(Steve Sabol photo courtesy of NFL Films)
(Bobby Beathard photo courtesy of San Diego Chargers)
Talk of Fame Network
Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue were chosen as the two contributor nominees this week for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
They were not the popular choices – at least not according to last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, which asked our readers and listeners to pick the most deserving contributor candidate. Jones and Tagliabue finished third and fourth in the voting behind former general manager Bobby Beathard and NFL Films’ mastermind Steve Sabol.
Beathard, who had a hand in seven Super Bowl teams, received 41.7 percent of the vote, followed by Sabol at 38.3 percent. Jones trailed with 11.3 percent of the vote, followed by Tagliabue at 6.1 percent and Bucko Kilroy at 2.6.
Beathard served as a scout for a Super Bowl team at Kansas City (1966), player personnel director for two more Super Bowl teams in Miami (1972-72) and finally general manager of Super Bowl teams at Washington (1982, 1983, 1987) and San Diego (1994). His teams won four Lombardi Trophies, two with the Dolphins and two with the Redskins.
Beathard drafted Hall-of-Famers Art Monk, Darrell Green, Russ Grimm at Washington and Junior Seau at San Diego. But his selection of quarterback Ryan Leaf with the second overall pick of the 1998 draft has haunted his candidacy.
Sabol’s father Ed founded NFL Films and has already been enshrined in Canton. Steve was the creative genius of the operation, and his work in the 1960s and 1970s was pivotal in the growth of the game.
Jones changed the financial dynamic of the NFL with his marketing, and Tagliabue presided over the NFL for 18 seasons as commissioner, ushering in 18 years of labor peace.