Former general manager … and now Hall-of-Fame inductee … Bobby Beathard, as well as a raft of Hall-of-Fame voters, join this week’s Talk of Fame Network broadcast as we dissect just how the Hall decided this year’s class.
Beathard, the contributor nominee, is the fifth member of that category to be elected, and it’s about time. He had a hand in the building of three Super Bowl franchises, including the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers, where he was the general manager.
But it wasn’t easy. In fact, the Redskins lost their first five games in their first season under Joe Gibbs (1981), whom Beathard hired away from San Diego. It turned out to be the smartest move he ever made, with Gibbs becoming a Hall-of-Fame head coach.
“The only person we worried about,” said Beathard, looking back to that season, “was Mr. Cooke (Jack Kent Cooke), the owner. It was just something where we made so many changes.
“That was one of the changes that … I still have articles from the paper (where) they hated us … (those) were the old guys that George Allen had. And those guys were heroes to the fans in Washington, D.C. And for a guy like me to come in and start getting rid of the ‘Over the Hill Gang,’ they hated us.
“But my agreement with Joe when we hired Joe was that we can’t go with these guys because most of them can’t play anymore. We want a team that we build through the draft.”
And they did, with the Redskins winding up in two Super Bowls within Gibbs’ first three seasons — winning their first in the strike-truncated 1982 season.
Beathard is joined by an assortment of Hall-of-Fame voters, including Ira Miller, Kent Somers, John McClain and Matt Maiocco — as well as league historian John Turney of Pro Football Talk — as we break down the Hall’s Class of 2018. To hear it, just log on to the link above.