Last night at the NFL Honors ceremony, the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced.
Quarterback Kurt Warner, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, running back Terrell Davis, defensive end Jason Taylor, safety Kenny Easley (senior nominee), placekicker Morten Andersen and owner Jerry Jones (contributor) make up the 2017 PFHOF class.
That’s all well and good.
Tomlinson is a no-doubt first-ballot HOF running back and perhaps one of the top three or four RBs of all-time, with 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns on the ground.
Davis has waited a long time to hear his name called,
Warner went from grocery store bag boy, to Arena Football Hall of Famer to Super Bowl champion with the St. Louis Rams. He went to two Super Bowls with the Rams, and then one more with Arizona in the tail end of his career.
Taylor, although he’s very much a borderline HOFer, recorded 139.5 sacks (seventh all-time) in his 15-year career with Miami, New York (Jets) and Washington.
Easley made five Pro Bowls and recorded 32 interceptions in just seven NFL seasons with Seattle.
Andersen is a kicker, but hey he’s the league’s all-time leading scorer, racking up 2,544 points with five different teams over his 25 seasons.
Jones, Dallas’ billionaire owner since 1989, has three Super Bowl championships and serves as his team’s president and General Manager as well.
These guys listed above make up the seven-member 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Unfortunately, this year’s headline once again is that Terrell Owens is snubbed from the group for the second consecutive year.
Owens is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, putting up the numbers and legendary performances to back his case up. Yet, now for two straight years the voters left him on the outside looking in, which is kind of a shame given what he did on the football field — which is what the voters are supposed to be voting for, his on-field performance, not any personal vendettas they held against him during his career.
Seems as though the PFHOF voters are taking his attitude and “locker room cancer” label and using it against him in the voting. Put your personal feelings away, and vote for her is deserving.
Just look at the career numbers:
Eighth all-time in receptions (1,078), second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), fifth all-time in career touchdowns (156 — behind only Rice, E. Smith, Tomlinson, Randy Moss). Six Pro Bowl appearances and he’s the only player to make an All-Pro squad with three different teams (49ers, Eagles, Cowboys).
He played for five different teams over his career, but recorded 1,000-yard seasons with three of those teams, and came up less than 200 yards shy of doing so with both Buffalo and Cincinnati, too.
Not to mention the fact he played in the Super Bowl in 2004-05 on a broken leg and proceeded to catch nine balls for 122 yards and nearly helped Philadelphia upset the New England Patriots (24-21 loss in the closing minutes).
Sure, Owens will eventually find his way into the hall. But why is he forced to wait when he’s clearly a first-ballot HOFer?
Either way, congratulations to this year’s class!
Photo: Associated Press