was essentially forcing his release by creating his own form of free agency (based upon his perceived worth) before anyone in the league and union even establised the process..
            3) During his Washington Redskins time, he got along pretty well with Coach Bill McPeak and had what he considered to be his best year in football in 1964 and then came a change in head coaches.. Bill McPeak was replaced by Coach Otto Graham… Sample and Graham had bad blood going all the way back to the Chicago Charities College All-star Games in 1958 & 59 (Johnny Sample was the 1st Football Player from a HBCU to be invited to play in the Annual Chicago Charties College All-Star Game in 1958)… Graham and Sample disliked each other as a result of their disagreements related to his playing time and in the 1958 Game and his level of rough play against the college receivers the 1959 Game; (now he was playing as a member member of the World Champion Baltimore Colts Team)… Otto Graham coached the College All-stars in both years 1958 and 1959… So once Graham took over as Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, Sample’s career with that team was over…
            4) Since Sample was out if work after Gram settled in as the Redskins Head Coach, he called his old coach from the Colts (Weeb Eubanks) who was now coaching the New York Jets… Eubanks agreed to sign him and eventually, they won Super Bowl III together… Sample retired in 1969, after playing in the Annual Chicago Charties College All-Star Game (this time as a member of the Super Bowl Champion New York Jets team)… The Head Coach of the College All-stars that year was none other Otto Graham; and he and Sample got into it for the last memorable time…. Smple hurt his back while playing in that game and never played another down kf professioal football. He retired from professional football as a Super Bowl Champion…

            The points that I’ve been trying to make about Sample is that he was a man before his time in the NFL… Yes, he played to the boundaries and sometimes outside of them (Confessions of A Dirty Ball Player); but there also was a method to his maddness… He was no angel in his days of playing Professional Football; but he also was no Demon either; as many have tried to make him out to be… He was known to be one of the smartest football players of his era… He was one of the first players to keep a personal notebook on the tendecies of each of the wide receivers that he would face in a game and he studied film on his opponents so well that he was known to call out an opponent’s offensive plays (to his own defense) once an opponent broke their huddle and lined up; forcing them to call timeouts…
            In my original post, I said that he was a poineer of the shutdown corner concept.. What I really meant to say was that he innovated the bump and run technique to in essene become a Shutdown Corner… In his case it wasn’t called the Bump and Run; it was called the Knock the He’ll Out ‘Em and Run… He understood the effects of timing disruption, intimidation, and trash talking like no other cornerback during his era… His intent was to always create an advantage for himself be getting receivers so mad that they couldn’t concentrate on what they were supposed to do…He also was a huge Cornerback for his time at 6’1 220lbs and pioneered those concepts that became forerunners for what cornerbacks did after his playing days were over; until tbe NFL changed the rules to favor wide receivers and tight ends..

            It is believed by many that what finally sealed Samples’ fate in not making it into the PF HOF is that he wrote his Memoir “Confessions of A Dirty Ballplayer” in 1970 after he retired; in which he exposed many of the racist policies and practices that existed in the NFL at that time; as well as his testimony given before an impaneled Federal Grand Jury in 1970; regarding the racist policies and practices in existence in the NFL at that time…

            This man was truly a Pioneer of the game who refused to keep his mouth shut and exposed for the world to see, the inequities and mis-treatment if Black Professional Football Players of that era.. Sometimes, a man just has to pay a price for what he believes is right… He was in no ways perfect or without his own faults regarding his play or othetwise; however, no one could ever accuse him of going along to get along…. At least he’ll be on the PF HOF Campus in Canton, Ohio; as an enshrinee of the Black College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2012); which will be permenantly housed on the PF HOF Campus beginning in 2019… I guess I will no longer be able to say that he didn’t make it to Canton…

          • bachslunch
            July 30, 2017

            Re McPeak, the article you referenced says:

            “Late in ’65 he had a run-in with coach Bill McPeak [and] got himself suspended for a game…”

            And that’s a coach you claim he got along pretty well with. Seems like he had a lot of problems with his coaches. I’m also not condoning his behavior regarding firing a football at Buddy Parker or head butting Otto Graham regardless of what they may have done. Nor do I think it’s admirable to engage in late hits and cheap shots; one such example mentioned on the thread was a late hit in 1965 on Del Shofner that gave him whiplash and a fractured rib. Even a crunching tackler like Jack Tatum at least kept things within the rules, even the paralyzing hit on Darryl Stingley, which was legal at the time and by Stingley’s own admission.

            Sorry, but I think a player needs to comport himself more professionally than this, regardless of how he thinks he has been treated — this all strikes me as thuggery, not trailblazing behavior to be proud of. If you think otherwise, we’re simply not going to agree.

          • George Jones Jr
            July 30, 2017

            I truly appreciate your dialogue with me regarding the late NFL All Pro: John B. Sample… You have your professional opinion regarding his fitness to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and I have mine… I respect your opinion and will agree to disagree on his fitness to be elected; however; please remember that Otto Graham swung at Johnny Sample first and barely missed…. Otto Graham ought to have known that Johnny Sample wasn’t going to take that without retaliating; thus, the helmet to the nose of Graham…,

            Thanks for your time… I rest my case…

          • bachslunch
            July 31, 2017

            George, thanks for your thoughts. Yup, we have to agree to disagree here.

            Re Graham: his taking a swing at Sample is referenced in the article, though I didn’t see it referred to in the PFRA thread. If Graham did so, that’s of course no more defensible than Sample’s head butt. Not to mention ragingly stupid, since he’s not wrapped up in pads and helmet and was only going to injure his hand had he connected (as an aside, is there any sports brawl dumber than one in a football game? What kind of damage do the combatants think they’re going to inflict with their hands on heavily armored adversaries anyway?) Apparently, what precipitated the whole incident was Sample’s clotheslining one of Graham’s receivers.

            Look, I get it. Black players often were treated abusively back in those days. But there are several ways to handle it. Why didn’t Sample enlist his Black teammates to stage group holdouts or preseason boycotts and call press conferences to air his grievances? Why didn’t he ally himself actively with the Player’s Union to help advance his cause? Like it or not, the best way to initiate change of this type is through very public and nonviolent means. Players like Art Powell, Cookie Gilchrist, and Abner Haynes, who helped spearhead the AFL All-Star game boycott in 1965, are seen as heroes today for the stand they took. And those who took that approach outside of football (Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, the participants in the Greensboro Lunch Counter sit-ins, the marchers in Birmingham and Selma) are those who best effected change, rightly vilifying folks or groups as varied as Bull Connor, Lester Maddox, Orval Faubus, George Wallace, the KKK, and the South Boston busing protesters outside of sports and George Preston Marshall, Ben Chapman, Enos Slaughter, and Tom Yawkey in the sports world.

          • George Jones Jr
            July 31, 2017

            OK; It thought I was done; however, in denfense of stupidity, there are many witnesses… As you know, when people are mad, they oftentimes do really stupid things. You’re right, what crazier thing is there than a football fight; although I’m sure there are some…

            It is true, like it or not that Johnny Sample had a way getting under a lot of players and coaches skins and causing them to loose focus and total composure… Right or Wrong, it was the method to his madness and history will judge him for that…. Some people just don’t desire to be loved by the masses…

            I wish all former American Professional Football Players the best in their retirement years because of the abuse and pounding that their bodies have taken; but as one famous coach once said: “Football Is A Game of Fight”…

  10. bachslunch
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Yes to Johnny Robinson, Ken Anderson, Robert Brazile, Jerry Kramer, and Alex Karras. Am more on the fence but okay with Joe Klecko. No for Jim Marshall and Andy Russell.

    Loads of other great names that weren’t offered as an option.

  11. David O'Brien
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    L.C. Greenwood should get consideration before Andy Russell, at least, Steeler-wise.

    • Robert Ewing
      July 28, 2017
      Reply

      id have to agree with you david

  12. Michael Van Egeren
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Kramer and only Kramer!

    • Robert Ewing
      July 28, 2017
      Reply

      this year its 2 this year not 1 so kramer has to be 1 of them

  13. Rich
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    How is it a 9 Time Pro Bowler and 1960 World Champion in Maxie Baughan not even on your list, but you have some 4 Time Pro Bowlers? That means they were only considered one of the top at their positions 4 times.

    • Rick Gosselin
      July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Ken Riley, Chuck Howley, Winston Hill, Eddie Meador, Cliff Harris, Louis Wright … lots of players belong on this list. There were only 8 spots…

      • Sports Fan
        July 27, 2017
        Reply

        Resend
        July 26, 2017

        “Dr. Data”!

        Great Post….but oh so difficult too…!

        Questions/Comments for you and Everyone at TOF:

        Re: “That’s a pool of about 75 worthy candidates”
        Re: “lots of players belong on this list”
        WHO ARE THE 75 worthy candidates?

        Re: O.J. “Anderson is the only player in NFL history to win Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, two time Super Bowl winner and SB MVP!”
        may I add Jim Plunkett? or is that incorrect?

        look forward to hearing back from you/TOF
        thanks

      • Rasputin
        July 27, 2017
        Reply

        Give me a rational case for including Jim Marshall (0 first team All Pros, 2 Pro Bowls, 0 titles) on this list instead of Chuck Howley (5 first team All Pros, 6 Pro Bowls, SB MVP, older).

        • bachslunch
          July 28, 2017
          Reply

          Excellent question, Rasputin. I’d also like to know the thinking here.

          • Rasputin
            August 1, 2017

            Still waiting on an answer from Gosselin or anyone else involved with selecting this list.

      • Robert Ewing
        July 28, 2017
        Reply

        agreed my finalists list has over 20

        • bachslunch
          July 28, 2017
          Reply

          Wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are 75 Seniors with good HoF arguments. If sufficiently motivated, will see if I can come up with a list.

          • bachslunch
            July 28, 2017

            Actually remembered that I had posted my top 50 Senior snubs in order over at Football Outsiders last year. Here’s the list:

            1-10: Lavvie Dilweg, Al Wistert, Duke Slater, Johnny Robinson, Chuck Howley, Kenny Easley, Billy Howton, Maxie Baughan, Harold Jackson, Jerry Kramer.

            11-20? How about Ken Anderson, Robert Brazile, Randy Gradishar, Verne Lewellen, Jim Tyrer, Lemar Parrish, Jimmy Patton, Walt Sweeney, Cliff Harris, and Ox Emerson.

            21-30? Maybe Del Shofner, Riley Matheson, Dick Barwegen, Alex Karras, Winston Hill, Jim Ray Smith, Mac Speedie, Dave Grayson, Cliff Branch, Tommy Davis.

            31-40? Maybe Drew Pearson, Bobby Dillon, Gene Brito, Bobby Boyd, Billy Wilson, Eddie Meador, Harold Carmichael, Duane Putnam, Joe Fortunato, Joe Klecko.

            41-50? Maybe Deron Cherry, L.C. Greenwood, Bill Forester, Ed Budde, Abe Woodson, Larry Grantham, Tom Sestak, Louis Wright, Mark Gastineau, Houston Antwine.

            Easley is now in, so perhaps add someone like Joey Browner, Earl Faison, Art Powell, or Lionel Taylor in there somewhere.

            It should be easy to find 25 more names.

  14. Stephane Lefebvre
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer should have been in 20 years ago! 30 years ago!! It’s a no brainer, yet the HOF’s brainless buffoons keep missing the mark!

    JERRY KRAMER!

  15. Robert Ewing
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    why not on andy russell bachs lunch

    • bachslunch
      July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Russell’s honors are 1/7/none. Problem is, he’s behind a whole slew of other OLBs I’d put in first: Chuck Howley (5/6/none), Maxie Baughan (5/9/none), Robert Brazile (5/7/70s), Joe Fortunato (3/5/50s), Larry Gramtham (5/5/allAFL), Bill Forester (4/4/none), and Mike Stratton (4/6/allAFL) at the very least, not to mention MLB/ILB Randy Gradishar (4/7/none) and MLBs like Bil Bergey (4/5/none). That’s a ton of folks just at LB ahead of him, never mind at other positions. Wish he weren’t so far down in the pecking order, but that’s how it looks.

  16. dfr52
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    Howley is being kept out of the fame because he is receiving very little hometown support.

    • Rasputin
      July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Looks that way, if “hometown” means the Dallas HoF “representative”. It’s amazing how even many non-Cowboys fans around the country scratch their heads in puzzlement over why Howley wasn’t inducted a long time ago. That he’s never even had his chance as a finalist is a travesty.

      • dfr52
        July 29, 2017
        Reply

        The media member in question always mentions Howley’s lack of an All Decade selection as the reason why he has not even been a candidate. Howley has more career accolades than D. Robinson but the selection committee went with him over Howley. It is not fault that the voters went against the grain with Robinsons selection.

        • Rasputin
          July 29, 2017
          Reply

          Lots of HoFers weren’t All Decade and Cowboys like the great Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson who were first team All Decade aren’t in Canton or listed above, so that reason doesn’t fly. Half the players listed in this article weren’t All Decade, let alone first team. While arguably all first team All Decade members should be inducted that certainly can’t be the ONLY variable one looks at. All Decade status is affected by calendar timing as some career peaks straddle decades. As I’ve posted elsewhere on this page the respected football historian John Turney, whom I’ve noticed is cited as a worthwhile authority in articles on this very site, put Howley in his first team All “Mid” Decade team (1965-1975), alongside HoF LB greats Dick Butkus and Bobby Bell.

          PS – The article incorrectly states that Johnny Robinson was “NFL” All Decade 1960s. He was not. Obviously Johnny Robinson was on the AFL All Decade team. Gosselin hopefully corrects that so when this page pops up in future searches casual researchers aren’t misled.

        • bachslunch
          July 29, 2017
          Reply

          And Dave Robinson (3/3/60s) isn’t even the worst LB choice on the all 60s decade team. That would be the ridiculous appearance of Larry Morris (0/0/60s) there.

          Both Chuck Howley (5/6/none) and Maxie Baughan (5/9/none) should have been on that team instead.

  17. Jeff
    July 26, 2017
    Reply

    I’d rank them as follows: Kramer gets my vote. Feel strongly that Robinson and Brazile should be elected. I’d be fine with Karras and Klecko. Anderson and Russell wouldn’t totally offend me but I’m lukewarm on them. I lean no on Marshall.

    But after Kramer, I’d rather see the likes of Chuck Howley, Duke Slater, Billy Howton and Lemar Parrish in there before the other names on the list.

    • July 27, 2017
      Reply

      Glad to see you mention Billy Howton. How does he get forgotten? Unreal.

  18. Ken
    July 27, 2017
    Reply

    Ken Riley , DB Cincinnati Bengals (69-83)

    • bachslunch
      July 31, 2017
      Reply

      I’ve never been sold on the idea that Ken Riley (1/0/none) belongs in the HoF. Why not his CB teammate Lemar Parrish (3/8/none and an ace kick returner as well) instead?

      • Jeff
        August 1, 2017
        Reply

        Why do you think Lemar Parrish is forgotten? I hear both fans and sportswriters name Ken Riley as a significant snub, but I never hear anything about Parrish. Riley was a fine player with a ton of INTs but come on…might it have had something to do with no one wanting to throw to Parrish’s side of the field? I just don’t think there’s any comparison between the two. Parrish was vastly better, and I think the honors are indicative of that (and yes, as you mentioned, a dangerous return man). Parrish also stood out with two different franchises, though with middling teams. I’ve always wondered if he’d hung around Washington for just one more year and won a super bowl in 82, maybe it would’ve helped. Anyway, glad you mentioned it – Parrish is high on my personal list of snubs. Never even a finalist.

  19. Mark Schneider
    July 27, 2017
    Reply

    Currently boycotting the Canton HoF due to their mistreatment of the GREATEST RIGHT GUARD in NFL HISTORY! YES- Jerry has WON 5 NFL CHAMPIONSHIPS and it could have been 6 if Eagles hadn’t won 1960! Ken Easley has ZERO! Jerry won COMEBACK PLAYER of all sports after returning from his near death surgeries. Jerry was voted by Canton as a top player on the ALL TIME 50th NFL team AND 50th ANNIVERSARY SUPER BOWL ALL TIME TEAM–the ONLY player on those teams NOT in CANTON! Jerry has been tortured with all the universal nominations and then disappointment when some ‘KNOW-NOTHINGS’ fail to complete the obvious deal. Jerry has overwhelming support of the players ALREADY INDUCTED, including all the enshrinees that played against Jerry. NO OTHER PLAYER CAN MATCH JERRY’s CONTRIBUTIONS or his BROAD SUPPORT!

    • Sam Goldenberg
      August 1, 2017
      Reply

      Great post Mark. So true on all accounts.

  20. Robert Ewing
    July 28, 2017
    Reply

    Bach’s I agree with what you said on the linebackers you are right there seems to be a lb pecking order out of curiosity where are you and george kunz bachs

    • bachslunch
      July 28, 2017
      Reply

      There aren’t a lot of Senior OTs I’d induct, but there are a few. By far the best is Jim Tyrer (10/9/allAFL). After him, would have Winston Hill (1/8/allAFL, grades out excellently at Ken Crippen’s site) and George Kunz (3/8/none) as top priority.

  21. Artie Sorce
    July 28, 2017
    Reply

    Cedrick Hardman deserves to be considered …SF …Oakland …Pro Bowler with 125 career sacks ….

    • bachslunch
      July 28, 2017
      Reply

      Cedrick Hardman (0/2/none) has no HoF argument via honors. Interestingly enough, Dr. Z thought enough of Hardman to put him on his personal all-70s team, so he may be one of those folks who looks good in film study. No idea, myself.

      Also note that sacks were not an officially recorded stat during Hardman’s career. He was known as a pass rusher, but no idea how many he actually had.

  22. Anonymous
    July 28, 2017
    Reply

    Mark ive been going to the hof for years despite jerry not getting in and

  23. Sam Goldenberg
    July 29, 2017
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer was voted the greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 years. The fact he is not in the Hall of Fame is a travesty. Does the Senior Committee pay attention to all these polls and all the endorsements for Kramer from fans and other Hall of Famers? Do they understand what he accomplished in Pro Football? The man is 81 years old and still in good health from what I know. It would be such a wonderful thing for Kramer to celebrate an honor he is so deserving with his family. I just hope the Senior Committee finally does the right thing and nominates Jerry Kramer this year. I almost don’t want to take away how strongly I feel about Kramer by mentioning the second most deserving candidate, but I think Alex Karras should be the other Senior Candidate. Dominance is a trait that Hall of Famers should possess. Kramer was certainly dominant, as was Karras.

  24. Sports Fan
    July 29, 2017
    Reply

    QUESTIONS/COMMENTS BELOW:

    RE: “THE KNOW HUDDLE
    2014

    … If you truly want to know what Tony Gonzalez’s chances are of making it on a first ballot… if you want to understand the hazards of making it as a first-ballot tight end… you consult the people involved in the choosing, discussing and voting of prospective Hall-of-Fame candidates. Basically, you check with any of the Hall-of-Fame’s 46 selectors (now 48).

    Once, that wasn’t so easy. But it is now, and here’s why: We bring the selectors to you.

    We have three of them — Rick Gosselin, Ron Borges and Clark Judge — who appear weekly on the Talk of Fame Network and who have nearly 110 years of covering the NFL among them and, by next January, over 40 years on the Hall’s board of selectors (written 2014). Hearing from them is easy. All you have to do is listen to them on the Talk of Fame Network or dial them up at this site — and either is recommended.

    Because they understand the process. They have the experience. They’re aware of the potholes. They make the arguments. They make the rebuttals. And they know when there’s a “first-ballot Hall of Famer” waiting to happen.

    It was Borges, for instance, who last February presented seniors candidate Ray Guy and made such a compelling case that the punter who was part of the Hall’s 75th anniversary team but who hadn’t made the cut in seven previous tries was voted into Canton.
    And it was Gosselin who, in 2009, presented former star receiver Bob Hayes and did what others before him could not — convince the room that Hayes belonged in the Hall.

    Anyway, the point is this: Where other websites, programs or networks characterize individuals as “insiders” these guys really ARE insiders. They’re inside the room when debates are made. They’re inside the room when votes are taken. And they’re inside the room when decisions are rendered. They know what others do not — namely, why candidates may or may not qualify for induction — and they’re ready to share that information with you.

    So why is that important? Because, until now, the making of a Hall of Famer was one of the most misunderstood and least transparent processes out there — which is another way of saying that what goes on in the selection room usually stays in the selection room. But with Gosselin, Borges and Judge here to initiate, educate and illuminate on the Talk of Fame Network and at TalkofFameNetwork.com, you’ll know what happened and why. You may not agree with them, but you must pay attention to them — and not because you know what makes a Hall of Famer.

    But because they do.”

    —————
    Resend

    July 27, 2017
    July 26, 2017

    “Dr. Data” aka: Rick Gosselin!

    Great Post….but oh so difficult too…!

    Questions/Comments for you and Everyone at TOF
    “THE KNOW HUDDLE”
    Ron Borges
    Rick Gosselin
    Clark Judge

    RE: “That’s a pool of about 75 worthy candidates”
    RE: “lots of players belong on this list”
    WHO ARE THE “75 worthy candidates”?

    RE: O.J. “Anderson is the only player in NFL history to win Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, two time Super Bowl winner and SB MVP!”
    may I add Jim Plunkett to that “only player in NFL history” comment? or is that incorrect?

    look forward to hearing back from you/TOF
    thanks

    • July 30, 2017
      Reply

      You can read the posts here and start compiling the list yourself. I see the names of Chuck Howley, Cliff Branch, Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris. You mention Plunkett and Anderson. Sterling Sharpe, Billy Howton, Charlie Hennigan, L.C. Greenwood, Donnie Shell, Eddie Meador, Johnny Robinson, Joe Klecko, Maxie Baughan, Robert Brazile, Bobby Boyd, Gary Collins, Alan Ameche, Andy Russell, Jim Marshall, Al Wistert, Ken Anderson, Steve Atwater, Jerry Smith, Winston Hill, Mac Speedie, Alex Karras … I think you get the idea. And don’t get me started on Jerry Kramer. He should be at the top of the list. But with only two senior choices every OTHER year, it’s impossible to clear the queue. Just too many qualified guys.

      • July 30, 2017
        Reply

        Shouldn’t have included Sharpe because he’s still a modern-era candidate, but think you get the picture. Way, way too many guys on the outside looking in. I remember Parcells saying he once stopped by Jets practice and, next to Namath, the guy who caught his eye was Winston Hill. Yet there is virtually no momentum for him … and now he’s gone. Was a great player but can’t get in. That story is repeated again and again. There is a long line of qualified guys standing in the queue outside Canton, and it’s barely moving.

        • Jeff
          August 1, 2017
          Reply

          Clark, this is what really sticks in my craw about the HOF. The problem is too few seniors, not too few contributors…yet the decision was made several years ago to axe one of the senior slots every other year to make room for more contributors which just makes the line longer (and coaches like Don Coryell, who have a pretty clear argument for election as a contributor, are excluded from the category…which I find mind-boggling). I hope this isn’t a permanent situation. More importantly, something has to be done to help clear the backlog – either a special election where a large group of seniors could be voted on, or making room for an 8 person class with three seniors. The problem is going to get worse. Every year, I look at the list of 25 modern semifinalists and almost every name is compelling. More and more guys are going to head off into oblivion.

          • August 2, 2017

            Sticks in my craw, too. Makes no sense. There are far more deserving senior candidates than there are contributor candidates. To take one from the senior pool every other year is illogical. It does hurt a group that is laden with deserving candidates who can’t get a sniff because of the sheer numbers. I do, however, think the board will revisit the idea, and there’s reason to believe there may be some kind of amnesty for the 100th anniversary of the Hall … with, perhaps, one senior per decade. Anything to reduce a line of qualified candidates left waiting at the door.

  25. J Emerson
    July 29, 2017
    Reply

    Cliff Branch is way overdue

  26. Sam Goldenberg
    July 30, 2017
    Reply

    Your right Clark, there are so many deserving candidates. The NFL HOF should do a one time induction of like 10 senior players to clear some of the backlog. To me Jerry Kramer is far and away the most deserving and overlooked candidate, but I am sure other fan bases feel the same about certain players. I just hope Kramer gets the nod this year, at 81 years old who knows what the future holds.

  27. sharon
    August 1, 2017
    Reply

    I hit Andy Russell and Jerry Kramer got my vote. Is this poll rigged, is that why Jerry has such a high percentage?

  28. Carol Kramer
    August 1, 2017
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer. Look at the data and contributions on and off the field to the game. A classy gentleman. Canton, open your doors for #64!

  29. Anonymous
    August 4, 2017
    Reply

    I can’t believe Randy Gradishar did not even make your list – What a joke…..

  30. September 25, 2017
    Reply

    JERRY KRAMER SUPPOSE TO BE HALL OF FAME RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE HE DID WORKED SO HARD FOR GREEN BAY PACKERS FOR 5 TIMES NFL CHAMPIONSHIP AND 2 TIMES SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP

  31. Danbo
    November 23, 2017
    Reply

    I haven’t seen Roman Gabriel’s name even mentioned. This guy belongs in the hall.

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