Best OLB not in Canton? Maxie Baughan

Maxie Baughan (55) photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles
(Maxie Baughan photos courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles)

Talk of Fame Network

Maxie Baughan went to nine of the 10 Pro Bowls in the 1960s.

Yet he wasn’t named to the NFL all-decade team, nor has he been a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That’s a wrong that needs to be righted according to last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. We asked our listeners and readers to identify the best outside linebacker not in the Hall of Fame, and Baughan prevailed, receiving 32.3 percent of the vote.

Baughan edged Chuck Howley, the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team, who received 30.3 percent of the vote. They were followed in the voting by Robert Brazile at 21.2 percent, Andy Russell at 9.1 percent and both George Webster and Joe Fortunato in single digits.

“These guys all have strong resumes,” Talk of Fame Network co-host Ron Borges said, “but it’s tough to ignore all that Maxie Baughan accomplished during a long and distinguished career with the Eagles and Rams. He played well on bad teams, helped make them good, then played well on good teams. What else is there? There’s this: he made the Pro Bowl nine times in 11 years, then came out of retirement (in 1974) to help out a third team, the Redskins, learn how to play.”

What’s puzzling from Baughan’s omission from the all-decade team is that the five linebackers selected — Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, Tommy Nobis, Larry Morris and Dave Robinson — went to a combined 10 Pro Bowls in the 1960s. So as a group they went to only one more total Pro Bowl than Baughan, yet he’s the odd man off the all-decade team.

Baughan went to five Pro Bowls with the Philadelphia Eagles in the Eastern Conference and four more with the Los Angeles Rams of the Western Conference. He started as a rookie for the Eagles in 1960 and won his only NFL championship. He retired after the 1970 season, then came back for a cameo appearance with the George Allen Redskins as a player-coach in 1974. He then went on to coach for 18 NFL seasons, serving for stretches as a defensive coordinator for both the Colts and Lions.

Baughan has been eligible for the Hall of Fame now for 37 years now but still awaits for his first turn as a finalist.

“Maxie Baughan was to defenses what (Johnny) Unitas was to offense — a thinking man who made big plays when big plays were demanded,” Talk of Fame Network co-host Clark Judge said. “That he’s never been discussed by the Hall of Fame’s board of selectors is not just perplexing; it’s an injustice.”

[socialpoll id=”2349905″]

Previous State Your Case: Dick Vermeil
Next Who's the best OL not in the Hall of Fame?


  1. Rasputin
    April 28, 2016

    Howley is the best OLB not in Canton. He trumps Baughan in first team All Pro selections and every other category but Pro Bowls, which are less meaningful than some of the others. The difference in this “poll” was 3 votes, which is impressive considering, as was observed on the other page, that had an article and headline directing people to come here and vote for Baughan. (I didn’t notice any Cowboys site mentioning this poll). It’s fair to assume that contributed at least 3 of Baughan’s votes, and probably many more. And yet Howley still essentially matched him, indicating that he’s the choice of people who actually visit this site on a regular basis.

  2. DFR52
    May 3, 2016

    Did I miss “State Your Case: Chuck Howley”? I only ask because it almost seems like he is being intentionally avoided.

    • Rasputin
      May 6, 2016

      I noticed that too and asked before. Hopefully there’s a reasonable explanation, but I don’t know what it could be because apparently Gosselin doesn’t reply to challenging questions or comments. He rarely interacts with fans at all.

  3. DFR52
    May 10, 2016

    In my opinion some sort of an explanation is warranted. How can a player receive the accolades Howley has and never be considered for the Hall of Fame by the voters or even the focus of an article by any of the media members on this site? I enjoy the arguments presented in the “State Your Case” posts but there are a few that make me scratch my head and wonder how was Howley overlooked again.

    • Rasputin
      May 10, 2016

      He was the subject of an article about whom readers on this site voted as the most deserving Cowboy not yet in, but that was only because he won that poll, and the commentary on him was brief. I don’t think there’s been a “State Your Case” piece on him yet, which is odd considering some of the truly fringe/stretch candidates who have received them.

  4. DFR52
    May 20, 2016

    I enjoy reading the “State Your Case” posts I agree that some of the selections have almost no chance and probably belong in an team Hall of Fame or Ring of Honor. Howley seems like a legitimate HOF candidate but no one in selection committee backs him. What is the huge secret many of us are missing on Howley? Was he possibly mean to a young Rick Gosslin, who just wanted an autograph of his favorite player? I would love to know what is keeping Howley from getting any support for the Hall Of Fame?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.