At last, Centennial Team offers a Hall pass for snubbed greats (2024)

Sez Me …

When I think of Blue Ribbon — at least when I used to — it included Pabst.

But in this case, it involves a panel of Pro Football Hall of Fame “experts” who sifted through 300 candidates and Thursday came up with 38 finalists of senior players, coaches and contributors previously snubbed for the Hall’s unique Centennial Team.

In January the same Blue Ribboners will meet again and come up with 15 enshrinees — 10 players, two coaches and three contributors. This will have nothing to do with the regular Hall voting, which takes place the day prior to the Super Bowl.

But it’s a good final list, and here’s hoping it’s done right (my guess is this group will do a better job of it, with less partiality, than the February one).

The list of coaches: Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves and Dick Vermeil.

Contributors: Bud Adams, Ralph Hay, Bucko Kilroy, Art McNally, Art Modell, Clint Murchison, Steve Sabol, Seymour Siwoff, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.

Senior Players: Cliff Branch, Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Roger Craig, Bobby Dillon, LaVern Dilweg, Ox Emerson, Randy Gradishar, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Cecil Isbell, Alex Karras, Verne Lewellen, Tommy Nobis, Drew Pearson, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie, Ed Sprinkle and Al Wistert.

Here, at least, the coaches, who normally should be considered contributors, aren’t mixed with the players. I wish there were three coaches, and no contributors, but at least two get in for sure.

Coryell has been a finalist, and this should be his best — and perhaps his last — chance. He belongs.

I have a tough time separating Jimmy Johnson and Tom Flores — who each won two Super Bowls — but I’ll go with Jimmy, in that he not only won two, but in personally building the deepest rosters of all time in Dallas, those were his Cowboys winning a third.

I don’t think the others have a chance.

I’m sure the NFL, which supposedly has no influence on the Hall (right), pushed for three contributors so Tagliabue can get in. Here’s hoping he misses out again. I would vote for Sabol, the true genius behind NFL Films, but his dad, founder Ed, already is in, so Steve — one of the great people I’ve met — is a long shot.

This may be Young’s time, plus he has New York on his side. Murchison was the powerful original Cowboys owner. I can’t believe he hasn’t made it. Same with Hay, basically THE founding father.

Players? I’d vote for Branch, Nobis, Craig, Karras, Gradishar, Covert, Pearson, Speedie, Carmichael and Harris.

Branch, the brilliant Raiders receiver, is the best player not in the Hall. Back when, I couldn’t talk to a cornerback who didn’t think he was the best receiver.

But there are several players, coaches and contributors who would have no chance making it under normal circ*mstances.

So it’s (mostly) a good thing. And it’s about time. …

Speaking of Halls, another snub. Again, Steve Fisher isn’t nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Pathetic. …

Pro Bowl snub: Casey Hayward. A fine fragrance victimized by the Judases’ overwhelming odor. …

Derek Watt (another Pro Bowl snub?) is tied for the NFL lead with 15 special teams tackles. Hank Bauer had 52 (38 unassisted) in 1981, a record. …

If someone throws Duck Hodges at you as your quarterback of the future, know what to do? Right. Duck. …

Khalil Mack has 71/2 sacks. Great players make plays. …

Aaron Donald, having an off year, has 11, still a lot for a DT. …

Darren Sproles retires. Great memories. …

Stink O’ The Week Sezment: Kick returners. I fear they’ve become obsolete. …

Aztecs save best performance for an unpopulated bowl game. …

I put little stock in recruiting classes. As with NFL drafts, they’re mysteries. But USC’s class ranking 12th in the Pac-12 is astonishing. One of the great football schools in history can’t even recruit itself anymore. …

The key to recruiting these days is who transfers in. …

College football ratings up across the dial. People never, ever, will stop gambling, doomsayers. …

Unlike Bill Walton, if the doctor tells me I have a minute to live, I’m not “spending it at a basketball game.” I’m spending it at a plate of pasta. …

No one is telling me a center (The Greek Freak) is more complete than a healthy Walton. Deaf ears. …

I feel for Josh Gordon. Most of us cannot understand his demons. …

Mercurial Jameis Winston is the most maddening QB of my lifetime. Terrific/awful just like that. …

Charlotte, not World Soccer Bastion San Diego, gets the 30th MLS team. For $300 million, I’d rather have the Loyal. …

Mark Emmert says public confidence in the NCAA is “better than journalism.” I’m confident Mark Emmert is a fool. …

I guess it’s bad journalism when people say something, admit they said something, then later deny they said something, and we print the truth. Most people don’t know journalism any more than nuclear

fission. …

Archangels assigned to double team Lance Alworth under today’s rules would be defrocked. …

Short stack of corrections from last week: Brady-Belichick have been to nine Super Bowls, not eight, and they went 19-0 in 2007, not ’09. Errors regretted, Pats fan. A lousy stocking stuffer. …

Know what Bucks beating Lakers means? Count backward from one. …

Multiple water main breaks. But if the Ham & Eggers spend millions putting in forsaken bike lanes over them, the leaks will be healed. …

We complain about athletes making all this money and then I see Mariah Carey has made $60 million off “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” …

Saw documentary “Hitsville: The Making of Motown,” Jennifer Hudson singing Aretha’s “Respect,” and ageless Darlene Love’s “Christmas.” …

All I want for Christmas are songs like that. Sigh. Merry.

At last, Centennial Team offers a Hall pass for snubbed greats (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Moshe Kshlerin

Last Updated:

Views: 6623

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Moshe Kshlerin

Birthday: 1994-01-25

Address: Suite 609 315 Lupita Unions, Ronnieburgh, MI 62697

Phone: +2424755286529

Job: District Education Designer

Hobby: Yoga, Gunsmithing, Singing, 3D printing, Nordic skating, Soapmaking, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Moshe Kshlerin, I am a gleaming, attractive, outstanding, pleasant, delightful, outstanding, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.