NEW ORLEANS – My email and Twitter boxes are full of rants from Steelers fans not only complaining about Jerome Bettis not making the Pro Football Hall of Fame but that Warren Sapp did.
I agree that Bettis should be in, and I firmly believe he will get in. Cris Carter, the second-leading receiver of all time in most categories, was in his sixth year of eligibility when he made it yesterday. Bettis was in his third.
The Bus made progress, I believe. He reached the final 10 (we cut from 15 on our first vote) and the discussion about him was stronger than it had been in his previous two years of eligibility. He’ll make it, he just might have to wait a year or two.
As for Sapp, he was one of the most dominant defensive tackles of his era, maybe THE most dominant. He came from Miami and helped turn the culture around at Tampa Bay to the point that the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Now, they could not keep that going and they were one and done, and he also had four not-so-hot seasons in Oakland at the end of his career, but he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. You may not like him on TV, but voters don’t take that into account.
Onto some other stuff:
--- Today’s game? My head says San Francisco, my gut says Baltimore. There’s just something about this run by the Ravens that reminds me of the one the Steelers took seven years ago. There’s also something nagging that the pressure of the big game could affect Colin Kaepernick a little more than Joe Flacco.
--- An observation: There are way more Ravens fans wandering around here than there are those from San Francisco, at least by the team clothing they wear.
--- If the Steelers are going to cut any veterans, they all should be made by March 1. However, many of the veterans they will let go are unrestricted free agens so they will not have to release them.
--- Typical of many players, media people and fans is they whine about who was left off the Hall of Fame list but do not say which player/coach they would remove to put their favorite on (with the exception of Steelers fans, of course, who would love to dump Sapp). On the NFL Network’s Hall of Fame show, Woodson complated that Michael Strahan should have been picked. To his credit, HOF voter Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, sitting next to Woodson on the set, asked him who he would remove from the five modern day men who made it in order to put Strahan on. Woodson fumbled a little bit then said he guesses it would have to be Sapp, although Woodson did not endorse that.
It’s easy to say someone should belong, not so easy to replace someone with that suggestion. 5 is the max, so someone else has to go. And, going into the vote and after hearing the discussion, Sapp was a far better candidate than Strahan, although the former New York Giants defensive lineman likely will make it over the next few years if not 2014.
-- A question:
--- YOU: History question—a lot of starting QB’s passed through the ‘Burgh between Bradshaw & Big Ben. We had the likes of Stoudt, Woodley, Malone, Brister, Blackledge, O’Donnell, Tomczak, Stewart, Miller, Graham & Maddox. Care to offer your thoughts on who was the best and the worst, between the true “franchise” guys? Thanks TBurg_Pete Enjoy the big game tomorrow! ( have to go with Kent “I was no Moonlight” Graham as the worst & Kordell as the best )
ME: Bubby Brister was a good quarterback in the making but he was a little too over-the-edge for his coaches, who opted for Neil O’Donnell, who had several good years and that was it. Graham was the worst. Malone, if he had not been hurt (knee) could have been better. Stewart was mismanaged and over-coached. Blackledge, Woodley, Stoudt weren’t here that long. Tomczak was OK for about half a season.
--- That’s it for now.
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