TOFN podcast: Hall-of-Fame round table — Voters handicap Class of 2019

Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens

Editor’s Note: To access audio, please click on the following iTunes link … then go to “No. 2. Jeff Legwold: Class of 2019:”

No sooner had the Pro Football Hall of Fame chosen its Class of 2018 then speculation centered on who’s next — specifically, predicting the five modern-era choices for 2019.

Predictably, the conversation centered on three guys in their first years of eligibility — safety Ed Reed, tight end Tony Gonzalez and cornerback Champ Bailey — with some persons on the Hall-of-Fame board of selectors privately touting them as “first-ballot” choices.

If that’s true, then it means only two seats would be left for anyone else deemed Hall-of-Fame worthy, and that’s not only a concern; it’s a subject we dissected on our latest podcast with Hall-of-Fame voter Jeff Legwold of as our panel looked to the Class of 2019.

“I believe if we get so wrapped up in ‘first-ballot Hall of Famers’ a lot more classes are going to look like this year’s,” Legwold said. “If we keep thinking people have to be ‘first-ballot Hall of Famers,’ I just think you’re going to get a lot more classes that look like that. And the players who either got stuck in position battles or clusters of championship-team players — got behind those people — they’re not going to get in.

“I know Joe Montana did more in terms of championships in his career, but I don’t believe Joe Montana is more of a Hall of Famer than somebody like Floyd Little or Rayfield Wright. I just don’t. Once you get the gold jacket, you’re a Hall of Famer.”

This year’s class was the youngest in anyone’s memory. The five inductees had a total of eight years of eligibility … which is another way of saying they left 92 combined years on the table. People tell us that’s OK because the five we elected were marquee names who deserved to be in. OK, fine. But tell that to guys like Alan Faneca or Kevin Mawae — both first-team all-decade choices who were passed over.


The Hall has inducted five first-ballot choices the last two years, which means everyone else competed for only five seats. In all likelihood, that trend continues in 2019, and we ask: Is that fair? And what does it mean for someone like a Tony Boselli, who will be in his 13th year of eligibility? To find out, listen in here:

Click on the following iTunes link, then go to “No. 2: Jeff Legwold: Class of 2019:”


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1 Comment

  1. Bob
    February 27, 2018

    Kansas City Chiefs All Pro Safety Johnny Robinson for the 2019 Senior Candidate. Now that Kramer made it Johnny Robinson is the only player on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Team of the Decade 1960s not inducted. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s AFL All-Time Team and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s First All Pro Team. He was 7x All AFL / AllPro, 7x Pro Bowls, 3x AFL Championships, 8x Division Championships, and played in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV. He was a member of Super Bowl IV Championship team having played that entire game with three broken ribs he sustained from the AFL Championship game the week before against the Oakland Raiders. He made a fumble recovery and an interception to stop any chance of a Vikings’ comeback. He retired as the interception leader of all active players and the all-time interception leader of the Chiefs with 57. He was five times the interception leader of the Chiefs. Two time Interception Leader of the AFL /NFL. Only player to ever lead two leagues in interceptions. He had 17 career touchdowns. One of only twenty original players to have played the entire existence of the AFL and two years beyond. He was the NFL Interception Leader for 1970 the first year of the merger proving his talent. All-Time Super Bowl Team Nominee and a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, Chiefs All-Time Team, LSU Sports Hall of Fame, LSU Team of the Century, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. LSU National Championship Team and All-SEC First Team. He is credited as redefining the role of safety in modern professional football. Pro Football Hall of Fame members and All-Time Team members like Lance Alworth, Don Maynard, Bobby Bell, Clem Daniels and Coaches Tom Flores and Hank Stram stated that Johnny Robinson was the best safety and should have been in the Hall of Fame many years ago. HIs contemporaries thought he was the best. He played from 1960-1972. Let’s please induct this great player and complete the greatest Pro Football Hall of Fame Team of the Decade ever named. These were legends of the game.

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