First, happy 200th blog to me.
The NFL Hall of Snubs has had its first true induction. We all know that it is sad when a sport's Hall committee is so screwed up that there are as many snubs as people in the Hall (well, pretty much). There are some that we all know (a wide receiver for the Redskins) or some that are an afterthought (a coach for the Oakland Raiders). Here is the 2007 class for the NFL Hall of Snubs.
Art Monk/WR/Washington Redskins, New York Jets, & Philadelphia Eagles/1980-1995-This is the most incomprehensible snub in the history of pro sports. He is a top 15 wide receiver of all-time, and some how the committee has left him out. I think the HOS committee has put him in unanimously. Monk played in three Super Bowls, and he won a ring in another one, but he missed it due to injury. He was the first player to reach 900 career receptions, and he is ninth on the all-time list now. He made it to three Pro Bowls, and he was on the 1980's All-Decade team. He definetly has Hall of Fame credentials, but somehow the Hall of Snubs is the only one he has made it into.
Richard Dent/DE/Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, & Philadelphia Eagles/1983-1997-Dent was an anchor on the 1985 Bears defense. He had 17 sacks, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. To top off that amazing season, he won the Super Bowl XX MVP. Dent ended his career with 137.5 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, and 8 interceptions, with one interception and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. When he retired, he was third on the all-time sack list behind Reggie White and Bruce Smith. He dominated on the most dominant defense of all-time. He should be in Canton without a question.
Randy Gradishar/LB/Denver Broncos/1974-1983-Gradishar isn't talked about regularly like Monk or Dent for the Hall of Fame, but he is as deserving, if not more, as those two guys. Gradishar won the Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. He was a seven time Pro Bowler and a six time All-Pro selection. He had over 2,000 career tackles and 20 interceptions. Woody Hayes said that he was the best linebacker that he'd ever coached, which is a great honor coming from such a great head coach. He may never make it into the Hall of Fame, but he will always have room in the HOS.
Joe Klecko/DT/New York Jets & Indianapolis Colts/1977-1988-Klecko was a key member of the famed New York Sack Exchange for the New York Jets. He retired with 24 sacks, which is great because sacks were not a stat until 1982, when injuries had caught up to Klecko. He made it to 4 Pro Bowls, and he is the only player in history to make it to the Pro Bowl at three different positions (DT, NT, and DE). Maybe because sacks weren't a stat until the Sack Exchange got old or because he had a chronic injury problem, he is snubbed. But he still belongs in the HOF.
Mark Gastineau/DE/New York Jets/1979-1988-Gastineau was the most feared sack artist of his day. With the defense having to concentrate on the rest of the Exchange like Joe Klecko, he was free to rack up many sacks. He won two Defensive POY honors, and he made it to five Pro Bowls. He dominated the line in the 80s. However, his career was cut short by drug use, which has hampered his Hall of Fame status. But this Hall only judges by pure skill, and he possessed that. His own personal demons won't keep him out of this Hall.
Andre Tippett/LB/New England Patriots/1982-1993-Tippett recorded 100 sacks in his career. In his very short career, he was one of the best sacking linebackers of his time. He made it onto five Pro Bowl rosters and the 1980s All-Decade Team. Tippett, like many others on this list, played a relatively short career, but his stats prove that he was dominant when he was on the field. He won the 1985 Defensive Player of the Year to go along with his stats.
Tom Flores/Coach/Oakland Raiders & Seattle Seahawks/1979-1987, 1992-1994-While Tony Dungy has been praised as the first African-American to win a Super Bowl as a head coach, but Flores was the first minority to win a Super Bowl as a head coach. He was the first Latino QB in professional football, playing in the AFL. He won a Super Bowl as a player and as a coach. While the pioneer for African-Americans in football, Fritz Pollard, recently was inducted, he needs to go in, not only for him being the only coach not in the Hall to win two Super Bowls, but for the opportunities he opened to other minorities.
Derrick Thomas/LB/Kansas City Chiefs/1989-1999-Thomas was one of the greatest defensive players in history. He holds the record for sacks in one game, seven, and he made it to NINE Pro Bowls. He ended his career with 126.5 sacks in his career. If his life was not cut short, he would have played a few more years, and possibly been as good as Lawrence Taylor without the drugs. Many commentators believe that if he would have played for Chicago or New York, he would be in the Hall of Fame.
Ray Guy/P/Oakland & Los Angeles Raiders/1973-1986-Punters do not make it to the Hall of Fame. No players who were only punters are in the Hall of Fame. If any get in, Guy has to be there. He averaged 43 yards per punt, and he was great at dropping the ball inside the twenty. He won three Super Bowls, and he had five punts over sixty yards in the 1981 season. The best punter award in college is named after him. He is on the NFL's 75th Anniversary team. He definetly has the credentials, but he just can't get in the Hall.
That is the 2007 Pro Football Hall of Snubs class! Hopefully these guys can leave this Hall and join the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which we all know is a bigger honor.