"I kick myself every day when I wake up at 2 a.m., thinking about the 35-31 [loss/Super Bowl XIII] We win that third Super Bowl, we're the ... [team with more Hall of Famers/than the 70's Steelers teams]. I think that's the difference." - Roger Staubach
I still have nightmares about Jackie Smith dropping that TD pass. Don't start with me, Jimmy40!
Back to the post. Following their fourth Super Bowl and their subsequent retirements, Pittsburgh had 11
inductees enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
1. Mel Blount
2. Terry Bradshaw
3. Joe Greene
4. Jack Ham
5. Franco Harris
6. Jack Lambert
7. Chuck Noll
8. Dan Rooney
9. John Stallworth
10. Lynn Swann
11. Mike Webster
Question. Can the Team of the 90's
enjoy that same level of career recognition from their peers? There isn't any "Steelers Factor" preventing last decade's premier team from making the HOF, but who will benefit from all that success? Here are my choices...
1. Troy Aikman
[6 Pro Bowls]
2. Larry Allen
[8 Pro Bowls]
3. Michael Irvin
[5 Pro Bowls]
4. Emmitt Smith
[8 Pro Bowls]
'nuff said. Moving on...
Whose cap will they wear?
5. Jay Novacek
[5 Pro Bowls]: His first five years were mediocre [excluding the '89 season] with the Cardinals, but his greatest seasons were with the Cowboys. His numbers are similar to Dave Casper's. He'll probably opt to be inducted as a Cowboy without Cardinal recognition.
6. Charles Haley
[5 Pro Bowls]: He played the first half of his career with the 49ers--garnering three Pro Bowl selections. Yet, he gathered more Lombardi hardware in Dallas (three) than in San Francisco (two). It was no secret that he and the Niners parted on bad terms in 92, but, in his last season as a pro, he put their uniform back on. Not certain which way his "loyalties" will ultimately lean towards.
Inductees on the Bubble?
7. Darren Woodson
[5 Pro Bowls]: His longevity and Cowboys' tackling records alone should get him in, but will that be enough?
8. Erik Williams
[4 Pro Bowls]: He was on his way to becoming a long-time formidable force as an offensive lineman, but that '94 car accident really messed up his career.
9. Mark Tuinei
[2 Pro Bowls]: Can only a rock solid career as Aikman's left tackle get him in? Stay tuned for my sentimental favorite, God bless his soul.
[6 Pro Bowls]: This man was a sure-fire HOF pick imo. That is, until they found 213 pounds of weed in his van.
Possible inductees... after 2013???
11. Jimmy Johnson
: A two-time Super Bowl winning coach who owns a 80-64 lifetime coaching record [Miami didn't help him].
12. Jerry Jones:
He's resided as the owner of a team which captured three NFL titles. But he hasn't endeared himself to the rest of the NFL establishment. Unceasingly negative local media coverage will not help the nomination process conducted amongst other HOF committee members--who are basically a part of the media
in the first place.
It's not as strong a list as I would prefer. We lost players like Ken Norton and Russell Maryland whom I believe would've had better careers if they had stayed. Players like Deion Sanders have played in so many locales that it's difficult to label him solely as a "Cowboy". Guys like Alvin Harper, Daryl Johnston and Tony Tolbert prospered over the short- or long-term within our system, but their career numbers and accolades will get chewed up by committee voters. And players like Leon Lett will get shafted because they shafted themselves--both on and off the field.
Oh well. That's my take.