(Courtesy of San Diego Chargers)
Talk of Fame Network
There are seven first-time eligible candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 and linebacker Junior Seau stands the best chance of first-ballot election.
So say the voters in the Talk of Fame Network’s latest poll, who selected Seau by an overwhelming margin as the most worthy first-timer among the 26 modern-era semifinalists. Seau received 48 percent of the vote, followed by quarterback Kurt Warner at 26 percent, offensive tackle Orlando Pace at 24 percent and running back Edgerrin James at two percent.
Other first-timers among the semifinalists but not among the voting options were cornerback Ty Law and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.
Talk of Fame Network co-host Clark Judge agreed with the voters in the selection of Seau.
“The guy made a zillion tackles and a million Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams,” Judge said, “and he made everyone around him better. Plus, he was part of the only San Diego team that ever went to a Super Bowl. First-ballot Hall of Famers should be extraordinary, and Junior was.”
Seau played for 20 seasons and made a staggering 1,914 tackles. He went to 12 Pro Bowls and was a team MVP of the San Diego Chargers a franchise-record six times.
Co-host Ron Borges went in another direction with his vote, singling out Pace as the top newcomer on the ballot. Pace went to seven Pro Bowls at left tackle and started in two Super Bowls with the St. Louis Rams.
“Orlando Pace has the best qualifications and the best credentials, which doesn’t mean he’ll be first ballot,” Borges said, “but one of these guys will. I’d bet on Seau but Pace is the one most deserving.”
Co-host Rick Gosselin went in still another direction, casting his ballot Warner. He took two franchises to a combined three Super Bowls and was a two-time NFL MVP.
“The Hall of Fame is all about special achievements by special players,” Gosselin said. “Warner did the impossible — and did it twice. The Rams were the worst team in the NFL from 1990-98. Warner inherited a 4-12 team in 1999 and immediately took them Rams to 13 wins and a Super Bowl.
“The Cardinals were the worst team in the NFL for the previous half century. The Cardinals hadn’t won a championship since 1947 and were on their third city. Arizona strung together eight consecutive losing seasons and Warner inherited a 5-11 team when the Cardinals plugged him in as a starter in 2007. Arizona finished 8-8 in his first season and went to the Super Bowl in his second.
“Kurt Warner was special — and special belongs in the Hall of Fame.”