“Pro Football Hall of Fame-Eclectic Class”
They honor the NFL’s great history on Saturday in Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a class of big names, big personalities, big egos and big accomplishments.
It may be the most varied and controversial class also, as witnessed by who is there, and who is not there.
There’s only one word to describe this class ‘eclectic’.
Legendary General Manager Bobby Beathard goes in. He put 5-of his teams into the Super Bowl. He has 4-rings to show for it.
His draft picks were legendary, from Junior Seau to Darryl Green. His boldness for making trades legendary too, dealing his 1st pick 9-times in an 11-year span.
His ability to sight, scope and sign free-agents special too, from Doug Williams to the 11-street free agents he brought to San Diego, who became integral parts of the Chargers Super Bowl run.
His trades also brought key playmakers, notably to the Bolts, remembering what Stan Humphries, Tony Martin and others became.
Chargers fans, close your eyes and remember those Beathard years, with Humphries, Touchdown Tony Martin, Shawn Jefferson, Alfred Pupuno, Harry Swayne, Stan Brock, Ronnie Harmon, Shawn Lee, Reuben Davis, John Carney, David Griggs, Dwayne Harper, Natrone Means, Rodney Harrison, Junior Seau, Chris Mims, Eric Moten, Issac Davis, Vaughn Parker, and Joe Cocozzo. That 1-given year was something to experience.
Aside from the John Hadl AFL years, Air Coryell, and the LaDanian Tomlinson led Chargers, Bobby Beathard did what no-one has ever been able to do. Get the Bolts to the Super Bowl.
Of course, when you are a gambler, you make mistakes too, and Beathard sadly is more remembered for the Ryan Leaf draft pick that led to a terrible spiral down of the franchise.
And Beathard will forever be linked with to the great coaches he hired. Joe Gibbs-Washington, Don Shula-Miami and Bobby Ross-San Diego. Each coach, head-strong, found a way to work with the very different playerer personnel acquisitions Beathard made.
If Beathard’s wildcard personality approach was something to watch, so were the personality issues some of the rest of the class brought.
Ray Lewis was passionate about everything over 17-years. A fierce leader, a big hitter, he was the Baltimore Ravens heart and should. That coupled with his entanglement with a murder incident wrapped around the Super Bowl in Atlanta, will forever follow him around. Burt so will the 517-tackles in purple were what many remember about Lewis.
Randy Moss was dynamic and volatile. He worked at his own pace. He made tons of big plays, scored touchdowns, and feuded with lots of coaches too. When he was done, no one can ever forget 985-receptions and 156-touchdowns.
Terrell Owens wore out defenses, and wore out his welcome lots of places. And on a weekend in which he should be in Canton, he is in Chattanooga, protesting how he had to wait years to get in. He’s not attending. But we know what kind of gamer he was, 1,078 catches and 153-TDs later.
Brian Urlacher was a self made man, former safety to big time inside linebacker, Typical of past linebackers who wore Bears colors, Urlacher, like Mike Singletary and Mike Ditka, he was their defense with 22-interceptions and 41-sacks.
Brian Dawkins was quick, a clean player, and stylish. He had 37-picks and 9-Pro Bowl seasons for the Eagles.
Robert Brazile was a throw back linebacker to a different era. Big-tough-tons of tackles and everything representing old time Houston Oilers football.
Jerry Kramer was the anchor of the 1960s Packers offensive lines in the Lombardi era. He waited a long, long time to get in. Justly deserved after so many other Packers greats from those teams entered the hall first..
Electric players. Eclectic personalities. Hall of Famers regardless of who they were, how they acted.