Who is the most deserving HOF senior candidate?


NFL Historical Imagery
(Johnny Robinson photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)
(Ken Anderson photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals)

Talk of Fame Network

There have been 56 candidates nominated in the 44-year history of the senior committee and 76.7 percent have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Quarterback Ken Stabler and guard Dick Stanfel were both elected as senior candidates in 2016. But there will be only one senior nominee for the Class of 2017.

So who is the most deserving of that nomination? That’s the subject of our Talk of Fame Network poll this week. Here are your choices:

Ken Anderson, QB, Cincinnati. Anderson became the first quarterback in NFL history to complete 70 percent of his passes in a single season. He did so in 1982 – an NFL record that stood for 26 years before Drew Brees topped it in 2009. But that’s just the tip of the Ken Anderson candidacy iceberg. He was the NFL MVP in 1981 when he took the Bengals to a Super Bowl and also won four NFL passing titles, two in the mid-1970s and two in the early 1980s. He passed for 32,838 yards and 197 touchdowns in his 16-year career and went to four Pro Bowls. He’s been a Hall-of-Fame finalist twice.

Pat Fischer, CB, St. Louis/Washington. Fischer was tiny by NFL cornerback standards for his era at 5-9, 170 pounds, but he survived 17 NFL seasons. He intercepted 10 passes in 1964 and 56 in his career. That puts him ninth among pure corners in NFL history. He also returned punts and kickoffs in his first two seasons with the Cardinals, averaging 25.1 yards on kickoff returns as a rookie in 1961 and 9.3 yards on punt returns in his second year. Fischer went to three Pro Bowls and has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.

NFL Historical Imagery

(Pat Fischer photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins)

Randy Gradishar, LB, Denver. A key figure in Denver’s Orange Crush defense in the 1970s, Gradishar started all 10 of his seasons with the Broncos and never missed a game. He went to seven Pro Bowls and was voted the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1978 when the Broncos credited him with a franchise-record 286 tackles. He also set a franchise record with his 2,049 career tackles. Gradishar also accounted for 33 takeaways on 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. He has been a Hall-of-Fame finalist twice.

Jerry Kramer, G, Green Bay. The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee named Kramer the best guard in the first 50 years of the NFL. In all, the committee voted 15 players the best at their position – but Kramer is the only one still waiting for a bust in Canton. He also was selected to the 1960s’ NFL all-decade team but has been passed over each of the 10 times he has been a Hall-of-Fame finalist. Kramer was a key cog of Vince Lombardi teams that won five NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls. He went to three Pro Bowls and was the leading scorer as a kicker on the 1963 Packers. with 91 points filling in for the suspended Paul Hornung.

Kramer2

(Jerry Kramer photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)

Drew Pearson, WR, Dallas. There were 22 position players selected to the NFL’s 1970s first-team all-decade team. All but two of them have been enshrined in Canton with the exceptions of both Cowboys, wide receiver Drew Pearson and safety Cliff Harris. Of the 16 wide receivers selected to first-team NFL all-decade teams, only two have not been enshrined, Pearson and LaVern Dilweg of the 1920s. Yet Pearson has never even been discussed as a Hall-of-Fame finalist. A big-game player, Pearson was on the receiving end of football’s first “Hail Mary” pass from Roger Staubach that won a playoff game against Minnesota. He caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns in his career.

PearsonDrewColor

(Drew Pearson photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)

Johnny Robinson, S, Kansas City. There were 22 position players selected to the NFL’s 1960s’ first-team all-decade team. All but two have been enshrined in Canton, with Jerry Kramer and Robinson the exceptions.  Robinson led the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1966 and then led the NFL with 10 in the first year of the merged leagues in 1970. Robinson was the third overall pick of the 1960 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions but elected to sign with the AFL Dallas Texans. He went on to intercept 57 passes, which still ranks 12th in NFL history. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls in his 12 seasons and was a member of the 1969 Super Bowl champion Chiefs, the only team of the Super Bowl era to lead the NFL in defense across the board (yards, points, run and pass). He’s been a Hall finalist six times.

Vote now!

Previous Is it finally the Lions' turn?
Next Backup quarterbacks becoming an NFL premium

94 Comments

  1. Sports Fan
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Great Selections!

    You listed six (6) individuals

    Who almost made the list?

    Can you show the entire list available?

    thanks

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      The list isn’t available yet. The committee doesn’t meet until mid-August. Those are random selections from the dozens of deserving candidates.

  2. Rob
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    I think you mean Ken Stabler instead of Mick Tingelhoff for 2016?

  3. August 3, 2016
    Reply

    84% so far say Jerry Kramer… While I agree, truthfully, as an NFL fan for almost 50 years, I can’t believe any of these guys are not in. Thanks Rick for always supporting Jerry Kramer for HOF. Maybe one of these years, the other members will come to their senses and listen to Ron Borges and yourself.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      All six of these players on this list deserve to be enshrined.

      • Rasputin
        August 3, 2016
        Reply

        Do you really believe Drew Pearson is more deserving than Chuck Howley? If so, why?

  4. Jeff
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Not sure I agree with the list, if it’s meant to indicate the six most deserving seniors (not to disrespect any of them – it is a fine group)! Kramer is tops and I think Robinson and Gradishar belong. I’m OK with Anderson but Fischer and Pearson are borderline in my opinion. I can list some guys that I think are better choices (e.g., Chuck Howley, Lemar Parrish, Al Wistert, Maxie Baughan, Billy Howton and others).

  5. Mary Ivins
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    YOU LEFT OUT ONE CANDIDATE!!!! Have you forgotten Pat Fischer’s teammate, Larry Brown #43, Washington Redskins. Larry has been waiting for a lifetime to get his nomination and be inducted. When is the committee going to and realize this. He was one of the best half-backs to ever play the game. The numbers are there, the physical evidence is there and if Lombardi were alive today, he would have already been in years ago. Since Vince Lombardi passed away, Larry lost his chances to get into the Hall Of Fame. Gale Sayers was phenomenal, given. However, he had George Halas backing him all the way. I have started a facebook page, Larry Brown for Hall Of Fame and for some reason, the committee refuses to acknowledge that Larry is a true champion, a sensational player and has the characteristics and positive persona for a role model that make him a Hall Of Famer. When, tell me when you are going to lift the ban to allow Larry Brown into the Hall Of Fame. Don’t wait until after Larry cannot be there to give his acceptance speech. Give it to him now. The time is now.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      I left out a lot of worthy candidates. Too many great players have slipped through the cracks without having their candidacies discussed. I could have listed a dozen worthy players — two dozen worthy players — but the poll limits me in this case to six.

  6. Jim Cooper
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    This is really silly. Jerry should have been in years ago. Get it together HOF. No disrespect to the others but Jerry needs in.

  7. Kevin
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Everyone who knows a thing about football thinks Jerry Kramer should be in the HOF. It’s a shame that he’s not in and makes no sense that the senior committee won’t put him in. I am hoping that this year they finally do.

  8. Mark Heuring
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    While all the candidates listed had worthy careers, Kramer’s absence from the HOF is egregious. He was a great player to be sure, but when one considers the overall marketing and mystique of the NFL, much of it stems from the era of the 1960s. Instant Replay was a huge part of that and Kramer’s ongoing series of books (in collaboration with Dick Schaap) were instrumental in driving the popularity of the game we have come to know. He’s part of that history, just as much in his own way as the Sabols were at NFL Films. Jerry Kramer has to be in the Hall.

  9. Robert Pascoe
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer deserves to be in Canton,OH
    He was the cornerstone of the Packers Power Sweep he was the lead blocker in the ice bowl for the memorable drive for GB to beat Dallas why he’s not in there is inexcusable

    • Rasputin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      Ice robbed the defenders of any traction and made the blocker’s identity irrelevant on that play. In fact there have always been accusations that Kramer false started, which was the only way the Packers could have lost at that point, though honestly it’s hard for me to tell from the footage.

      • August 3, 2016
        Reply

        Ice only affected the defense? Please. Get low Pugh!

        • Rasputin
          August 4, 2016
          Reply

          Offensive players have the initiative, so it affects them less so on a play like that.

  10. Bear fan Bob
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Great players. Why isn’t the offense line have more representation? I am still waiting for #63 Jay Hilgenburg arguably the best center ever to play the game but always overlooked. Should be in Canton don’t get it

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      There are more offensive tackles (27) in the Hall of Fame and defensive backs (both corners & safeties — 24). There are also 19 guards and 12 centers. There are only 36 defensive linemen in Canton.

  11. August 3, 2016
    Reply

    LaVerne Dilweg, Al Wistert, Duke Slater.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      Keep going. There may be 50 players you can list that are worthy of discussion who have, for whatever reason, slipped through the cracks in the selection process.

      • August 7, 2016
        Reply

        Of those 50+ players, how many have been waiting longer than Dilweg, Slater and to some extent Wistert? I understand that players may slip through the cracks. However, when those players are identified, why are they continually passed over for candidates whose cases are not as strong?

        Not to pick on Stanfel, but he was a finalist three times, even being in front of the entire selection committee just a few years ago. If the committee continues to put the same people up, it stands to reason that more people are not going to have their cases heard.

        Just for example:
        All-Decade: Dilweg Yes, Stanfel Yes
        First Team All-Pro: Dilweg 6, Stanfel 5
        Unanimous All-Pros: Dilweg 4 (Consecutive), Stanfel 3 (Not Consecutive)
        Consensus All-Pro: Dilweg 6 (Consecutive), Stanfel 5 (Not Consecutive)
        Second-Team All-Pro: Dilweg 2, Stanfel 1

        I could toss out stats, but that would not be fair to Stanfel since offensive linemen do not have stats.

        Stanfel gets multiple opportunities to have his case heard, including twice in front of the entire committee. Nothing for Dilweg.

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 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 Super Bowl III Championship as the LCB of the NY Jets…
        His record should at least be mentioned in the HOF; because it is impossible for it ever to be broken…

  12. MArk Schneider
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    JERRY KRAMER was voted to the 50th ALL TIME SUPER BOWL team last year also. It is PAST time for Jerry’s induction! PLEASE make the right call and help Jerry join his teammates in Canton Hall of Fame!

  13. August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer should have been in the Hall decades ago. Although many are deserving, none more than Kramer – The Chancellor of Football

  14. Rob
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Rick when is the senior selection date for 2017?

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      Mid-August. Not sure of the date. I’m not one of the selectors in that rotation this year.

      • August 5, 2016
        Reply

        I see your point Rick, if “winning percentage” is the only criteria. It obviously didn’t hurt Dungy that his quarterback (Peyton Manning) is the highest winning quarterback during the regular season, while coach Tom Flores won his two Super bowls with a quarterback many people had given up on. Flores, who won his first Super Bowl only two years after the expansion of the playoff system, the Raiders became the first team in the history of the NFL to win a Super Bowl as the wild card. And not only did they make history, but Oakland also had to win back-to-back-to-back road games just to make it to the Super Bowl.

        After coming into the season with high hopes, the Raiders took a major hit when starting quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg during the fifth week of the season. Without a quality backup, the Raiders’ season seemed to be all but lost. However, 33-year-old veteran Jim Plunkett, who was on the backside of an NFL career, was resuscitated by Tom Flores, led the team to nine wins in 11 chances en route to a playoff berth and ultimately a Super Bowl championship. We’re taking quality over quantity, here!

        Yes, Dungy had a higher regular season winning percentage than Tom Flores (and Dungy’s high exposure as a commentator on television didn’t hurt); but, under the circumstances cited above, the bottom line is Flores’ two Super Bowl wins still trump Dungy’s sole victory. You say head coaches get paid to win? What NFL owner would trade those two Super Bowl wins by his coach, over regular season winning percentages notwithstanding?

  15. Anonymous
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Kramer should have been in years ago, Verne Lewellen also.

  16. August 3, 2016
    Reply

    how about Jim Marshall one of the most decorated d-ends !

  17. Packer Mike
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Kramer should have been in years ago, Verne Lewellen also!

  18. Paul
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Why Drew Pearson over Chuck Howley, while I agree Pearson is deserving, Howley has a strong case, been waiting longer and my understanding has been among the top 5 considered in recent years.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      Pearson was a first-team all-decade pick, Howley wasn’t picked to an all-decade team. But I would agree — Howley, Pearson and Harris are all worthy candidates who should have been in long ago

      • Rasputin
        August 4, 2016
        Reply

        Is All Decade status the only metric you considered? That said, this is the first time I’ve seen you state for the record that you think Howley deserves to be in Canton, so that’s good I guess. I’d ask that going forward when you’re deciding which player to prioritize you keep in mind their respective ages. And maybe things like number of first team All Pro selections, SB MVPs, etc..

        • Rick Gosselin
          August 5, 2016
          Reply

          It’s a metric HOF voters seem to prefer. 71.2% of those players who were selected to all-decade teams have been enshrined.

          • Rasputin
            August 5, 2016

            What percentage of guys with at least 5 first team All Pro selections are in the HoF? How about if they also have a Super Bowl MVP award?

          • Rasputin
            August 6, 2016

            By my quick count 86.3% of senior era players with at least 5 first team AP All Pro selections are in the HoF. Here’s the entire list of guys from any era with 5 first team All Pro selections and a Super Bowl MVP:
            Chuck Howley
            Randy White
            Jerry Rice
            Ray Lewis
            Peyton Manning
            Surely you have to admit, Rick, that’s quite a list.

          • Rick Gosselin
            August 7, 2016

            And 4 of the 5 on your list were all-decade selections.

          • Rasputin
            August 7, 2016

            Here are some non-All Decade members with fewer first team All Pro selections than Howley enshrined in just the last 7 years: Dick Lebeau, Jerome Bettis, Claude Humphrey, Andre Reed, Curley Culp, Curtis Martin, Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Les Richter, Ricky Jackson, Floyd Little, and Ken Stabler.
            In fact out of the last 17 senior nominations since 2008, 11(!) of them haven’t been on All Decade teams.
            So why not Chuck Howley?

        • David Ralph
          August 7, 2016
          Reply

          11/17 wow, I did not realize that. Very interesting fact.

  19. Brad Kraemer
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    #64 will always have my vote…
    5-time NFL champion and 2-time Super Bowl champion on one of the greatest teams in the NFL from 1960-1967. Please stop the lunacy, listen to the fans, and vote one of the best offensive guards of the NFL all-time and put Jerry Kramer in the HOF in 2017 so hopefully he can experience the honor. Thanks

  20. Jim Windsor
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Some good thoughts on all these gentlemen.
    Here’s some visual support for Jerry Kramer.
    https://youtu.be/7F9UQkcbDPk

  21. Rasputin
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Paul’s right. This list is incomprehensible. There seems to be a consensus that Howley is by far the most deserving Cowboy not enshrined (remember this site’s own poll?), and many (not just Cowboys fans) have considered him to be the most deserving senior era candidate of any team not already in.
    Howley has 5 AP first team All Pro selections, which are more important than Pro Bowls because the most established media organization is saying you’re the best at your position in the entire league. Gradishar had 2, Pearson had 3, Fischer had 2, and Anderson only had 1. Johnny Robinson only played in the NFL his last two seasons, so his accolades were inflated in what was essentially a league of expansion teams in the AFL through much of the 60s (apples and oranges). The only guy listed to equal Howley in AP first team All Pro NFL selections is Kramer, but Kramer only had 3 Pro Bowls.
    Howley had 6 Pro Bowls and 5 first team All Pro selections spread out over 7 different accolade seasons. The only guy listed who matches his 7 different NFL accolade seasons is Gradishar, though, again, Gradishar only had 2 AP first team All Pro seasons. Fischer only had 3 Pro Bowls (and only 2 first team All Pro selections!), Pearson had 3, and Anderson had 4.
    Howley was also Super Bowl MVP, the first defensive player to earn that award, and won a different Super Bowl in which he had another great performance. No one listed here was Super Bowl MVP. The only ones listed who even won a SB were Kramer, Pearson, and Robinson. We’re always told that championship success matters to HoF selection, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Howley.
    So Howley is clearly the most qualified of anyone in this discussion when it comes to combined All Pro selections/Pro Bowls, is the only SB MVP in this mix, has a lot of interceptions and sacks for a 4-3 LB to boot, and yet he’s not even included in the list as an option for fans to choose?!?! How then does this “poll” have any credibility whatsoever?
    Add to that the fact that this article’s author is the supposed Dallas “representative” at the HoF, and the omission becomes more mind boggling and tragic. It almost seems as if Gosselin is intentionally trolling Cowboys fans, including Pearson who, while deserving of Canton, is someone he knows won’t win this poll while Howley might have. But the HoF needs to be taken seriously if it’s to have any meaning at all.
    One more thing. Howley is 80 years old. Everyone you listed is significantly younger, except Kramer who’s the same age. Think about that if you’re tempted smirk about how upset you’ve made Cowboys fans this time.

    • Rasputin
      August 3, 2016
      Reply

      I’ll add that Howley had more interceptions, sacks, and fumble recoveries than Gradishar. And yet Gradishar has already been a HoF finalist twice while Howley has never had that opportunity. I have yet to hear any HoF selector offer an explanation for that.

      • Rick Gosselin
        August 5, 2016
        Reply

        Maxie Baughan went to 9 Pro Bowls, Andy Russell 8 and Robert Brazile 7. None have ever been HOF finalists.

        • Rasputin
          August 5, 2016
          Reply

          And all those guys are more deserving than some who have been nominated, though in comparison to Howley I’ll point out that Andy Russell was never first team AP All Pro, and Maxie Baughan and Robert Brazile were only first team AP All Pro twice. Howley was first team AP All Pro 5 times. That’s the biggest media organization proclaiming him to be the best at his position in the league for fully half a decade. Anyone who’s the very best at his position for half a decade should be in the HoF. Add his Super Bowl MVP, which none of those other guys mentioned have, and his case should be considered even stronger.

          • Rick Gosselin
            August 6, 2016

            HOF selection committee picks the all-decade teams. All-decade teams serve as a milepost in the selection process because the same panel that selects the HOFers select the all-decade teams. 71.2% of players selected to the all-decade team have been enshrined. This board did not select Howley as an all-decade OLB. The three OLBs voted to the 1960s all-decade team were Bobby Bell, Dave Robinson and Larry Morris. Bell is in, Robinson was enshrined as a senior candidate after a 34-year wait and Morris, the MVP of the 1963 NFL title game, has never been discussed as a finalist.

        • Rasputin
          August 6, 2016
          Reply

          Chuck Howley was selected first team OLB on the 1965-75 Mid Decade team, alongside Dick Butkus and Bobby Bell, as chosen by football historian John Turney and the people at Pro Football Journal:
          http://nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/2016/05/1965-1975-all-mid-decade-teams.html
          It’s not the HoF selectors, but obviously it’s arbitrary to base HoF evaluations solely on performance from year 0 – year 0, and unfair to guys whose career peaks straddled decades, as Howley’s did. So these guys went through and selected Mid Decade teams.
          That said, Howley arguably should have been 60s All Decade anyway. Larry Morris has ZERO Pro Bowls or first team All Pro selections, and only 6 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles. Seems like a bizarre choice.

          • David Ralph
            August 6, 2016

            Great point, Howley’s exclusion on the 1960’s All Decade Team is really a mistake by the voters. Morris was an exceptionally weak selection and even Dave Robinson lacks the career accolades of Chuck Howley. I could be wrong but based on Mr. Gosselin’s comments I don’t believe Howley will ever be inducted. I have always wondered why Mr. Gosselin has never really made a push for Howley but after citing the lack of an All Decade Team it makes sense. I understand this way of thinking but as it has been pointed out, Howley’s exlusion was a major oversight by the HOF voters as they chose members who had weaker stats and fewer All Pro nominations for the era of the 1960’s.

          • Rick Gosselin
            August 7, 2016

            Howley’s candidacy landed in my lap when he entered the senior pool. His best chance of getting elected to the Hall was during the 1980s and 1990s when he was a modern-era candidate and his accomplishments were fresh in the minds of voters. I was not the Dallas HOF rep then. Every player in the senior pool is a longshot. There are 109 all-decade selections (through 1990) currently in the senior pool and 97 have never been discussed as a HOF finalist.

          • Rasputin
            August 7, 2016

            David Ralph, I hope Gosselin’s point isn’t that Howley is somewhere way back in the queue behind Larry Morris(!), because lots of non-All Decade members have been inducted into Canton, many with weaker cases than Howley.
            Howley and a lot of other Cowboys were shafted in the 80s and 90s during the height of the notorious anti-Cowboys bias (some writers have been open about their hatred of Dallas, especially if they grew up in cities where they had to watch their team regularly lose to “America’s Team”). That’s why the franchise with the most Super Bowl wins (at the time), playoff wins, and Landry’s record 20 consecutive winning seasons only had a measly 5 players in Canton at the turn of the century, mostly just obvious first ballot players they had to induct. It’s why some guys even voted against Bob Lilly’s induction, why the only two offensive/defensive/ starters on the 70s All Decade team not enshrined are Cowboys, and why the only two guys left out from the final 6 in 2004 HoF voting were the two Cowboys, even though all 6 could have been taken. Even 10 time pro bowler/great KO returner/2 time SB champ Mel Renfro had to wait until his final year of eligibility to squeak in. He said he had already written his own chances off. It may be why Darren Woodson, the greatest S of the 90s, was left off the 90s All Decade team in favor of guys like Lott (who had a grand 2 Pro Bowls that decade) and Carnell Lake.
            I don’t believe we can move on from the legacy of the anti-Cowboys bias until, at a minimum, Howley, Harris, and Pearson are inducted.
            Back in the 2000s I decided to prioritize Howley out of the three in my arguments because he’s in the unusual position of both being the most deserving and his case requiring more effort to make.
            Pearson and Harris have an automatic long term argument because they stand out as glaring omissions among 70s All Decade starters. Anyone scanning that list can see that without having to have someone else push it hard. But the lists Howley ranks high on aren’t as commonly scanned by people. Newer generations may not notice the guy when superficially perusing history. I figured the best way to get all 3 in was to get Howley in first, preferably while some still remembered him, then focus on the on Harris/Pearson. That’s certainly the best way to get them all in while they’re able to enjoy it, given their respective ages.
            But I’m afraid you may be right. Gosselin’s comments above don’t contain any enthusiasm for Howley whatsoever. He doesn’t seem to realize that he IS the Dallas rep NOW, and therefore has the opportunity and, I’d argue, the duty to try and rectify mistakes of the past, not hide behind them as precedent to adhere to.
            It would be one thing if we were debating someone like Peter King, but I wonder if Gosselin realizes how demoralizing it is to supporters of Howley’s candidacy when he’s the one talking down Howley’s case and emphasizing his lack of All Decade status, when he should be the one trumpeting his case and making the points we’ve been making.
            Tragically, it’s increasingly looking like Chuck Howley will never be in the Hall of Fame, at least not as long as Rick Gosselin is the Dallas rep.

          • David Ralph
            August 7, 2016

            This post (as well as others you have written) are always supported with information and facts which should appeal to many who visit this site. The strength of Howley’s candidacy does not rely on opinion or the views of fans but rather a career full of accolades that you have stated multiple times in this post as well as others on the Talk of Fame web site. I do wish Turney’s opinion carried more weight with voters as he is a respected Pro Football Historian who spends hours reviewing film to provide fans with accurate observations.

            I really hope I am wrong and I am misinterpreting Mr. Gosselin’s comments but I do agree that he could rectify past mistakes by throwing his hat in the ring for Howley and rallying support for him on the Senior Committee. He has the position (and seems to be quite well respected by his professional peers) to at least have Howley’s name heard by the committee but he seems very hesitant to do this for reasons he has expressed in this post.

            One thing I would like to know is why Howley’s teammate and fellow LB Lee Roy Jordan actually received support as a HOF candidate while Howley did not?

        • David Ralph
          August 7, 2016
          Reply

          Thank you for replying to my post Mr. Gosselin. I appreciate that you have been willing to give the fans some idea of how the HOF voters begin to select and vote for potential candidates.

          I do believe it is a shame that the media member who held the voting position previously made little to no effort to have Howley selected as candidate.

          Of those 100 plus names who were All Decade selections I wonder how many have career resumes similar to Howley? Off hand I know of only a few (Tyrer, Dilweg, Emerson, and Kramer) with at least 5 All Pro nominations.

  22. Anonymous
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    LaVerne Dilweg and Al Wistert are the most glaring omissions. I would also list Lemar Parrish in place of Pat Fischer. But for me, the most deserving of the Súper Bowl era is WR Harold Jackson.

  23. Steve
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer, hands down! Where do you vote?

  24. Scott
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer turned 80 this year and will be 81 just before election day. Rule number one for Halls of Fame should be honor the living. First eligible in 1974, Mr. Kramer’s day has come.

  25. August 3, 2016
    Reply

    There are numerous guys who deserve Hall of Fame consideration. Kenny Easley is the #1 guy who comes to my mind.

    Easley was legitimately the best player at his position in the NFL. How many of these other guys were legitimately considered the absolute best at what they did in the NFL? How many of these defenders was once NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

    In addition, Easley changed the game. Never before had a strong safety (he was a better free safety) have the athleticism and physicality he did. Not only was he a specialist in terms of being the best hitting strong safety in the NFL, but he was a specialist in terms of being the best coverage strong safety in the NFL. That’s a freak-like total package. While players like John Lynch and Steve Atwater are hoping to get into Canton by virtue of being hard hitters, both were not stellar in coverage.

    Although he only played seven seasons, he was dominant in each one. He was rookie of the year and would have received Pro Bowl recognition that season if he had played on a decent team. He may have missed the Pro Bowl in 1986 due to injury, but he played over half of the season and opposing coaches game planned specifically around him… a safety. An entire game plan for a safety. How many of these admittedly good defenders who are not in the Hall of Fame would have as many opposing coaches as Easley has had say they game planned specifically for the said player?

    His final season, 1987, he was Pro Bowl and second team All-Pro.

    One of biggest problems for Easley was that he won’t win many Mr. Personality or butt-kissing contests. It’s too bad because if he’s fairly judged by his film and how he impacted the game – he’d be in based on seven dominant seasons.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 5, 2016
      Reply

      Lester Hayes, Harvey Martin, Keith Millard and Dick Anderson are all eligible for Canton. All have been NFL Defensive Players of the Year. Martin, Millard and Anderson have never been discussed as finalists.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 5, 2016
      Reply

      There are 13 all-decade safeties eligible for Canton who are not enshrined. Ten have never even been discussed as finalists. Easley is not the only deserving safety on the outside looking in. It’s the position in general more than Easley in particular that has been than snubbed. Easley belongs in. So does Johnny Robinson, Eddie Meador, Cliff Harris, Dick Anderson and Steve Atwater.

  26. MArk Schneider
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer also voted to ALL TIME 50th Anniversary SUPER BOWL team. Jerry won Most Courageous Award that is given to sports athletes and primarily not football players. Jerry should have been MVP for the 1962 NFL Championship game if Ray had dropped the interception. If Jerry hadn’t broken ankle in Vikings game 1961, his incredible stats would have been magnified with one of Packers Greatest teams. Jerry played against Canton Hall of Famers practically every play in every game 1958-1968! Purple People, Steel Curtain, Fearsome Foursome, Cowboys, DIck Butkus, etc etc etc. Bart Starr set consecutive pass record without Int’s due to Kramer’s pass blocking and Jim Taylor and Pual Hornung made Canton on Jerry’s blocking on Packers power sweep. If all that wasn’t enough, Jerry kicked all the points in 1962 Title game and also played guard! Jerry could have gone to any team in NFL and he played for Green Bay his entire career which should NOT be a detriment as he doesn’t get multiple team support. The fact so many other Packers are enshrined in Canton should also NOT work against Jerry.

  27. Steve
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Cliff Branch was a bigger game changer than Pearson with all due respect. Also possessed postseason career records for catches and yards before Jerry Rice came along and rewrote the record book.

    • Rasputin
      August 4, 2016
      Reply

      No, he was a more of a deep threat but Pearson was a better all around WR, and was maybe the most clutch receiver of all time. Pearson was the key player in THREE of the greatest 75 plays in NFL history as compiled by NFL Films.

  28. Ed McDermott
    August 4, 2016
    Reply

    Now at 67 I can remember fighting to get number 64 as my jersey number in high school and college for my guard positions. I learned a lot watching the pulling guard combo of Thurston and Kramer! Many of us kids knew then he was a major player to the success of the Packers, why can’t the HOF?

  29. MArk Schneider
    August 4, 2016
    Reply

    I am not trying to disrespect anyone but, Dick Stanfel’s on the field accomplishments as a PLAYER do NOT come close to JERRY KRAMER’s career! Dick had support from the many teams he played and coached for, but that support had more to do with his coaching than his playing…that is not supposed to count! Sadly, Dick’s family will be there for his induction this year, without Dick because he passed away waiting his turn (see Stabler). WE must not let that happen to JERRY! Jerry has been 10 times finalist and should have been elected before DIck Stanfel and NO fairminded person can argue that Kramer doesn’t have credentials for enshrinement! Do NOT wait til Jerry is gone!

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 7, 2016
      Reply

      Agreed on Kramer. In my opinion, he belongs. But he also has been in the room 10 times for discussion as a finalist. Different selection committees have passed over his candidacy each time, for whatever reason. There are many great players not enshrined in Canton who have never been discussed as finalists. Stanfel had to wait for the senior committee to resurrect his candidacy. He was eligible as a modern-era candidate for 25 years but was never once discussed as a finalist during that window.

  30. August 4, 2016
    Reply

    Why does the HOF makes no sense? To induct Tony Dungy (a great guy with only one Super Bowl win as coach) above Tom Flores, of the LA and Oakland Raiders fame who has two Super Bowl wins as head coach, is still mind-boggling; with an additional two Super Bowl rings as a player and an assistant coach, is mystifying. Can any HOF voter out there explain why Flores has been snubbed all of these years?

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 5, 2016
      Reply

      Tony Dungy has the sixth best winning percentage of all-time behind HOFers Madden, Lombardi, Allen, Halas and Shula. Head coaches get paid to win. The best of the winners wind up in Canton.

      • Steve
        August 9, 2016
        Reply

        With all due respect, then why did it take Madden 27 years to get in while Dungy seemingly got fast tracked? If it took Big John 27 years it should have taken Tony 40.

  31. jim north
    August 4, 2016
    Reply

    Tommy Nobis,one of six LBs named to the all 60s team,#1 pick of the NFL and the AFL,5 time pro bowler,member of the Falcons Ring of honor,and too many other things to list.

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 7, 2016
      Reply

      Agreed. Tommy Nobis is a worthy candidate. There are 26 established NFL franchises and every one of them has 3-4 players it believes have been short-changed by the selection process. Mike Kenn and Jeff Van Note two more worthy Falcons who deserve to be discussed as finalists.

  32. Rasputin
    August 4, 2016
    Reply

    Obviously the Packer fans are well organized online, with social media advertising and linking to this page so people can vote for Kramer. For example the heavily trafficked Facebook page “Jerry Kramer for Pro Football Hall of Fame”. One post reads:
    “From HOF Senior Committee Member and friend of the cause, Rick Gosselin:
    P.S. There is a poll there where you can vote for Jerry.” Followed by the link here. Another above reminds readers:
    “Talk of Fame Sports has another poll ongoing. This one asks who is the most deserving HOF senior candidate?
    http://www.talkoffamenetwork.com/deserving-hof-senior-cand…/
    TOF is run by Rick Gosselin, Ron Borges and Clark Judge. This is a great way to let the seniors committee know how all of us feel. Jerry is already off to a great start, but let’s keep voting!”
    So that’s what these results are about, if anyone is wondering. I’m sure the site runners here are happy for the clicks, but the poll doesn’t mean anything.

  33. Paul
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I have no problem with Kramer getting all the push to be elected and would support his selection. In fact perhaps it is time for the voters to move beyond this issue and the annual debates and campaign by fans and his family members and simply select Jerry Kramer as it is a safe and deserving selection and in the future would clear the slate and debate for others with his name off the list.

    • Rasputin
      August 5, 2016
      Reply

      Yeah, to be clear I definitely think Kramer’s one of the most deserving candidates. I just like to point out the online organized efforts underway that sometimes skew results whenever a poll like this is launched. If nothing else more information is better than less.

  34. Greg Rupnow
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64

  35. August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I will say this for you guys who choose who goes into the HOF… You’ve got your work cut out for you. There are many deserving candidates and yet they all can’t get in. As a fan, I’d like to apologize for all the people who say, “You’re stupid for this guy not being in” or “It really isn’t a Hall of Fame if so-and-so isn’t in.” Fact is, as you say, there are many deserving candidates and you do your best to make sure the most deserving make it (I simply think Easley is the most deserving). It’s not like guys like John Elway, Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, or Ronnie Lott still haven’t been inducted. It must be cool to be in these meetings, but it’s also a thankless job. Thanks for being interactive like this in the comments though. It makes fans feel like they have a “voice.” Much appreciated.

    • Rasputin
      August 5, 2016
      Reply

      Hey speak for yourself though. Some of those guys have well thought out arguments and may be right. You can’t lump everyone together. Not every critic is just some fan screaming, “So and So rockz and should be a Haaal of Faaaaammmer! Go (insert team here)! Whooooo!”

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      Bob, there are so many deserving candidates that each year when critics complain we ask, “Whom do you want us to take out?” That usually ends the conversation. There are 80 all-decade players who aren’t in, and, regrettably, many of them have been forgotten. Senior committee has impossible task, especially when they’re allowed only one candidate every other year.

      • Rasputin
        August 7, 2016
        Reply

        It wouldn’t end it with me, lol. I’d be happy to draw up a list of HoF selector mistakes if you want me to.

        • David Ralph
          August 7, 2016
          Reply

          This would be nice place to post the list since this post has received a lot of traffic.

  36. August 5, 2016
    Reply

    In six seasons in Tampa Bay, Dungy finished 12 games over .500 with QBs not named Manning. Flores finished 10 games over .500 in his 12-year coaching career. Dungy coached winners in two cities, whereas Flores was 14-34 in Seattle before getting fired. I agree that two Super Bowl wins is better than one and that Flores has an argument, as you’ve stated. But if that’s your main criteria, you could just as well argue that Dan Marino get removed from the Hall of Fame and replaced by Trent Dilfer.

  37. bachslunch
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    Scads of deserving Senior candidates, many of whom have been mentioned above. Good luck narrowing things down to one, and hopefully it’ll be a better choice than last year.

  38. August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I see your point Rick, if “winning percentage” is the only criteria. It obviously didn’t hurt Dungy that his quarterback (Peyton Manning) is the highest winning quarterback during the regular season, while coach Tom Flores won his two Super bowls with a quarterback many people had given up on. Flores, who won his first Super Bowl only two years after the expansion of the playoff system, the Raiders became the first team in the history of the NFL to win a Super Bowl as the wild card. And not only did they make history, but Oakland also had to win back-to-back-to-back road games just to make it to the Super Bowl.

    After coming into the season with high hopes, the Raiders took a major hit when starting quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg during the fifth week of the season. Without a quality backup, the Raiders’ season seemed to be all but lost. However, 33-year-old veteran Jim Plunkett, who was on the downside of an NFL career and almost quit the Raiders, was inspired and motivated by Tom Flores, and led the team to nine wins in 11 chances en route to a playoff berth and ultimately a Super Bowl championship. We’re talking quality over quantity, here!

    Yes, Dungy had a higher regular season winning percentage than Tom Flores (and Dungy’s high exposure as a commentator on television didn’t hurt); but, under the circumstances cited above, the bottom line is Flores’ two Super Bowl wins still trump Dungy’s sole victory. You say head coaches get paid to win? What, most games or most Super Bowls? What NFL owner would trade those two Super Bowl wins by coach Flores over Dungy’s most regular season wins?

    • Rick Gosselin
      August 7, 2016
      Reply

      Dungy had one losing season in his 13 as an NFL head coach — his first season with Tampa Bay. Flores had five losing seasons in his 12 years as an NFL head coach, including each of his last four seasons. Jimmy Johnson, George Seifert and Mike Shanahan also have won two Super Bowls apiece but do not have busts in Canton.

  39. Sam Goldenberg
    August 6, 2016
    Reply

    Rick: Thanks for presenting this poll. Obviously, there are many deserving candidates. However, Jerry Kramer is the most deserving. How the greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 years is not in the Hall of Fame is baffling? I disagree with Rasputin that Packer Fans are “organized” in their efforts to have Kramer selected. The word should be passionate. Kramer’s accomplishments are overwhelming. There are lot of Kramer supporters that not Packer fans or from Wisconsin (myself included). I hope this year’s Senior Committee sees all these polls and the many letters of support and articles supporting Jerry and considers them.

  40. Jim D
    August 7, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer – long overdue for the HOF. Without #64 the famous Green Bay power sweep would not be mentioned by broadcasters every Sunday. Look at the O-line already inducted – especially the guards – and his absence is even more glaring.

  41. August 7, 2016
    Reply

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse here. It is obvious that there is no TRUE criteria for selecting a football professional into the NFL Hall of Fame. The criteria is skewed and subjective and may also be political. I’ll take my leave and proffer the following case for Tom Flores by an old NFL veteran by the name of Gene Cronin:

    THE CASE FOR TOM FLORES TO ENTER THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

    Perhaps the most widely known coach in the history of the NFL is John Madden. The former leader of the Oakland Raiders established a virtually unsurpassed record of regular season success during his brief ten-year tenure. Madden won more than 76% of his games. His closest active pursuer, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, has managed only a .672 winning percentage. John Madden also coached the Raiders to an impressive, physical victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, 32-14. After leaving the sidelines, Madden carved out the most unique, imposing and meaningful niche in the history of sports broadcasting. And, if that was not sufficient, he also established the premiere video gaming series that has redefined how our society views, plays, and understands football. Simply, John Madden’s football legacy is incomparable. In 2006, John Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    2nd in Playoff Win Percentage Behind Vince Lombardi (10 games, min.)

    “Madden’s successor in Oakland and Los Angeles was the man pictured above, Tom Flores. Back in 1960, Flores shared passing duties with George Blanda and Babe Parilli, but he did most of the heavy lifting in the Raiders first season and over the next 6 seasons. The Raiders laid the foundation for one of the greatest offensive machines in league history. In the popular mind, the preeminent offensive teams were Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins of Dan Marino. However, Al Davis’ Raiders ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense every year but 1 from their inception in 1960 until 1984. No team in the league has enjoyed a similar run of offensive prowess…not even the San Francisco 49ers during the era of Walsh and Seifert.

    During this run, Tom Flores was the leading passer on the team for five of their first 7 seasons. And, he won two Super Bowls as head coach – one in Oakland and one in Los Angeles. (Tom Flores held the 50 year old record for most touchdowns in back-to-back games in 1963 until Ben Roethlisberger broke that record two years ago) and matched by New England’s Tom Brady in 2007. Not bad company, I would say).

    Time doesn’t permit a full exploration of all that Tom Flores achieved on the field and on the sidelines, but the recent nominations of Bill Cowher and Bill Parcells for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, suggest a few bullets may be in order.

    Flores and Plunkett Defeat the Eagles in Super Bowl XV

    Consider these facts:

    Tom Flores coached the Raiders for 9 seasons and won 2 Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won 1 Super Bowl.

    Tom Flores amassed an 83-53 record with the Raiders, and a winning percentage of .610. Bill Walsh’s career winning percentage is .609. Marty Schottenheimer, another nominee for induction to Canton, has a .613 winning percentage.

    Tom Flores ranks 2nd all-time in playoff win percentage (10 games minimum) behind Vince Lombardi. Bill Parcells has an 11-8 career playoff record. Bill Cowher has a 12-9 career playoff record. Marty Schottenheimer has a 5-13 playoff record. Tom Flores is 8-3.

    After the 4th Super Bowl title of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979-80, Tom Flores’ Raiders were the only AFC teams to win the Super Bowl until 1997. The NFC dominated the Super Bowl for two decades with powerhouse teams in larger markets like New York, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, and northern California.
    Tom Flores won 2 Super Bowls in 4 years, and in 1983 he handed Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs his only loss in a Super Bowl.

    Perhaps the thing that has kept Tom Flores out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame these many years, aside from a bias against Latino excellence and a league-wide contempt for the Raiders, is the fact that he coached in Seattle. The Great Northwest has been the equivalent of a Black Hole for talented football players. It’s where careers go to die. Flores coached the Seahawks for 3 years. His teams had a combined record of 14-34.

    Flores went from being a coach with a sterling 83-53 record to a rather pedestrian 97-87 (At .527, he’s tied with the recently fired Brad Childress…but he’s still ranked higher than Dick Vermeil). However, this should not undo the greatness that he achieved in Oakland and Los Angeles for the Silver & Black. Did a stint in Seattle keep Franco Harris from induction? Of course not. Did two 8-8 seasons in Seattle keep Warren Moon out of Canton? Of course not. The remoteness of Seattle and the irrelevance of many of their games may have shattered our collective memory of players like Cortez Kennedy, Kenny Easley and Curt Warner (with a C), but Flores should be teflon in this regard.

    Mike Holmgren is still regarded highly even though he’s only managed to win one Super Bowl and lost two. Holmgren has a 13-11 playoff record and, unlike Flores, he had prized QB’s at the helm in each of his playoff games. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells are still revered though neither has been able to ameliorate the morass or mend the mess that is the Miami Dolphins.

    And, Tom Flores’ quarterbacks in Seattle were Stan Gelbaugh and Rick Mirer!! That he managed to win as many as 14 games in 3 years with these passers qualifies as a minor miracle.

    Some other thoughts to consider on Tom Flores:

    In 1980, the Raiders won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card. Statistically, the Eagles were “better” than the Raiders on both sides of the ball, but Flores and his staff and team figured out a way to win that game.
    Since 1980, Eagles QB Ron Jaworski has become nationally known as a broadcaster and analyst for ESPN. Perhaps he could take up the mantle on behalf of Tom Flores. It’s long overdue.

    In 1983, the Raiders beat a team with one of the largest statistical advantages in league history entering a Super Bowl. The Redskins were defending champions and were perceived to be a juggernaut. Jack Squirek did to Joe Theismann what Rod Martin did to Ron Jaworsksi. And Marcus Allen did to the Redskins defense what Kenny King had done to the Eagles only three years prior.

    Since 1983, Redskins QB Joe Theismann has become nationally known as a broadcaster and analyst for ESPN and the NFL Network. Perhaps he could take up the mantle on behalf of Tom Flores. It’s long overdue.
    Tom Flores won two Super Bowls with an over-the-hill, washed up, washed out quarterback named Jim Plunkett. He beat long odds twice and still stands in the record book — right next to Vince Lombardi as the second-winningest coach in the post-season with an astounding .727 winning percentage.

    It’s time for Flores to make his speech and be heard…for perhaps the first time.”

    Written by
    Gene Edward Cronin (born November 20, 1933 in Spalding, Nebraska) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions, the Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of the Pacific.

  42. MArk Schneider
    August 8, 2016
    Reply

    JERRY KRAMER has been a victim of circumstances. #1 he only played for 1 team, so he only has one group pushing hardest. #2 he played on a team with 11 other Canton HoF and some have used that as an excuse for NOT inducting him. #3 Jerry retired too early-before Starr, Taylor, Hornung, Nitschke, Gregg, WOod, Davis, Adderley, Jordan, Robinson, etc and there was no way Jerry would get inducted in 1974 before all the other point scoring teammates. #4 As a 10 time unsuccessful finalist, others already thought Jerry was inducted or thought he was a shoe-in but missed vote by 1. #5 some complained Jerry could not pass block as well as others, Well, Bart Starr set record for most consecutive passes without int and that means Jerry did his job! Further, Jerry Kramer and Packers played ALL the TOP teams and ALL their Canton HoF’s. Dallas’ best, Vikings Purple People Eaters, Bednarik, Karras, Butkus, Fearsome Foursome, etc etc almost every week and nearly every play! #6 something in his best selling books has kept him out- this isn’t a popularity contest, its about Jerry’s on field performance and 5 NFL CHAMPIONSHIPS. #7 ITS NOW past time and Jerry is 80 years old! #8 PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD- Its JERRY KRAMER TIME!

  43. Sam Goldenberg
    August 8, 2016
    Reply

    Mark: I couldn’t agree more. I know there are many worthy candidates, but Jerry Kramer is a unique case. The greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 years has to be in the Hall of Fame. Correcting this oversight (or for whatever reason he has been denied) should be the Senior Committee’s first order of business. The man’s credentials are overwhelming and now at 80 years old let him enjoy this well deserved honor with his family.

  44. August 8, 2016
    Reply

    Jerry Kramer!! Like Ken Stabler, LONG overdue.

  45. George Jones
    January 12, 2017
    Reply

    John B. Sample (Johnny Sample) should be in the Pro Football HOF for not only his career stats; but also because of a distinction and record that he attained that can never be matched or broken: He is the only player in the history of American Professional Football to have Won a Championship in all Pro Football Championship eras. He won an NFL Championship, AFL Championship, and a Super Bowl III Championship with the NY Jets… His record should at least be mentioned in the HOF…

  46. mike
    March 7, 2017
    Reply

    Being curious about the opinion of experts, is Johnny Robinson hurt as much as it seems because of bias against the AFL? I know that plenty of AFLers have been enshrined, but it has always seemed to me that Robinson should have been one of the first from that group.

    • March 7, 2017
      Reply

      Think you’re getting warm, Mike, but Rick could address that more. Been on board longer. But you’re heading in the right direction.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.