(Photo courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
Talk of Fame Network
The Big Game and the Hall-of-Fame’s biggest day are both history, so this week the Talk of Fame Network’s Hall-of-Fame guys – Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge – tell you why things went the way they did both at Super Bowl 50 and inside the HOF election room.
All three are among the 46 Hall-of-Fame voters who met last Saturday to decide the fate of the 18 finalists, with Rick and Ron playing particularly significant roles. They made the cases for Dick Stanfel and Ken Stabler, the two senior committee nominees, and both made it through.
Stanfel was making a record third try to reach the Hall as a senior candidate, while Stabler was in his fourth and very likely final time as a finalist. The guys explain how they made their cases, what the landmines were and why they felt so strongly that both belonged in Canton.
Clark and Rick are also members of the contributor’s committee that successfully brought forward former San Francisco 49ers’ owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. for his fourth run at the Hall. This time he made it, and the guys discuss with Hall-of-Fame defensive back and former 49er Ronnie Lott why DeBartolo belongs.
Lott not only talks about how well DeBartolo treated his players and their families but also of his competitiveness. When he compares two owners he played for – DeBartolo and Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis, – it is a fascinating explanation of how two such different men could both end up in Canton. One, as Lott points out with respect, was a former coach. The other had to learn how to run a team as he went along. Ye they had one thing in common.
“They were so competitive,’’ Lott said. “They wanted to win.’’
And so they did.
The same was true of former Indianapolis Colts’ and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Tony Dungy, who found a place for himself in Canton in the same class with one of his greatest players, Colts’ wide receiver Marvin Harrison, on the eve of what was likely the final game for perhaps his greatest player, Denver’s Peyton Manning.
Dungy explains why one of the first people he thought of was the man he says made it all possible: His first boss in NFL coaching, Chuck Noll. Dungy played for Noll, got his NFL coaching start under him and was promoted to defensive coordinator by Noll at the age of 28, the youngest coordinator in the league.
Dungy also gives his view of what many believe was Manning’s last game and on Super Bowl 50, which was a defensive duel that made an old defensive coordinator smile.
The guys kick around the Super Bowl fallout from Cam Newton’s mini-Cam performance and discuss what his post-game tantrum means going forward as well. As usual, Clark gets the last word in on the ongoing debate over Terrell Owens’ Hall of Fame candidacy. He and Ron will never agree on him, and, apparently, neither did the voters. The three talk about the lengthy debate that went on over T.O.’s numbers: Both his receiving numbers and the numbers of teams that chose to fire him (five) at the height of his career.
Because there’s never an end to pro football, after a fittingly brief hat’s off to the Green Bay Press Gazette’s Pete Daugherty, whose case for first-ballot Hall of Famer Brett Favre lasted only six seconds, the guys launch into a first-strike analysis of the 2017 HOF Class. Who are the new names likely to be added to the mix? Who might be facing his last chance? Is there a slam dunk? Will T.O. slam-dunk voters if he fails to reach Canton again next year? And what do they make of the curious case of the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, Morten Andersen? Is there a place in the Hall for a place kicker?
And what of Kurt Warner, who has now twice failed to receive enough votes to reach the Hall? Will he get in next year, or will one of the guys once paid handsomely to sack quarterbacks like Warner, first-time eligible Jason Taylor, rush past him?
There’s all that plus Ron’s “Borges or Bogus’’ segment, which this week focuses on Cam Newton’s curious Hall-of-Fame week; the 2-minute drill, a debate over whether or not the Broncos’ defensive performance was the best in Super Bowl history and why Ron thinks Peyton Manning should be remembered as the Wilt Chamberlain of pro football.
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