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MCCLAIN: This may be Wright's last chance at Hall

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Cowboys RT takes priority on ballot over deserving Irvin

    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

    Being one of the 39 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee is an incredible honor and an enormous responsibility.

    If a member of the selection committee can't, in good conscience, follow the bylaws, then he should resign immediately. He may disagree with the bylaws, but, in accepting his nomination to this prestigious committee, it's his duty to follow them.

    Michael Irvin is a case in point. No matter what we think of him as an ESPN analyst or as an actor in The Longest Yard, and no matter what we think about his latest brush with the law, the only thing we're supposed to consider when casting our secret ballot is what he did as a receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.

    The Hall of Fame bylaws do not legislate for or against morality. There's no morals clause, as there is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only thing voters are supposed to consider is what happened between the white lines. A player can sniff the sidelines, but it's not supposed to matter.

    Pete Rose would have been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after he retired. If O.J. Simpson were a candidate this year, the committee would have to vote him in — even if every member believed he stabbed to death his ex-wife and her friend.

    Voters enshrined Lawrence Taylor after a spirited behind-the-scenes debate about his off-the-field problems. If Taylor had not been voted in, it would have made a mockery of the process based on the bylaws.

    Key part of success

    No matter what the committee thought of Taylor the person, his first-ballot induction was a no-brainer because he may have been the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

    Irvin isn't the greatest receiver in history. He wasn't the greatest receiver of his era. But he was one of the three best players on a team that won three Super Bowls. Without him, the Cowboys of that era might not have won one.

    I believe Irvin deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I voted for him in February, his first year of eligibility. But I won't vote for him this time. And it has nothing to do with having a hard time believing his story about what police found under the driver's seat of his Mercedes — a Versace sunglasses case with a pipe and plastic bags containing marijuana residue.

    I'm not voting for Irvin this time because I believe Troy Aikman is a lock in his first year of eligibility, and, most important, I believe this is the last chance for Rayfield Wright, the best offensive lineman in Cowboys history.

    It's preposterous that only five former Cowboys players — Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett and Randy White — are enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

    Because it has been so difficult — for whatever reasons — to get some deserving Cowboys into the Hall of Fame, I don't see the committee voting for three in the same year. If, indeed, Aikman is a lock as he should be, I'm going with Wright, who, along with John Madden, is a seniors committee nominee.

    Aikman? Definitely. Aikman and Wright? Hopefully. Aikman, Wright and Irvin? Get serious.

    For all practical purposes, this is Wright's last chance. At least for a long time. He's very deserving and long overdue.

    You should have seen how excited and appreciative he was in February when he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Those of us who witnessed his induction speech can imagine the exhilaration — and relief — he would experience if the committee votes for him the day before the Detroit Super Bowl.

    Long overdue

    Like Bob Hayes, another member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Wright should have been enshrined in Canton long ago. Now time's running out for him.

    Irvin can wait. Besides, it's going to be a hard-fought battle for him because so many receivers with gaudy numbers are becoming eligible. But they don't have what he has — three Super Bowl rings.

    All Wright has is the endorsement of his late coach, Tom Landry, as the greatest offensive lineman in franchise history, a player very deserving of being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As far as this voter is concerned, Landry's word is golden.

    John McClain covers the Texans and the NFL for the Chronicle.


  2. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    The man has a point.
  3. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    So if a HOF selector votes for Irvin, that takes away from Wright somehow?

    If he thinks the others won't vote for three Cowboys, yet he thinks all three Cowboys deserve it, why won't he vote for all three? Does he want to fit in with the crowd or something?
  4. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    The whole thing is silly, but I think he wants to make the most out of the players he supports. He feels that if he backs Irvin and thus helps Irvin get in that Wright will have lost his final chance. It's bad enough that the anti-Cowboys committee already has to put through a stone cold lock in Aikman; he's saying for Wright to have any chance he must support only Aikman and Wright.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Sad but true. Wright should have been in before a whole lot of people.
    Isn't he the only player from the 70's Decade team not to be in?
  6. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    Another Cowboy, safety Cliff Harris, has also been excluded.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Cliff Harris is a little more problematical- and there were a lot of great safeties playing back then- so his not being on is not so bad. Wrights is absolutely disgracefull.
  8. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    I really would like to see the quote where Landry called him the greatest offensive lineman in franchise history. Would be interesting to see when he said it and in what context it was said.

    - Mike G.
  9. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Cliff Harris is the starting Safety of the 70s All-Decade Team, which this team is chosen by the Hall of Fame Committee themselves.

    If the Hall of Fame Committee puts you on the All-Decade Team of the era you played in, then that means you were the best player at your position in your era and thus makes you a Hall of Famer because you were the best at the time you played.

    Only 3 players from that All-Decade Team are not in, Safety Cliff Harris, WR Drew Pearson, and Punter Ray Guy.

    I think Pearson's absence from the Ring of Honor and the Hall of Fame is the biggest slap of them all. He was better than Bob Hayes.
  10. wxcpo

    wxcpo Active Member

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    Wright is the only Offensive Lineman from the 70's decade team to not be voted in.
  11. SultanOfSix

    SultanOfSix Star Power

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    Honestly, the HOF voters are looking more and more like retards. These people need to stop making excuses of one person at the expense of another when it fits their agenda, and need to put people in the HOF when they are supposed to be. Or just get off the committee and put people who actually coached or played football to decide who gets in.

    These people have no sense of justice when it comes to their own biases.
  12. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    What 70s All-Decade Team list have you seen with Rayfield Wright on it?

    This is one I have on my site which is from CBSSportsline.com


    It doesnt have Wright on there, so I would appreciate it if you could inform me of another list that has Wright on it :) .

    - Mike G.
  13. wxcpo

    wxcpo Active Member

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    This is from NFL.com and what is interesting is where you read this team was as selected by Hall of Fame selection commitee members.

  14. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, why penalize a guy like Irvin just because he was a Cowboy? Saying they can't put in three Cowboys...why the heck not? Especially if they all deserve it.
  15. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    That link that is on the article I made a while back was from cbs sports line, which was the only place I could find the teams.

    I feared that the dang link would eventually not work, that is why i copied the article, but that cbs sports line site said the NFL HOF Committee chose it.

    I have tried to trace this link (which I came up with by searching google) back to whereever the link could have been moved too:

    But when I click NFL at the top, I dont see a news link to get back to that article.

    - Mike G.
  16. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Oh, didnt notice it.

    But look on your link, at the very top before they start naming the players it says

    "Chosen by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee members."

    I knew I hadnt made that up :D .

    Thanks for that link. I really hated making that HOF article with the data only being able to be verified by CBS Sportsline. Now I have to redo it but it is now backed up by NFL.com, which noone will ever question.
  17. davidyee

    davidyee Maple Leaf

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    ...heard actual comments made by the HOF committee on why Rayfield has not made the Hall?

    It's not a high profile position he held, and I was younger in those days watching the Cowboys, but what rationale is being used for his absence.

    For that matter other than the Landry opinion, what rationale is being used for his consideration? Anyone know?
  18. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

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    Madden, Wright named senior candidates for 2006

    August 24, 2005

    One day after celebrating his 60th birthday, former Dallas Cowboys tackle Rayfield Wright received a belated birthday present. On Wednesday, he learned that he had been selected as a finalist for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006.

    Wright and Oakland Raiders coach John Madden have been selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2006.
    “I don't think I could have had a better birthday present than this phone call," Wright commented today.

    Madden and Wright will join 13 still-to-be-named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2006 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on February 4, 2006, the day before Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan.

    “Making the list is very, very big,” said Madden. Moments earlier he exclaimed, “I can’t even speak, I’m so happy.”

    To be elected, Madden and Wright must each receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s 39-member Board of Selectors will elect between three and six new members during next February’s meeting.
    Madden, at age 32, became one of the youngest head coaches in National Football League history when the Raiders hired him in 1969. Over the next 10 seasons as Oakland’s coach, he compiled a 112-39-7 overall record. His .759 winning percentage during the regular season ranks as the highest ever among coaches with 100 career victories.

    In his first year at the helm, Madden led the Raiders to a 12-1-1 record and an American Football League Western Division title. His achievements that season were recognized as he was named the AFL’s coach of the year.
    Under Madden’s direction from 1969 to 1978, Oakland never suffered a losing record, claimed seven division titles and had eight playoff appearances.

    In 1976, Madden guided Oakland to a 13-1 record to win the AFC Western Division. The success continued in the post-season with wins over New England in the divisional playoff game and a commanding 24-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the AFC championship. Madden and the Raiders capped the season with a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.

    Wright, a 6’6”, 255-pound lineman from Fort Valley State was selected by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1967 draft. He was used as a tight end, defensive lineman, and offensive tackle during his first three seasons. Then, in 1969, Wright earned his first chance as a starter when he was inserted into the lineup following an injury to right tackle Ralph Neely.

    Wright's performance was strong enough that he won a starting role before the start of the 1970 training camp. One season later, he earned his first All-NFL honor and was voted to the first of six straight Pro Bowls. Wright was named first- or second-team All-Pro each season from 1971 through 1976.

    During his 13-season, 166-game career, Wright and the Cowboys won 10 division titles, six conference crowns, and two Super Bowls. He started at right tackle in six NFC championship games and played in five Super Bowls.

    In addition, Wright was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
    Senior nominees 1972-2005

    DALLAS '67-'79 a.k.a. ~ 'THE BIG CAT'
    B: 8/23/45 Griffin, GA. Col: Fort Valley State Draft: 7th Rd Dal H: 6'6" W: 255
    Dallas Cowboys : All-Pro '71-'72, '74-'76 ~ Pro Bowl '72-'77

  19. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    Just to let you know McClain said he voted for Wright on the air before so I know he supports Wright getting into the hall

    He comes on Sports Radio 610 all the time. I like McClain but that is me :D
  20. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

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    I like McClain as well......That opinion is based on the few occasions I have been able to listen to his broadcast.

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