(Dan Reeves photo courtesy of Denver Broncos)
Talk of Fame Network
In this year’s final “Best of Talk of Fame Network’’ show, three coaches and three players with Hall-of-Fame credentials are joined by an enshrinee who made history as both a player and coach — with all discussing the difficult road to Canton.
Art Shell was a Hall-of-Fame left tackle who went on to become the first African-American head coach in 65 years when he took over the Oakland Raiders in 1989. Shell discusses the pressures that came with becoming the league’s first black head coach in the modern era and explains why he feels another of our guests, Tom Flores, deserves to join him in the Hall.
Flores was a two-time Super Bowl winning head coach with the Raiders and left the game as one of only two men in NFL history to win Super Bowl rings as a player, assistant coach and head coach, joining Mike Ditka. He also holds a historic position as the first Hispanic head coach in NFL history.
Joining Shell and Flores are ex-Bears’ and Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith, who became the third head coach to be fired in Tampa in five years despite a four-game improvement in the win column last season. Lovie quickly landed on his feet at the University of Illinois but is still wondering what happened in Tampa.
George Seifert is a two-time Super Bowl winning head coach, and Dan Reeves ranks eighth all-time in coaching wins. But both seem to be coaches that time forgot. Reeves and Seifert discuss life after football and as well as lives of accomplishment lived in the shadows of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This show is not all about coaches, however. The Talk of Fame Network guys, co-hosts Rick Gosselin, Clark Judge and Ron Borges, also visit with three all-decade players with strong Hall-of-Fame resumes: ex-Broncos’ linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, former Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Drew Pearson and the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, Morten Anderson.
Each makes a strong case for himself as Hall-of-Fame worthy and tries to explain why the honor has eluded him. After you hear their stories you may wonder why they’re on the outside looking in.
This is the last of our “Best of Talk of Fame Network’’ series. The guys return from their summer hiatus next week to recall how tough training camps were with veterans of the days when teams played six exhibition games and trained twice a day, six days a week, for two months before the season. There will be that and much more as training camps reopen, and the Talk of Fame Network returns for another season.