Handicapping HOF’s likely 2018 Senior, Contributor nominees


The Talk of Fame Network delves deeply this week into the upcoming Hall-of-Fame nominations of the 2018 senior committee and contributor committee, votes that will be taken next week. With TOF hosts Rick Gosselin, Clark Judge and Ron Borges serving on those committees, our listeners get an earful of insider information.

The Talk of Fame Network guys handicap both races, covering not only the favorites but also predicting their own dark horse candidates for this year’s two senior slots, as well as the sole contributor nominee.

In our recent TOF poll, Jerry Kramer came out as the runaway candidate for senior nominee, but our insiders will tell you why they believe it unlikely that he emerges from the senior pool a second time.

Does controversial former commissioner Paul Tagliabue have a chance to come back for a third vote as a finalist? Don’t count on it.

So who will it be? Tune in to get the inside story.

The guys also visit with Hall-of-Fame nose tackle Curley Culp, who many consider the best ever at that most taxing position. Culp explains why life on the nose was far more challenging than playing defensive tackle in the standard 4-3 defense he began his career with in Kansas City.

Culp also offers his opinion on the Hall-of-Fame credentials of two of his former teammates, Chiefs’ safety Johnny Robinson and Oilers’ linebacker Robert Brazile.

Historian John Tunney of Pro Football Journal visits to give us his Hall-of-Fame favorites for 2018 and the executive director of the Hall, Joe Horrigan, explains how the Hall tries to control the lengthy of its inductees’ speeches and why it has so little luck keeping them to their 12-15 minute guidelines.

Horrigan also reveals the potential for a special expanded class of inductees when the league’s 100th anniversary rolls around in three years and the likelihood of that actually happening.

To hear it all tune into SB Nation Radio Wednesday nights from 8-10 p.m. or catch the weekend replay on its 75 stations around the country. You can also hear the show by downloading our free podcast on Itunes or the TuneIn app or simply by going to our website, talkoffamenetwork.com.

Previous Who is the best tight end of this generation?
Next More seniors in Hall for NFL's 100th year? It could happen

23 Comments

  1. Scott Dochterman
    August 18, 2017
    Reply

    In the Talk of Fame Network’s era, more than a handful of times I’ve heard one or all of you guys say Jerry Kramer is the most egregious omission in the Hall. He’s the only member of the first all-time team not enshrined, etc. There’s no doubt that every year when he’s not chosen, it causes fans to denounce the process. Your own poll showed he’s overwhelmingly the one people want.

    I know Kramer was rejected several times by past committees, but his case hasn’t been presented since 1997. Dick Stanfel was trotted out before the senior committee three times for crying out loud, including twice in a 5-year period. Stanfel played the same position as Kramer, but he’s not on the all-time team. Kramer is. In fact, both Bob Hayes (2004, 2009) and Claude Humphrey (2009, 2014) were brought out twice before the senior committee in the time since Kramer’s last discussion.

    There are so many deserving candidates in the queue, of course, and the process is difficult. I can think of 50 players easily worthy of inclusion. But every year when Kramer is not chosen, fan reaction turns negative towards your committee and unfortunately toward the candidate or two. Why face such criticism year after year when fans will rejoice this one popular move? The symmetry would be perfect, 50 years since Kramer’s block in the Ice Bowl sprung Lombardi’s Packers into immortality. Good grief, that gives every sportswriter a lede covering his nomination.

    Don’t turn this into the Ron Santo story, who was elected for the baseball hall less than 2 years after his death. Make football fans smile. Allow them it mutter or tweet “it’s about time” and feel like their voice matters because you all know it doesn’t with the NFL itself. After all, you’re dealing with football heaven here, not the real one.

    • August 20, 2017
      Reply

      Find me a photo of Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung or Vince Lombardi that doesn’t have Jerry Kramer leading the way?… Just because he co-authored Instant Replay… Or beacuse “there are already a lot of Packers in the HOF” doesn’t excuse not giving Jerry Kramer the respect (and honor) he deserves… In one of the NFL’s most historic games – the “Ice Bowl” – whom did Bart Starr follow for that game winning QB sneak?… Let’s do the “right thing” and induct Jerry!

  2. August 18, 2017
    Reply

    I’d like to be interviewed on-air to discuss my idea of a Hall of Fame trade: Eradicate double murderer O.J. Simpson from PFHOF and replace him with O.J. Anderson who is backed by nine Super Bowl trophies and Larry Holmes’s Heavyweight Championship of the World!

    • David O'Brien
      August 18, 2017
      Reply

      Ottis Anderson is backed by NINE Super Bowl trophies? Which nine? And what the hell does Larry Holmes have to do with football?

      Once again, Eugene, let it go! What Simpson did outside of the game has nothing to do with his contribution to the sport. O.J. Simpson is in the Hall of Fame forever. Deal with it.

      • August 18, 2017
        Reply

        Hi David: The PFHOF is in receipt of glowing endorsement letters from Bill Belichick (5 SB titles), Bill Parcells (2 SB titles) and Tom Coughlin (2 SB titles), which, if my math is correct, equals NINE Super Bowl titles. I give you some credit on challenging Larry Holmes, but it is extremely rare that any football player ever got a cross sports endorsement from what Burgess Meredith said in Rocky II, is “the most coveted title in the world”. That said, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame eradicated Dennis Hastert, former House Speaker over allegations of child molestation. As horrifically bad as that is, how does the PFHOF turn a blind eye to a double murderer?? How morally bankrupt is this institution–and you for defending to keep the status quo in keeping to honor a double murderer–that you actually want him still in there?? I say given the historical endorsement of OJ Anderson’s nine Super Bowl trophies that it’s in the PFHOF’s best interest to “change its brand of OJ” for an unprecedented HOF trade. Call me crazy, but as a decent human being who is anti murder, that’s what I believe in. Now having stated my case, does anyone from the morally bankrupt pro murder faction of the PFHOF want to step up and defend the despicable murderer, who not used the race card, but rubbed law enforcement’s nose in it by demanding they go out and “find the real killer(s)”.

        • bachslunch
          August 19, 2017
          Reply

          Except that the HoF does not have a character clause and is explicit about this. Retroactive or otherwise. In fact, I’ll bet Ray Lewis, who pled guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with a murder, will be elected first ballot next time around.

          Not going to happen, Eugene, nor should it.

          • August 19, 2017

            And no one finds that disgraceful?? On the PFHOF own website it lists “Integrity” as one of the values it promotes. Given the severity of Simpson’s crime(s) coupled with his pathological lying, this double murderer is such a black mark that I find it shocking that people are actually bending over backwards to not eradicate him, but keep him in!! What I’m proposing is a once-in-a-millennium trade, an idea that the football community should be pumped over! Who wants to pay money in a HOF to see this vile scoundrel being honored? How does an institution that promotes integrity as its value not ferociously work to rid itself of this black mark?

          • David O'Brien
            August 19, 2017

            Hey, Eugene. You’d better stop saying “black mark.” That numbskull Rasputin might idiotically start calling you a racist. LOL. Yes, Rasputin, I wrote “LOL.”

          • bachslunch
            August 19, 2017

            It’s their HoF and they can make the election rules whatever they want. Feel free to complain to them if you’d like them to reconsider.

            Personally, I think having someone like Simpson remain in the HoF provides a useful cautionary example — that what you do in life has consequences, and that shadow will follow him for as long as his election honor. He was once one of the country’s most admired personalities and his reputation is now in the dumper. Same’s true for racists in the BBHoF like Cap Anson. They did bad things and it will follow them forever. Fine with me — they deserve it.

          • August 19, 2017

            Wouldn’t a better cautionary tale to serve as an example be to actually eradicate him–because then there actually would be consequences!! In my book, the capital crime of murder cannot be overlooked! And I consider it a moral outrage that the PFHOF has turned a blind eye to this. And believe me, I will get very LOUD over this!

    • Sam Goldenberg
      August 21, 2017
      Reply

      Totally agree with Scott. The knock on Kramer is that he was a finalist so many times in the 1970’s and didn’t make the cut back then. However, it is well known Kramer wrote a best selling book back in 1968, and that alot of sportswriters held that against Kramer. Let’s face it, no book Kramer is voted a Hall of Famer in the 1970’s. The man was voted the greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 years. He should have been judged by what he did on the football field. It is unfortunate the Senior pool is so deep, and many have great credentials. I just hope the Kramer omission is corrected because a slam dunk Hall of Famer has been overlooked.

      • David O'Brien
        August 21, 2017
        Reply

        What did Kramer write in the book that was so unpopular that it has ridiculously kept him out of the Hall all this years?

        • August 21, 2017
          Reply

          Nothing that I can think of. It’s a lame excuse for keeping him out.

  3. Rob
    August 18, 2017
    Reply

    I can’t find you guys discussing the contributor finalists in the podcast above. Correct me if I’m wrong

  4. Mickey DuVall
    August 19, 2017
    Reply

    Eddie Meador should be the senior nominee for the Hall of Fame. In a pass happy era, Meador (retired after 1970), still is the Rams all time interception leader with 46 picks. He holds the team record for most fumble recoveries with 18 and the most blocked kicks in team history with 10. He was the defensive back of the year 7 times and was on the All Decade team of the NFL for the 60s. It’s a shame it has taken so long. But it’s time to put Meador where he belongs….in Canton, OH.

  5. Rasputin
    August 19, 2017
    Reply

    Borges is bogus. Employers certainly have that “liberty” Ron had to look up in a dictionary to hire or not hire people and to impose conditions of employment, and fans certainly have the liberty to tune out if they choose. Multiple surveys have shown that the anti-American displays were the #1 reason for last year’s ratings drop. I only kept watching because all the Dallas players stood, making me proud to be a Cowboys fan. That show of patriotic solidarity may have been partly motivated by the Black Lives Matter guy murdering 5 cops in Dallas last year. Some things are more important than football.

    Kaepernick’s problem isn’t just the anthem stuff or him sucking as a QB (which he does), but other stupid stunts he’s pulled like ignorantly praising communist dictator Fidel Castro and wearing a Castro shirt right before playing at Miami of all places. The resounding boos he received there likely sealed his fate more than anything. If he doesn’t get signed he can go espouse the glories of Marxism all he wants while flipping burgers somewhere. It’s honest work. Or he’s free to emigrate to Cuba, that socialist island paradise. Or North Korea. That’s apparently a popular regime among recently visible members of the alt left.

    If others keep sitting for the anthem or throwing up racially bigoted salutes the NFL will have to impose requirements ending that crap at some point as other sports leagues and teams have. It’s terrible for their branding.

    I doubt Ron has much problem with the other countless behavioral rules the NFL imposes on its employees. I don’t recall him writing an article complaining about Miami’s Don Jones being fined, suspended, and sent to Orwellian reeducation “counseling” for a post made on his own social media account on his personal time (“liberty”?). Something as basic and uncontroversial to most Americans as mandating the basic decorum to show respect during the country’s anthem is far more obvious and justified. It’s mind boggling that they haven’t already done it.

    • David O'Brien
      August 19, 2017
      Reply

      Were these “multiple surveys” conducted by Karl Rove or someone like that? The same Karl Rove who declared defeat for Obama vs. McCain AND Romney? Or the same people who said Jeb Bush and then Hillary would win in a landslide over Trump? LOL.

      The popularity of the NFL will prevail. The protests are simply an added attraction–yes, attraction– to the sport. Get on board with Chris Long. The league, the country, and the world is changing. We’ve come a long (Long?) way, are you coming with us?

    • David O'Brien
      August 19, 2017
      Reply

      You’re not “bogus,” Ron. At least you use your real name and weren’t ignorant enough to get deleted–like Rasputin. LOL!!!

  6. Robert Ewing
    August 19, 2017
    Reply

    i hope one of them is robert brazile dr doom

  7. […] m. Jerry Kramer for one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors committee nominees this year? The pros at Talk of Fame Network say it’s complicated. […]

  8. […] m. Jerry Kramer for one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors committee nominees this year? The pros at Talk of Fame Network say it’s complicated. […]

  9. […] m. Jerry Kramer for one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors committee nominees this year? The pros at Talk of Fame Network say it’s complicated. […]

  10. […] m. Jerry Kramer for one of a Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors cabinet nominees this year? The pros during Talk of Fame Network say it’s complicated. […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.