Thursday, August 23, 2007

That Bastard Injustice!

To quote from (not that I ever want to, really):

"Emmitt Thomas, who had 58 interceptions for Kansas City, and Marshall Goldberg, a standout two-way player for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1940s, were picked Thursday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot."

OK. Thomas retired at the dawn of my football consciousness, in '79, still, I'd heard tell from smart folks who'd know that he was a good player. Goldberg, who knows? He could have been the team bookie. He could have been the guy who knew where to find plump and willing local gals on the road. He could have been an alien form of vegetable matter that mixed with your mind and made you think it was a doughy guy wearing a leather helmet and running bowlegged while it was really implanting his space-seed in Harry Truman's face. I can't vouch for Goldberg.

But there's a larger problem here and you, loyal citizen of HoGNation, know exactly what it is.

To quote from a later graf in that same story:

"Thomas, signed by Kansas City in 1966 as a free agent from Bishop College, played with the Chiefs when they beat Minnesota 23-7 in the 1970 Super Bowl. That team included Hall of Famers Len Dawson, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell and Jan Stenerud and was coached by Hall member Hank Stram."

Wow. KC's one Super Bowl team had not one, not two, not-fucking-even three, but 5 players--and the head coach--elected to the Hall of Fame.

I shan't belabor the point. Shan't. But anybody with a milliliter of sense in their marrow would think it an outrage that one of the most successful NFL Franchises of all time, a team that's played in more Super Bowls than anyone but the Cowboys and Steelers and been in the AFC Title game an additional two times besides, should have only one player in the Hall.

Besides, Elway was an inarguable. But are you tellin' me that, over the last 47 years, the Broncos have only had one guy who met the stringent and obviously mysterious criteria? Lynn Swann caught like 400 balls in his career and got in for his performance in two Super Bowls. A guard from the old, pre-merger Buffalo Bills named Billy Shaw is in. You'll remember Shaw, of course. He was that guy who played an interior line position on a team that won a title in an inferior conference (Ed. Note: I'm an AFC guy through and through, but in the early days there was no comparison. Maybe the Bills or Chargers--particularly the Chargers, with Sid Gillman and Lance Alworth--could have competed with the Packers or Colts or Browns. But probably not on most days.) before you were born.

I'm not asking the selectors, who seem by and large to be old and based out east, to elect fucking Keith Kartz. I'm asking for Louis Wright, Randy Gradishar. I'm asking a look at Karl Mecklenburg. Why can't he warrant a conversation?

How about Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater? How about Terrell Davis? Rod Smith, upon his final retirement, should get a debate. As should Tom Nalen. Don't even get me started on Gary Zimmerman.

Ok, so maybe I was going to belabor it a little.