(Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Bengals)
Talk of Fame Network
Marvin Lewis will be entering his 13th season as Bengals’ head coach with one purpose in mind: To get his team and his quarterback the one thing that defines greatness in the NFL. That’s ownership of a Lombardi Trophy.
“To speak of a Hall-of-Fame player, you’ve got to win a championship,” Lewis told our Hall-of-Fame guys on this week’s show when asked what people would be saying about quarterback Andy Dalton in 15 years. “Dan Marino is one of the few who didn’t. We’re trying to turn over every rock we can. No one has more on the line than me, Mike Brown and Andy Dalton.”
The second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, Lewis lives in the present but is never far from the past. During a revealing interview, Lewis also talked openly about the long shadow of the Bengals’ founder, Paul Brown, which is never far away in Cincinnati.
“I hear once a week ‘My father…’ from Mike (Brown, Bengals’ owner and the Hall-of-Fame coach’s son),’’ Lewis said with a wry laugh. “I sit and talk with the liaison between Paul Brown and the team. A lot of what we do in the NFL today was started by Paul Brown.’’
Also paying a visit this week is former San Francisco 49ers’ president Carmen Policy, who is back in the NFL working to close a deal putting the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers into a shared new stadium in Carson, CA., outside Los Angeles.
Policy admits he’s working with two strange bedfellows, but insisted the long-time AFC West rivals have had a tight connection dating back to when then Raiders’ owner Al Davis helped bring Chargers’ owner Alex Spanos and his family into the NFL.
“For 25 years, at every league meeting, the Chargers sat next to the Raiders,’’ Policy recalled.
Now he’s trying to sit them together in a state of the art stadium in a race with St. Louis Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke for approval to move into the long-vacant L.A. market. Although it has been over 20 years since the NFL last had a franchise in L.A., Policy said he believes a vote to accept one of the dueling stadium proposals will be taken among NFL owners before this year’s 50th anniversary Super Bowl, which coincidentally will be held at the 49ers’ new venue, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
He’s hopeful Carson will be the choice, even though he admits it would require either the Chargers or Raiders leave the AFC West and a revamping of the two conference’s present alignments.
“My belief is the NFL will look at Carson as the best site,’’ Policy said. “Whatever the NFL says we have to do, we’re going to do.’’
Policy jokingly admits that’s a phrase he doubts would have ever come out of the renegade Raider owner’s mouth when Al Davis was alive.
With Dr. Data, Rick Gosselin, on vacation in Boston, Clark Judge and Ron Borges play one-man short this week, but that didn’t slow them down. They debate the continued turnover of the 49ers’ roster, which has decimated their team this offseason, and the apparent growing trend of NFL players in their prime retiring early because of fears about their long-term health if they continue playing football.
Ron’s weekly “Borges or Bogus’’ segment deals with the NFL’s decision to block players from paid appearances at Las Vegas casinos, a decision that has Dallas quarterback Tony Romo livid and the NFLPA investigating a possible legal challenge.
Ron also presents the Hall-of-Fame case for someone considered by many to have been the Jackie Robinson of NFL football: long forgotten former Rams’ running back Paul “Tank’’ Younger.
Clark fires the two-minute drill questions at Ron and guests Darin Gantt and Nick Canepa, both Hall-of-Fame voters from Carolina and San Diego, and sets the stage for TOF’s first “Tonys,’’ the boys’ selections of NFL history’s best plays, music, comedy and choreography, not to mention Clark finding a way to get a mention of the Raiderettes in there somewhere.
That, and much more, on this week’s Talk of Fame Network show can be heard on your local Yahoo! Radio affiliate. If you miss it there, you can also find our podcast on iTunes or by going to Talkoffamenetwork.com and just clicking the icon.