(Photos courtesy of the San Diego Chargers)
Talk of Fame Network
The Pro Football Hall of Fame amended its by-laws last year to allow members of the Hall – particularly members who work in the media – to participate in future voting as at-large selectors. And, as a first step, it had Hall-of-Famers James Lofton and Dan Fouts sit in as observers at this month’s selection meeting.
We caught up with both on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, and they seemed genuinely impressed with what they witnessed. Now Fouts, who works as a CBS broadcaster, hopes he has the chance to do more than act as an observer.
He wants to actively participate.
“It was eye opening and just a thrill to be there,” he said of his experience. “Because in talking to the Hall of Famers over the years the question comes up: ‘Why don’t we have a vote? Why don’t we have representation?’
“I talked to (Hall of Fame president) David Baker about that a couple of years ago when he first took over the job. And I suggested to him that there are a number of Hall of Famers that are also in the media that cover the NFL and have covered it for years … and cover more than just one team. So (they) have a different perspective than maybe some members of the media, but also now have the ability to maybe represent some of the members of the Hall and get their take on who is worthy.
“Because, after all, if this is our Hall, we should have some say. So I hope to get that chance to represent the Hall-of-Fame members.”
After sitting through nearly nine hours of debate and testimony, Fouts understands what’s involved and what is required – and, he said, he welcomes the chance to do both if he is chosen for future meetings.
“The most impressive thing was the research and the passion with which each guy made his case,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of work that goes into it all year round, and it was evident that everybody in that room had done their homework and was prepared to state their case with facts, with opinion and by polling different types of people.
“I came away feeling that if I do get this great opportunity that I’ve got a lot of work to do. But I’d also be happy to do because it interests me a great deal. And, as I said, I want to be able to represent the members of the Hall.”