Who is the most deserving senior candidate for the Class of 2019 (Round 3)?


Jake Scott photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins

It’s time for another senior poll, round 3.

The Talk of Fame Network has posted polls the last two weeks of worthy candidates in an effort to show just how difficult the selection process is for seniors. The senior “abyss” is littered with all-decade players, past NFL MVPs and Pro Bowlers galore. Pittsburgh linebacker Andy Russell won the first poll and Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel won the second. So here’s another round of senior candidates whose careers are all worthy of discussion by the Hall of Fame selection committee.

Again, we ask our listeners and readers — if this was the list of 10 finalists for the one senior nomination in the Class of 2019, who would you choose? Here are your options:

Maxie Baughan. Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, Tommy Nobis and Larry Morris were the NFL NFL all-decade linebackers for the 1960s. They went to a combined 12 Pro Bowls that decade. Baughan himself went to nine Pro Bowls in the 1960s – four more than any of the all-decade linebackers. But not only was he passed over as an all-decade selection, he’s been passed over by the Hall of Fame. He’s never even been a finalist. A second-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960, Baughan became a walk-in starter at outside linebacker for an NFL championship team and one of only three rookies selected to the Pro Bowl that season. He would go to the Pro Bowl in five of his six seasons with the Eagles, then was traded to the Rams. George Allen named him as his defensive captain and Baughan would go to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons with the Rams.

Bobby Boyd. A 1960s NFL all-decade cornerback. Boyd intercepted 57 career passes, which ties him with cornerback Mel Blount for sixth all-time among pure corners. But Boyd collected his 57 interceptions in nine seasons. Blount collected his interceptions in 14 seasons. Boyd collected his interceptions in 121 career games. Blount collected his 57 interceptions in 200 games. Blount is in the Hall of Fame. Boyd has never been a finalist. Boyd intercepted nine passes in 1964, then led the NFL with nine more in 1965. His play at cornerback helped Baltimore reach three NFL championship games and his Colts won two of them.

Ed Budde. The eighth overall pick of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1963. Had he signed with the Eagles, he might already be in the Hall of Fame. But he signed with the AFL Kansas City Chiefs instead – and AFL players have never gotten their just due from the Hall of Fame selection committee. Twenty-one of the 22 position players on the NFL all-decade team for the 1960s have been enshrined in Canton, but only nine of the 22 position players on the AFL all decade team for the 1960s have been enshrined. Budde is among those AFL selections passed over. Even though he went to eight Pro Bowls and was a key blocking component for a franchise that would win three AFL titles and appear in two Super Bowls, he has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Bobby Dillon. Like Boyd, Dillon packed quality into minimal quantity. He intercepted 52 passes in just eight seasons. That puts him in a tie for 26th on the all-time interception list along with Champ Bailey, Jack Butler, Mel Renfro and Larry Wilson. Butler, Renfro and Wilson are all in the Hall of Fame and Bailey is one of the favorites for induction in his first year of eligibility for the Class of 2019. Dillon collected his interceptions in fewer games (94) and fewer seasons than any of them, yet he has never been a Hall of Fame finalist. It seems Dillon has been punished for playing on a bad football team. He played for the pre-Lombardi Packers, who managed to win only 33 of his 94 career games. Overlooked by the selectors is the fact he had three nine-interception seasons. In today’s NFL, that would garner him a first-ballot election.

L.C. Greenwood. The Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s has four players in the Hall of Fame: tackle Joe Greene, outside linebacker Jack Ham, middle linebacker Jack Lambert and cornerback Mel Blount. The Rooney family will tell you that’s a bit light for a defense that powered the Steelers to four Lombardi Trophies. Greenwood has come the closest to a bust, having been a Hall of Fame finalist six times. But his candidacy now resides in the senior pool. Greenwood was a six-time Pro Bowler and an all-decade selection for the 1970s. Nicknamed “Hollywood Bags,” Greenwood led Pittsburgh in sacks four times in the 1970s. He recovered five fumbles in 1971 and hit double figures with 11 sacks in 1974 on the way to Pittsburgh’s first Lombardi Trophy.

Lester Hayes. A 1980s NFL all-decade cornerback. Hayes arrived in Oakland as a fifth-round draft pick in 1977 and became a starter in 1978. By 1980, he was the NFL’s best cornerback with a league-leading 13 interceptions, one short of Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane’s NFL single-season record. Hayes intercepted five more passes in the playoffs and another in the Pro Bowl. The Raiders won the Super Bowl that season, capping what arguably was the best season by a cornerback in league history. Hayes was voted to his first of five consecutive Pro Bowls that year and helped the Raiders win another Super Bowl in 1983. From 1983-86, Hayes teamed with Hall of Famer Mike Haynes to give the Raiders one of the best cornerback tandems in NFL history. Hayes intercepted 39 career passes and has been a Hall of Fame finalist four times.

Jake Scott. The Super Bowl MVP in 1973 when Scott intercepted two passes in a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins, allowing the Miami Dolphins to cap the only perfect season in NFL history with a 17th consecutive victory. Scott played only nine seasons but went to the Pro Bowl in five of them and intercepted 49 career passes. That ties him on the all-time interception list with Hall of Fame safety Ken Houston, who paired with Scott at safety the end of the 1970 decade for the Washington Redskins. When the Dolphins won back-to-back Lombardi Trophies in 1974, Scott recovered two fumbles in a 24-7 Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Scott also returned punts in his first five seasons with the Dolphins, averaging 10.4 yards with a touchdown. He has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Ed White. White was a Pro Bowl guard in one of the NFL’s top rushing offenses at Minnesota with Bill Brown, Dave Osborn and Chuck Foreman in the 1970s. Then he became a Pro Bowl blocker in one of the league’s top passing offenses at San Diego with Hall of Famers Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow. The Chargers led the NFL in passing in White’s first six seasons there and in seven of his eight seasons. When White retired after the 1985 season, no offensive lineman in NFL history had played more games than his 241. He went to four Pro Bowls and is a member of both the 40th anniversary team of the Vikings and the 50th anniversary team of the Chargers. He’s never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Billy Wilson. A three-time NFL receiving champion in the 1950s. Wilson led the league with 60 catches in both 1954 and 1956 and 52 catches in 1957. He also led the NFL with 10 touchdown receptions in 1953. Wilson went to six consecutive Pro Bowls (1954-59), retiring after the 1960 season with 407 catches in his 10-year career. What makes his accomplishments even more special is the fact he played in San Francisco with the Million Dollar Backfield – quarterback Y.A. Tittle and running backs John Henry Johnson, High McIlhenny and Joe Perry. All are now in the Hall of Fame. Wilson is not, nor has he ever been a finalist.

Louis Wright. A 1970s NFL all-decade cornerback. Wright was the shutdown element of the Orange Crush defense that took the Broncos to a Super Bowl in 1978. A former first-round pick, Wright became a walk-in starter and brought both a size and speed element to the Broncos. His size (6-2, 200 pounds) helped produce an elite run defender and his speed (track sprinter at San Jose State with a 9.6 clocking in the 100) allowed him to run with the John Jeffersons, Lynn Swanns and Mel Grays of his day. Wright intercepted only 26 career passes but went to the Pro Bowl in five of his 12 seasons. He also scored four career touchdowns on an interception, two fumble returns and a blocked field goal return. Wright also was considered an elite run defender.

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30 Comments

  1. Robert
    July 4, 2018
    Reply

    Time for Johnny Robinson of the Kansas City Chiefs. Finish out the Pro Football Combined Team of the Decade 1960s. Last man standing without a busy is Robinson.
    The man was a pro football legend and definitely part of professional football history. Gaudy resume was cited by one of the Senior judges and I agree. In context , he is the grestest safety of his era and perhaps of all time. Not my words, but the men that played against him ,with him and coached. Only he is described as the one who redefined the role of safety in modern professional football and that by his peers. It’s time for him to be placed in Canton! I invite everyone to look at his endorsements on the Johnny Robinson Facebook page! Remarkable career. Simply remarkable!

  2. bachslunch
    July 4, 2018
    Reply

    Interesting mix of players to put forth. Not as sold on White or Scott, but I’d be fine with any of the other names put forth. For me, the vote would be for Baughan or Dillon — but generally a strong slate of names.

  3. Rasputin
    July 5, 2018
    Reply

    I hope we get 7-12 posters repeating the same slightly rearranged wording about Johnny Robinson on this page even though he was already featured in round 1. Sure it creates a creepy atmosphere when they just post that stuff all with the same tone and writing style like cult members without acknowledging the context of the situation or exhibiting any hint of self awareness, but that’s the fun of it. People like horror movies and spook houses for a reason.

  4. Chris
    July 5, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson and Chuck Howley.
    Ed Budde from this third list. Too many deserving players , but seems like it’s Robinson’s time. Howley is excellent choice and deserving.

  5. Jim Jax
    July 5, 2018
    Reply

    how in the world is cliff branch not in the HOF?

  6. Edward
    July 5, 2018
    Reply

    Cliff Branch is worthy no doubt and so is Chuck Howley. I think johnny Robinson should be the Senior Candidate for 2019. Finish out the Team of the Sixties then go to Seventies. Robinson is all over everyone’s page these days.

    • Tony P
      July 10, 2018
      Reply

      Absolutely agree with you!

  7. Rich
    July 6, 2018
    Reply

    How in the world is a 9 time pro bowler like Maxie Baughan not already in the Hall? Heck he even has a World Championship with the Eagles. The only thing he didn’t do is stand up and scream look at me.

  8. Max
    July 8, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson is the one guy most all agree on. His Chiefs teammate Ed Budde is absolutely deserving ! Maxie absolutely deserving. And all the others clearly merit serious discussion. The is 2/1 ; 1/2 player / contributor plan simply doesn’t have legs….there are many worthy contributors, but not 15 ! That’s what another 10 years looks like

    • Rick Gosselin
      July 8, 2018
      Reply

      I put together my working list of senior candidates this weekend and I have 97 players — all-decade selections, 6-time-plus Pro Bowlers, league MVPs — whom I believe deserve to have their careers discussed and debated as finalists. And we get to nominate one player off that list for the Class of 2019.

      • Rasputin
        July 8, 2018
        Reply

        How much weight if any do you give to first team All Pro selections and SB MVP status? And when ranking your list of 97 for priority do you take into account how many times if any they’ve already been a finalist, their age, and/or their living status? For example, would a player who’s never been a finalist receive priority over one who’s been a finalist several times, all else being equal? Or one who’s old but alive over one who’s young or has already passed away?

        • Rick Gosselin
          July 9, 2018
          Reply

          We get it. You want Howley– the only Super Bowl MVP off a losing team. Chiefs fans want Robinson — the only first-team all-decade player from the 1960s not enshrined. Eagles fans want Baughan — nine Pro Bowls in the 1960 decade alone. All deserving. I’ve got 97 candidates who deserve to be discussed. Duke Slater played 10 NFL seasons and was an all-pro six times. This is his 82nd year of eligibility. He’s deserving. From 1920 through 2000, there have been 21 quarterbacks selected all-decade. Cecil Isbell is the only one not enshrined. This is his 72nd year of eligibility. He’s deserving. It’s never clear cut who the one candidate should be.

          • Rasputin
            July 9, 2018

            My question is reasonable and stems from your own comment. If having the chance to have their case heard is so important do you take into consideration at all whether they’ve already had that chance or not? And Duke Slater passed away a long time ago. Do you take living status/age into account at all, prioritizing the old but still living so that this person could have a chance to enjoy his enshrinement? Or do you consider that a non-factor?

            As for Howley, him being the MVP from the losing team is hardly his best selling point because it emphasizes losing. Even calling him the first defensive SB MVP would be better. Yes I support him because he has an overwhelming objective case that vaults him above at least the vast majority of these other candidates. If you disagree with that then I would appreciate it if you offer a counterargument, not simply repeat that lots of people want lots of different candidates. Of course they do. So what? That doesn’t mean every case is equal.

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 9, 2018

            I already said I believed Howley is deserving. So are Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, Everson Walls… So are many others from the other 26 established NFL franchises. There are 66 all-decade players currently in the senior pool and 58 of them who have never been discussed as finalists. Should that place them in the queue ahead of non-all-decade players? Jake Scott, who was included on this third senior poll, was a Super Bowl MVP and has two championship rings. He went to five Pro Bowls in nine seasons. Where does he fit in your personal queue of candidates? There are countless candidates we discuss and debate each year with “overwhelming objective cases.” We enshrined Les Richter, Dick Stanfel and Ken Stabler posthumously in recent classes. So living/age isn’t a factor in the decision by the nine-member committee to determine the single best nominee for that particular year. We on the committee don’t have a one-player or one-team agenda. We have a 15-player agenda each August and almost a 100-player agenda the rest of the year. I’ve already got you down as a Howley supporter.

          • Rasputin
            July 9, 2018

            Except I’m not some mindless one player/one team supporter and it wouldn’t make these questions unreasonable even if I was. I’m trying to figure out how you rank players from 100 to eventually whichever one you put first. Here are some of my own premises:

            1. First Team All Pro selections are more important than Pro Bowls because they’re harder to get.

            2. Older but still living players get priority over younger or deceased players in urgency, all else being roughly equal, so they can enjoy their enshrinement. Posthumous inductions are bittersweet and make people feel the process failed.

            3. All Decade selections are important but not necessarily decisive in a head to head to comparison given the arbitrary nature of the calendar which doesn’t always time up well with a player’s career peak.

            I appreciate you answering that you disagree with #2, though I’m disappointed that you feel that way. I would appreciate it if you also addressed #1 and #3. Do you agree with those premises? If not why not? Do you always rank All Decade players above non-All Decade players? After all, your selection board has inducted plenty of non-All Decade players in recent years. Would you, for example, rank LB Larry Morris ( 0 Pro Bowls, 0 first team All Pro selections, 15 career takeaways, 60s All Decade) over Chuck Howley or Maxie Baughan, neither of whom were All Decade? I personally view Morris’ selection as that occasional colossal mistake HoF selectors make with All Decade teams but what do you think?

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 9, 2018

            Understand how the process works. The nine-member committee gets a slate of about 100 candidates in the summer and we vote it down to 15 finalists — and those are the only players we discuss at our meeting in August. We aren’t discussing 100 players at the meeting, we are discussing 15. I doubt any two of us on the committee have stacked our preliminary list of candidates the same way. I may disagree with seven of the 15 we determine as finalists but my charge is to help choose the best candidate from the 15 that we discuss.

            All-Pro, Pro Bowl, all-decade, NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year… There are all kinds of honors on the check list when we examine the candidates. If a player has more Pro Bowls, his camp will say Pro Bowls are more important. If a player has more all-pros, his camp will say all-pros are more important. The writers pick the all-pro team, the players pick the Pro Bowl team. If what the writers think is more important than what the players think, why is there constant criticism of this process that the committee needs more players involved in the process? It becomes a contradiction.

            All-decade isn’t the end all. Dan Marino was never an all-decade selection and there may never have been a better pure passer in the game’s history. Troy Aikman was never all-decade and neither was Steve Young. No one item on the check list makes or breaks a Hall of Fame candidacy. Ken Riley ranks second all-time among pure cornerbacks with 65 interceptions but he was never voted to a Pro Bowl. His career is deserving of dicsussion. It’s a study of his body of work that makes a candidate a Hall of Famer. And that’s what we endeavor to do in August when we sit down to discuss the 15 finalists — judge each candidate on his body of work. If he was the perfect candidate, he wouldn’t be in the senior pool. He’d already be in the Hall of Fame.

          • Rasputin
            July 9, 2018

            “If a player has more Pro Bowls, his camp will say Pro Bowls are more important. If a player has more all-pros, his camp will say all-pros are more important.”

            But which do you say is more important? I understand that different voters have different views, but how do you stack your own list? I appreciate you responding to premise #3 and saying that you don’t automatically rank All Decade players above non All Decade players in every case, which is a relief. One more question: can you clarify whether you factor in at all how many times players have already been finalists? Would you give someone who hasn’t been a finalist yet a bump in urgency over one who has been several times and been rejected (all else being roughly equal), is it the other way around (favoring repeat finalists), or do you not consider that at all?

            For the record I’ve never been one calling for players to be more involved in selections, so no contradiction on my part. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of writers doing it either but more the fact that fewer players are selected All Pro each year than to the Pro Bowl. It’s mathematically more exclusive regardless of who’s selecting.

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 10, 2018

            A candidacy is judged by a player’s body of work. There is no one specific honor that is more important. Boyd Dowler was voted to the 50th anniversary team but has never been discussed as a finalist. Should that put him at the top of the queue…if you were voted one of the two best players at our position in the game’s first half century? Billy “White Shoes” Johnson is the only member of the 75th anniversary team still not enshrined in Canton. He’s never been a finalist. Should that put him at the top of the queue? Every player in the senior poll has a glittering resume but is missing something or else they wouldn’t be in this abyss. So it’s a body of work that matters. The goal is to identify the best player in the senior pool each year as seen through the eyes of the nine members of the committee, whether that candidate is dead or alive. That’s why there was such a strong sentiment for Ken Stabler that one year. Also, when a player has been a finalist in the past but was passed over for enshrinement, you research why he was passed over. Sometimes it’s illogical. That’s why a player might get another chance as a senior. That’s why Jerry Kramer got another chance.

          • Rasputin
            July 10, 2018

            So you don’t have fixed rules guiding your assessments. Ok. But you obviously do rank players. I think you said a while back (correct me if this is wrong) that you feel Johnny Robinson is now the most deserving senior era player not yet in. Do you at least agree with me that Robinson and Chuck Howley are similarly qualified and a cut above the rest of the field, or are there others you rank behind Robinson but ahead of Howley? And do you think Howley is at least the most deserving Landry era Cowboy not yet in? As the Dallas HoF rep this is presumably a question you’ve given a lot of thought to.

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 11, 2018

            I have one ranking — the player I think is the most deserving of Canton. Since I joined the committee in 2005, I was steadfast in my belief (and public opinion) that Jerry Kramer was the best player not enshrined in Canton. It still took him 14 years from that point to come out of the committee. With Kramer enshrined, I’m on record with the belief that Johnny Robinson is now the best player not enshrined in Canton. Who knows how long it will take him to come out of committee? There were 22 position players named to the 1960s all-decade first team. Robinson is the only one not enshrined. He led the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1966 then led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1970 in the first season of the merged leagues. He went to seven Pro Bowls and was a seven-time first-team all-pro in his 10 seasons at safety. He was second-team all-pro in two other seasons. His play helped the Texans/Chiefs win three AFL titles and a Super Bowl. He had an interception and fumble recovery in that Super Bowl victory. And I don’t want to hear that the AFL was an inferior league — the NFL thought highly enough of Robinson to make him the third overall pick of its 1960 draft. I’ve got 100 names of senior candidates I consider worthy of discussion. I’ve got separate lists ranking them in terms of all-decade, Pro Bowls, all-pros, championships, statistics… Howley is certainly a worthy candidate. So is Maxie Baughan. So is Mike Curtis. So is Tommy Nobis. So is Randy Gradishar. There are several dozen candidates that their supporters believe are “a cut above the rest of the field.” We get to discuss the “body of work” of only 15 of them each August.

          • Rasputin
            July 11, 2018

            But you also rank players to get to the top 15 don’t you? Don’t y’all vote to whittle the 100 down to the 15 senior finalists to be discussed? Given that you’re the Dallas rep I think it’s fair to ask if you have Howley or any other Cowboy in that finalist mix. Your own ToF radio show just had a series asking voters which players they thought were most deserving of Canton from the cities they represent. In fact I was looking forward to your Dallas episode because I thought maybe they’d just sit there and interview you, but instead you had Charean on while you mostly stayed quiet and she’s not on the senior committee.

            And do you really have no idea who will replace Robinson as your top guy once he’s inducted….even if it’s just a rough top 5 or so prospects?

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 11, 2018

            As the designated Dallas rep on the 48-member committee, I become an advocate of Dallas players in the HOF process. But as a member of the senior sub-committee, I’m one of 9 members. I’m not there to rep Dallas. I’m expected to take a big-picture overview and rep the entire pool of senior candidates and pick the best candidate each year. I’ve said in the past I believe Howley belongs. I also believe 1970s all-decade selections Drew Pearson and Cliff Harris belong. I also believe Everson Walls, the only cornerback ever to lead the NFL in interceptions three times, belongs. The merits of their candidacies will be discussed and debated in August if one, two, three or all four make the finals. Let’s see who all is there.

          • Rasputin
            July 11, 2018

            And I guess they make the final 15 senior list if enough of the 9 committee members vote for them as the top 15. So is Howley and/or another Cowboy in your top 15 list? It’s not like I’m asking how you’d vote on Roe v Wade once you’re on the bench. These questions should be easy to answer. You’ve already all but said Robinson will be since you’ve got him at #1.

            Chicago rep and senior committee member Dan Pompei enthusiastically advocated for Bears like Jimbo Covert and Ed Fortunato when you interviewed him recently and elsewhere. I’ve seen other senior committee members publicly push local candidates they favor.

            And here’s what you said just last August:

            Rick Gosselin being quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer – “‘Kenny Anderson is probably one of the top five guys that needs to be discussed,’ said Rick Gosselin, who votes for the Hall of Fame and will be among the five in the room this year. ‘He probably already should be in the Hall of Fame.’”

            So is Chuck Howley probably one of the top 5 guys who needs to be discussed like Ken Anderson? Is he even in your top 15?

          • Rick Gosselin
            July 12, 2018

            Ken Anderson does indeed need to be discussed. So does Chuck Howley. Randy Gradishar needs to be discussed. Maxie Baughan needs to be discussed. Drew Pearson needs to be discussed. Duke Slater needs to be discussed. Al Wistert needs to be discussed. Eddie Meador needs to be discussed. Cliff Harris needs to be discussed. Ken Riley needs to be discussed. Andy Russell needs to be discussed. Johnny Robinson needs to be discussed. Alex Karras needs to be discussed. Winston Hill needs to be discussed. Tommy Nobis needs to be discussed. Ed White needs to be discussed. Pat Fischer needs to be discussed. Billy Wilson needs to be discussed. Cliff Branch needs to be discussed. Jim Covert deserves to be discussed. Ed Budde needs to be discussed. Everson Walls needs to be discussed. Joe Klecko needs to be discussed. Mike Curtis needs to be discussed. Dick Anderson needs to be discussed. Bill Fralic needs to be discussed. Walt Sweeney needs to be discussed. Harvey Martin needs to be discussed. Boyd Dowler needs to be discussed. Joe Fortunato deserves to be discussed. Todd Christensen needs to be discussed. Ron Kramer needs to be discussed. Lots of worthy “Top 5” guys. When we get the list of 15 in August, we’ll discuss them. And we only get to pick out one. That’s the problem — too many qualified candidates, too few slots. Which makes everyone in the senior pool a longshot. Like I said, I’ve got you down for Howley. In my opinion, Howley, Pearson, Harris, Walls and Martin are all worthy of busts in Canton. Not sure what else there or me is to say. I’ve enjoyed the discussion.

          • Rasputin
            July 12, 2018

            “Top 5” was your wording about Ken Anderson, not mine. You just listed 32 names so “top 5” can’t apply to all of them.

            I’m trying to ascertain whether or not there’s any realistic hope. Since you’re the Dallas rep, if you don’t have Howley in your top 5 at this point then there is no realistic hope unless you dramatically rotate your “top 5” from year to year. If you can publicly say you’ve got Ken Anderson in your top 5 I don’t see why you can’t answer the Howley question. If the answer is “no” then say so. Have the courage of your convictions. At least then I’d know. Maybe it will mean I’ve wasted countless hours over the past decade, but at least I could stop posting on sites like this going forward instead of possibly wasting countless hours for another decade. I would continue to view the PFHOF as having zero credibility indefinitely (due to the broader implications such a stance would signify and how it would underscore what a flawed process this is) and I would try to put these topics out of my mind.

            If you don’t answer I’ll probably keep pushing to elicit information. That said, I have enjoyed this conversation and I appreciate you revealing some aspects of your decision making process. One thing this process sorely needs in my opinion is more transparency.

            I’ll close by asking you to highlight rather than omit first team All Pro selections in your commentaries about Howley. He had lots of Pro Bowls too, and those matter, but mathematically there are more than twice as many Pro Bowlers as All Pros each year because Pro Bowlers are chosen for each conference and replacements are named for guys who don’t play in the game. First team All Pros are even more exclusive and having several should carry enormous weight. While All Decade and anniversary team status are determined by a one time vote (which I agree are important but sometimes mistakes are made), several first team All Pro selections mean a player was voted the very best at his position in the entire league year after year in separate votes. There’s a reason only 10 men ended up with 5 such NFL AP accolades in the 20th Century SB era, and the other 9 are all in the HoF.

            The only “flaw” in Howley’s case was the strong anti-Cowboys bias that ran from the early 1980s, a backlash against the “America’s Team” thing combined with a generation of voters feeling bitter about having grown up watching Landry’s team routinely beat their beloved teams, especially in the northeast media hub, through well into the 2000s. And don’t give me that crap about lots of teams feeling there’s a bias against them. This isn’t some fan shouting that blindly. I can support my claims with reason and facts. Even your colleague Paul Zimmerman, no Cowboys fan, expressed frustration over the bias after the 2004 fiasco. Sometimes bias really exists.

            It’s a disgrace that the Cowboys only had 5 HoFers until the late 2000s despite their unparalleled success on the field. It’s a disgrace that Mel Renfro barely got in on his last year of eligibility. It’s a disgrace that Darren Woodson was snubbed for Ronnie Lott and the others on the 90s All Decade team (another thing historian John Turney agreed with me on). It’s a disgrace that Chuck Howley wasn’t inducted as a modern era candidate. It’s a disgrace that he still hasn’t ever even been a finalist.

            The biased clique may have been diminished by turnover and the expansion to 48 selectors, but its destructive legacy lives on until a special effort is made to right that wrong. Every senior committee voter regardless of city should want to do that. You may not technically be repping a city on that committee but as the Dallas rep you should have enough knowledge of the situation for it to be of particular concern to you.

            I push the 3 candidates I do because those are the most glaring Dallas omissions, all 3 routinely topping even various non-Cowboys fans’ lists, because other teams DO NOT have “3 or 4” snubs on that level, and because inducting all 3 soon would restore proper balance to the franchise count, catching the team up to a normal situation so we could finally move past a disgraceful chapter in Canton history.

            I ask that you at least consider all this with an open mind in future decision making, and also reconsider whether to take living status/age into account to reduce the number of bittersweet posthumous inductions and increase the number of players who are able to enjoy their enshrinements.

  9. Ricky
    July 8, 2018
    Reply

    So many deserving senior players, but one name seems to be specifically on most everyones’ list this year is Johnny Robinson. I also agree that Ed Budde is deserving as well as Chuck Howley. Too many great players. I hear Johnny Robinson every year. Maybe he should be Senior in 2019.

  10. Packer Shareholder
    July 8, 2018
    Reply

    How many times was Jerry Kramer a finalist? Glad the Senior Committee didn’t give up on him!

    • bachslunch
      July 9, 2018
      Reply

      Kramer was a finalist 11 times, twice as a Senior. Glad he finally got in, too.

      Interestingly, with Kramer and Ray Guy finally making it in, there are only four players who were finalists 6 or more times who have been left at the curb: Johnny Robinson (6), L.C. Greenwood (6), Charlie Conerly (7), and Bob Kuechenberg (8). I’m all for the first two getting in someday.

  11. Weston
    July 9, 2018
    Reply

    As a Packer fan I can say that I’m so glad the long wait for Jerry Kramer to be inducted is finally over. Cases can be made for all of players mentioned. I think after reading about Johnny Robinson that He should join his teammates from the 1960’s All Decade Team and be inducted. It must be tough mentally on him to know that he’s the last and only player on that team yet to be inducted. Man what an all decade team if he goes in. Greatest!

  12. Larry
    July 10, 2018
    Reply

    Just read the article Clark Judge posted on this site on Johnny Robinson. He is an incredible man! That was such a motivating real story. What a face to put before the public for professional football and the Hall of Fame. He is someone the public needs to see and hear about and the Hall of Fame needs to latch onto as their own.
    Time for some positive football publicity and this is it. Johnny Robinson for Senior 2019.

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