The parade of Hall-of-Fame semifinalists continued to march through the Talk of Fame Network this week with first-time eligible Richard Seymour and returning finalist Tony Boselli dropping by to discuss their candidacies.
For Boselli, the long wait last year on Super Bowl Saturday didn’t end with his election. But he did get the knock on his hotel room door that usually signifies selection.
“It was not a big deal to me until the last three hours (before the final vote was announced the day before the Super Bowl),’’ Boselli recalled. “I went back and sat in my hotel room by myself. It was nerve wracking. It was a long 2 ½ hours.
“I knew (that) if you got in, they knocked on your door. If you didn’t make it, you got a phone call. My kids kept calling. I told them to stop calling me. I got a knock on the door. It was the maid! Golly. It was crazy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t obsessing over it the last few hours.’’
In the end, the former Jacksonville Jaguars’ All-Pro tackle made it to the final 10 but not to the last cut to five. Many figure that means this will be Boselli’s year. He’s not so sure.
“I don’t think I ever assume anything with the process because there’s so many great players out there,’’ Boselli said.
To make his point he suggested one look at the five offensive linemen who join him in the semifinals for the Class of 2018.
“That would be a pretty damn good starting offensive line,’’ Boselli said of Kevin Mawae, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, Joe Jacoby and himself. “We’d go play anybody on any Sunday and see where we end up.’’
Where Richard Seymour hopes to end up one day is Canton, but having made the semifinals in his first-year of eligibility is, he says, gratifying.
“Just to be mentioned with these guys is truly an honor,’’ the three-time Super Bowl and seven-time Pro Bowl selection said.
Seymour’s is an interesting candidacy because for most of his career he was a two-gap defensive tackle, a position not prone to statistics because the job is to sacrifice yourself for the linebackers behind you. Seymour did that. But he also did enough to be a 2000s’ first-team all-decade selection. That in itself would seem to earmark him one day for the Hall because since the 1950s there are only three first-team defensive linemen not in the Hall.
One is Seymour and another is Dwight Freeney, who is still active and thus not eligible. The third is unlucky Alex Karras, seemingly snubbed because he was suspended for a year (along with Paul Horning) by then-commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on his own team. Seymour did none of that, but he believes he did enough to one day join all those other first-team all-decade players in Canton.
When he gets there he’s sure of one thing. When they ask him about his three Super Bowl victories he knows the one he’ll remember most.
“The most physical Super Bowl was against the Carolina Panthers,’’ Seymour recalled. “That was the most physical game I ever played in. I could barely walk back to the hotel. It was brutal. A 15-round battle.’’
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