With the Pro Football Hall of Fame next week announcing the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, the Talk of Fame Network sat down this week with first-team all-decade safety and Hall-of-Fame semifinalist LeRoy Butler.
Difficult as it may be to fathom, Butler has never had his resume debated by the Hall-of-Fame selection committee more than a decade into his eligibility. Despite being a four-time All-Pro, the inventor of the Lambeau Leap and Hall-of-Fame eligible for 10 years, this is Butler’s first time as a semifinalist.
Asked what differentiates himself from other safeties Butler said “I covered people. I never wanted to be the safety who sat in the center of the field getting lots of picks. No! I wanted to get sacks and go after people.’’
That he did, retiring with 38 interceptions, 20.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and having achieved what he believes is the most important thing you can say about a defensive player.
“Did the offensive coordinator have to draw up plays to avoid the guy?’’ Butler asked. “That’s what I thought I brought to the game.’’
Talk of Fame co-host Rick Gosselin suggests Butler’s invention of the Lambeau Leap in and of itself may be Hall-of-Fame worthy. Butler isn’t sure about that, but he is sure it changed football in Green Bay.
“No one wanted to sit in the north and south end zones until I started that leap,” Butler recalled. “Now everyone wants to get in those end zones to get a chance to catch one of your favorite players … People talk about it becaue when that is happening the Packers are winning.”
LeRoy Butler is hoping he’ll be winning next week and if so winning himself a gold jacket next February when the final 15 are debated and voted on by the committee the day before Suepr Bowl LII.
The Talk of Fame Network also paid a visit to a guy who recently spent his time talking with and writing about a multitude of Los Angeles Rams who did get the Hall-of-Fame call. Author Jay Paris has written a new book, “Game of My Life Rams,’’ in which he visits with many of the greatest Rams in history, both in L.A. and St. Louis. With the Rams having returned both to L.A. and the playoffs this year. it seemed perfect timing to recall the Rams’ most glorious players. Who was the toughest of them all?
In Paris’ opinion it very likely was Hall-of-Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood, who played with a broken leg not only in the playoffs … but in the Pro Bowl, too.
“He said he didn’t want to give up the trip to Hawaii,’’ Paris said.
You can hear all that and more on SB Nation Radio Network, our free podcast at iTunes or the TuneIn app or by going to our website, talkoffamenetwork.com and clicking on the helmet icon.