Welcome to Canton
Better late than never for some in the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class
***This article originally appeared in the February edition of Three Point Stance Magazine. To subscribe to the magazine visit https://3psmag.com/subscribe/
This years’ Hall of Fame class has no shortage of spectacular players and phenomenal NFL executives. From “The Bus” Jerome Bettis to the late great Junior Seau, as well as two brilliant minds of the game in Ron Wolf and Bill Polian. Joining these four great men are wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end Charles Haley, guard Will Shields and center Mick Tingelhoff. A real who’s who of newly inducted members. Where there’s inductees there will be snubs, some notables wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Orlando Pace and quarterback Kurt Warner just to name a few. These men will undoubtedly get the hall call sooner rather than later but there omission was curious and not taken well amongst the masses.
I personally couldn’t care less because to me it’s irrelevant if you’re a first ballot or a third ballot hall of famer. To make it in is a blessing in itself and these men should be grateful they’re even in the discussion for the hall of fame. Though if I had to choose the biggest snub for this years Hall of Fame class, I’d say Marvin Harrison just by putting up his numbers side by side with the lone wide receiver who made it. Harrison had 23 more touchdowns than Brown and made All-Pro first or second team eight times to Brown’s one measly one selection to the second team. While Pace had an extraordinary career it’s very difficult to make it in on the first try as an offensive lineman, and while personally Kurt Warner is my favorite player of all time I think his first year snub was justified.
Getting to the men who did make it, we start with Jerome Bettis who was a first round selection by the L.A. Rams in 1993 and won rookie of the year. After three seasons he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he spent the rest of his career, he amassed 13,662 yards, which is sixth on the all time rushing list and racked up 91 touchdowns which is ranked in the top ten in NFL history. He was a work horse too, nicknamed “The Bus” Bettis carried the rock 3,479 times which is fourth most in NFL history.
A true gentleman of the game “The Bus” ended his playing career by a Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit.
Tim Brown, one of the best players in Oakland Raiders history, spent sixteen seasons with the silver and black ended his career with the second most receiving yards in NFL history with 14,934 and totaled 100 TDs. Brown was a nine time pro bowler as well, this was Brown’s sixth time on the ballot.
Charles Haley who won five Super Bowls in eight seasons with Niners and Cowboys and was a five time pro bowler and is a member of the 100 sack club. This was Haley’s eleventh time on the ballot.
Mick Tingelhoff is probably the least known name among the bunch, was voted in via the senior committee. A six time pro bowl selection and five time first team All Pro with the Vikings.
Will Shields played 14 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, never missed a single game and started all but one. He made twelve pro bowls and made the first team and second team All Pro a combined seven times and also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 1992.
Junior Seau played 13 seasons with San Diego, New England and Miami. He was a first team All Pro eight times and won Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. Seau was also a twelve time pro bowler and the AFC Player of the Year in 1994. Unfortunately, Seau took his own life in May of 2012, doctors later discovered Seau suffered from a type of chronic brain damage called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Two non-players that were inducted were former General Managers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. Polian was GM for the Bills team who reached four straight Super Bowls, yet didn’t win any. Howver Polian eventually got his ring while running the Colts. Wolf’s most notable accomplishment was helping build a perennial powerhouse in Green Bay and helping them win Super Bowl 31.
All in all a solid list of inductees whom are all worthy of the hall. Congrats to all these men who made it this year. You’ve made an impact on and off the field and your accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed.