Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pro Football Hall-of-Famers By Team, 2014


Following the list I recently made for baseball, and a new election for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, here's all the NFL teams, and all their Hall-of-Famers.

Inductees are listed here with a team if they played, or coached, or were an executive, with them for at least 4 seasons.

I have divided moved teams accordingly (i.e., Johnny Unitas never took a snap for the Indianapolis Colts). “Sure future Hall-of-Famers” are not included, because, as we have seen in baseball, there is no such thing anymore.

Tenure as a player, or a coach, or an executive is only counted if they were elected as such. i.e., Raymond Berry may have coached the Patriots into a Super Bowl, and Forrest Gregg did so with the Bengals, but they were elected as a Colts player and a Packers player, respectively, so those are the teams with which they're included.

Ties in the rankings are broken by more players, as opposed to other categorie;  and then by time in the league. So a team with 4 players is ahead of one with 3 players and 1 coach, and a team with 3 players in 50 years is ahead of one with 3 players in 80 years.

Figures are listed here as follows: Players in chronological order (even if they had other functions with that team), then coaches, then executives, then broadcasters.

1. Chicago Bears, 28: George Halas (founder, owner, general manager, head coach, player), John "Paddy" Driscoll, George Trafton, Ed Healey, William "Link" Lyman, Red Grange, Bill Hewitt, Bronko Nagurski, George Musso, Dan Fortmann, Joe Stydahar, Sid Luckman, George McAfee, Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, George Connor, George Blanda, Bill George, Doug Atkins, Stan Jones, Mike Ditka (player & coach), Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, Alan Page, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton, Mike Singletary, Jim Finks (executive).

Willie Galimore and Gary Fencik should be in. Brian Urlacher will probably get in when he becomes eligible. Thomas Jones is not yet eligible, and didn't spend 4 seasons with any team, but his 3 years with the Bears were his most productive period.

2. Green Bay Packers, 24: Earl "Curly" Lambeau (founder, owner, executive, head coach, player), Cal Hubbard, John "Johnny Blood" McNally, Mike Michalske, Arnie Herber, Clarke Hinkle, Don Hutson, Tony Canadeo, Jim Ringo, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Henry Jordan, Willie Davis, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley, Dave Robinson, James Lofton, Jan Stenerud, Reggie White, Vince Lombardi (coach & executive), Ray Scott (broadcaster, later the main voice on CBS' NFL telecasts).

11 figures from the Lombardi Era, including Lombardi himself, are enshrined in Canton -- not counting Emlen Tunnell, who played the last 3 seasons of his career with the Packers and retired after the first title of the Lombardi Era, 1961. For whatever reason, Jerry Kramer is not in, and he's not getting any younger. Brett Favre is not yet eligible, and neither is anyone else from the Mike Holmgren era, including Holmgren himself.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 23: Walt Kiesling (also coach), John "Johnny Blood" McNally, Bill Dudley, Ernie Stautner, Jack Butler, John Henry Johnson, Bobby Layne, Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mel Blount, Rod Woodson, Dermontti Dawson, Art Rooney (founder-owner), Dan Rooney (owner), Bert Bell (coach, later NFL Commissioner), Chuck Noll (coach), Myron Cope (broadcaster).

While the Steelers were rarely competitive for their first 40 seasons, they did have a few players who were Hall-worthy, but note that 15 of the 23 were involved with the club during their 1972-79 dynasty. Jerome Bettis was a finalist this year, but didn't get in. Hines Ward is not yet eligible, and that touchdown he scored on a kickoff return for the Gotham Rogues as the field collapsed behind him in The Dark Knight Rises does nothing to help his candidacy -- but if he does get in, you know that highlight will be played over and over again.

4. New York Giants, 21: Steve Owen (elected as a coach, also a pretty good player for Giants), Ray Flaherty, Benny Friedman, Red Badgro, Mel Hein, Ken Strong, Alphonse "Tuffy" Leemans, Emlen Tunnell, Arnie Weinmeister, Frank Gifford, Roosevelt Brown, Sam Huff, Andy Robustelli, Y.A. Tittle, Fran Tarkenton, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Tim Mara (founder & owner), Wellington Mara (owner), Bill Parcells (coach).

Gifford has also been elected as a broadcaster. So has Pat Summerall, but as a CBS & Fox broadcaster, not as a Giants player or broadcaster, so he can't be included here. Tom Landry was the first great defensive back to be only a defensive back, after the early 1950s shift to two-platoon football, and was the defensive coordinator on the Giants' 1956-63 contenders, but was elected to the Hall based on his coaching for the Cowboys, and thus can't be counted here.

George Young, the architect of the Giants' 1986 & '90 NFL Champions, has not yet been elected. Nor has Phil Simms, and you can also make a case for Mark Bavaro (tight ends are in short supply in the Hall), George Martin and Leonard Marshall. I wonder if anyone will be willing to vote for Tiki Barber, who is now eligible.

5. Washington Redskins, 20: Cliff Battles, Turk Edwards (also coach), Wayne Millner, Sammy Baugh, Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Jurgensen, Charley Taylor, Sam Huff, Paul Krause, Chris Hanburger,  Ken Houston, John Riggins, Art Monk, Russ Grimm, Darrell Green, Bruce Smith (last 4 years of his career as a Redskin), George Preston Marshall (founder & owner), Ray Flaherty (elected as a Giants player but coached 'Skins to 2 NFL titles so I'm counting him as one of theirs), George Allen (coach), Joe Gibbs (coach).

Jurgensen and Huff have also been broadcasters for the team.  Grimm is the only one of the "Hogs" yet elected, but Jeff Bostic and Joe Jacoby should also be elected. A case can be made for an earlier Redskin lineman, Len Hauss. If Jan Stenerud got elected as a kicker (who didn't also play another position like Lou Groza and George Blanda), why not Mark Moseley?

6. Cleveland Browns, 16: Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Bill Willis, Frank Gatski, Len Ford, Mike McCormack, Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell, Gene Hickerson, Leroy Kelly, Paul Warfield, Joe DeLamiellure and Ozzie Newsome, Paul Brown (coach-executive).

It says something about this franchise that there have been no players who have played so much as a down for them since 1990 that can be called a Browns' HOFer -- and only DeLamielleure and Newsome have played for them since 1977. Tom Cousineau hasn't made it, and neither has Clay Matthews Jr. (father of the current Packer linebacking star and brother of Oliers/Titans HOFer Bruce Matthews -- Clay Sr. played for the 49ers in the 1950s, but wasn't HOF quality).

And yet, look at just what they produced in the 1940s and '50s. And that doesn't include players they let get away, like Doug Atkins, Henry Jordan, Willie Davis, Len Dawson, and (while they did both play long enough for the Browns to be counted with them) Mitchell and Warfield. Maybe that's the real reason Art Modell isn't in the Hall: It's not that he moved the original Browns, and screwed the people of Northern Ohio, it's that he was a bad owner. (Though, to be fair, his firing of Paul Brown and installation of Blanton Collier in 1962 did bring the 1964 NFL Championship, Cleveland's last title in any sport.)

7. Oakland Raiders, 16: Jim Otto, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, Art Shell, Dave Casper, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Marcus Allen, Jerry Rice, Warren Sapp, Ray Guy, John Madden (coach), Al Davis (owner-coach).

Note that I’m making an exception to my one-city-only rule for the Raiders, treating them as a continuous Oakland franchise, since they did return, even though their Los Angeles edition became a cultural icon (and not for good reasons). Counted separately, the Oakland Raiders have 13, and the Los Angeles Raiders have 3 (Haynes, Long, Allen).

Madden has also been elected as a broadcaster. Rice and Sapp were both there for 4 seasons, so they count. Now that Guy is in, who's the most obvious Raider not in? I'd say Jack Tatum, if anybody's got the guts to elect a great cornerback who needlessly paralyzed a man in a preseason game. Also worthy of consideration are Ben Davidson, Ken Stabler, Lester Hayes, and especially Tim Brown.

8. Dallas Cowboys, 16: Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Bob Hayes, Rayfield Wright, Mike Ditka, Roger Staubach, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Larry Allen, Tom Landry (coach), Bill Parcells (coach), Tex Schramm (executive).

Parcells did coach them for 4 seasons, so that counts. Ditka is so identified with the Bears (with whom he practically invented the position of tight end and won a title in 1963) that people forget he was a Cowboy, and won a Super Bowl each as a player and as one of Landry's assistant coaches -- as did Dan Reeves, although if he ever got elected it would be as a head coach, and therefore not as a Cowboy.

Don Meredith was elected as a broadcaster, but was never a broadcaster specifically for the Cowboys. A case can be made that he deserves election as a player. Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, Charlie Waters and Herschel Walker also have their advocates. But the most obvious Cowboy (and maybe also the most obvious 49er) not in is Charles Haley.

9. San Francisco 49ers, 14: Bob St. Clair, Y.A. Tittle, Joe "the Jet" Perry, Leo Nomellini, Hugh McElhenny, John Henry Johnson, Dave Wilcox, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Montana, Fred Dean, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Steve Young, Bill Walsh (coach).

Tittle, Perry, McElhenny and John Henry Johnson are the only entire backfield that all played together to all be elected to the Hall; although they were only all together for one season, 1954, and the Niners didn't make the Playoffs that season, they were known as the $100,000 Backfield. The Jimmy Johnson listed above was a black cornerback in the 1960s and '70s, and should not be confused with the white coach for the Cowboys -- although this Jimmy Johnson, unlike the coach, was actually born in Dallas.

Rickey Jackson only played 2 seasons for the Niners, but he did win his only ring with them. Deion Sanders played only 1 season for them, but got the same ring that Jackson did. From their 1980s champions, Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Randy Cross, Guy McIntyre, Harris Barton, Charles Haley and Ken Norton Jr. have not been elected, but all are worth consideration, and Craig and Haley absolutely should be in. Terrell Owens is not yet eligible, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to get in; judged solely on performance, not personality, he definitely should be in.

Los Angeles Rams, 14: Bob Waterfield, Tom Fears, Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Les Richter, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Jackie Slater, Jack Youngblood, Eric Dickerson, George Allen (coach), Dan Reeves (owner, not to be confused with the Denver/Atlanta coach), Dick Enberg (broadcaster). Henry Ellard and Kevin Greene are the most deserving former Rams not yet in the Hall, but they're borderline cases at best.

Joe Stydahar coached the Rams to their only NFL Championship in Los Angeles, 1951, but was elected as a player, not a coach, and so can't be counted as a Rams' Hall-of-Famer. Counting their St. Louis years, the Rams franchise has 16.

10. Kansas City Chiefs, 14: Bobby Bell, Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Curley Culp, Jan Stenerud, Derrick Thomas, Marcus Allen, Willie Roaf, Hank Stram (coach), Mary Levy (coach), Lamar Hunt (founder-owner), Charlie Jones (broadcaster, did Dallas Texans/K.C. Chiefs games before becoming the main voice for NBC's AFL and then AFC broadcasts).

Dawson has also been elected as a broadcaster. Will Shields was a finalist this year, but didn't make it. Tony Gonzalez, who would also qualify as a Falcon, is, so far, the biggest name among retirees for this season, making him eligible for the election of 2020, right before Super Bowl LIV.

11. Detroit Lions, 13: Dutch Clark (also coach), Jack Christiansen, Bobby Layne, Doak Walker, Yale Lary, Alex Wojciechowicz, Lou Creekmur, Dick "Night Train" Lane, Joe Schmidt (also coach), Lem Barney, Dick LeBeau, Charlie Sanders and Barry Sanders (no relation to each other).
 
Although he played for their 1935 NFL Champions and coached them to the 1952 and '53 titles, Buddy Parker is not in the Hall. Nor is Alex Karras, who died without having been elected; if Paul Hornung, a man whose morals were a lot looser than Karras', could be forgiven for his gambling charge that led to his suspension for the 1963 season and get elected, why not his fellow suspendee Karras?

It says something about this franchise that there has been only one player (Barry Sanders) who has played so much as a down for them since 1977 that can be called a Lions' HOFer, although cases can be made for Herman Moore, Lomas Brown and Chris Spielman.

12. Philadelphia Eagles, 12: Steve Van Buren, Alex Wojciechowicz, Pete Pihos, Chuck Bednarik, Sonny Jurgensen, Tommy McDonald, Norm Van Brocklin, Bob Brown, Jim Ringo, Reggie White, Greasy Neale (coach), Bert Bell (founder-owner-coach, later NFL Commissioner).
 
Van Brocklin only played 3 seasons for the Eagles, but he was the quarterback on their last NFL Championship team, 1960, and then he retired, despite being only 34 years old, so I'm bending the rule to count him. On the other hand, the newly-elected Claude Humphrey played 3 seasons for them, one being their first trip to the Super Bowl, but unlike Van Brocklin is not an Eagles icon, so I can only include him with the Falcons.
 
It says something about this franchise that there has been only one player (Reggie White) who has played so much as a down for them since 1968 that can be called an Eagles' HOFer -- although Art Monk, James Lofton and Richard Dent briefly played for the team, and cases could be made for Stan Walters, Jerry Sisemore, Bill Bergey, Randall Cunningham, Clyde Simmons and Seth Joyner.

Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens are not yet eligible, and T.O. would go in only as a 49er anyway. Irv Cross was elected as a media personality, but, while he made 2 Pro Bowls as an Eagle cornerback, he is not in the Hall as a player.

13. Minnesota Vikings, 12: Fran Tarkenton, Carl Eller, Alan Page, Paul Krause, Ron Yary, Chris Doleman, Gary Zimmerman, Randall McDaniel, Cris Carter, John Randle, Bud Grant (coach), Jim Finks (executive). Warren Moon was only there for 3 seasons. Randy Moss, if anybody has the guts to put aside personality and vote for him, is not yet eligible.

14. Buffalo Bills, 11: Billy Shaw, O.J. Simpson (had to list him), Joe DeLamiellure, James Lofton, Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Marv Levy (coach), Ralph Wilson (owner) and Van Miller (broadcaster).

Shaw played his entire career in the AFL, making him the only man in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who never played a down in the NFL. (Remember, it's not the National Football League Hall of Fame, it's the Pro Football Hall of Fame.) So much fuss was made over the special-teams skills of Steve Tasker that I'm surprised that he's not in.

Houston Oilers, 10: George Blanda, Curley Culp, Elvin Bethea, Earl Campbell, Dave Casper, Ken Houston, Charlie Joiner, Warren Moon, Mike Munchak, Bruce Matthews. Since Matthews counts as both an Oiler and a Titan, if we combine the Houston years and the Tennessee years, their total of 10 does not rise.

Baltimore Colts, 10: Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Gino Marchetti, Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker, John Mackey, Ted Hendricks, Weeb Ewbank (coach), Don Shula (coach). Counting their Indianapolis years, the Colts have 12.
 
15. Miami Dolphins, 9: Larry Csonka, Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Paul Warfield, Dan Marino, Dwight Stephenson and Don Shula (coach).

In spite of everything that happened in his career, Ricky Williams rushed for over 10,000 yards, but he's not yet eligible, and I doubt he'll ever get in. If he does, he would qualify only as a Dolphin, not as a Saint.

Chicago Cardinals, 9: Jimmy Conzelman, Paddy Driscoll, Guy Chamberlin, Ernie Nevers, Walt Kiesling, Charley Trippi, Ollie Matson, Dick "Night Train" Lane, Charles Bidwill (owner). Conzelman, Driscoll and Kiesling were also head coaches for the Cards. Counting all their cities, despite having been around for nearly a century, the Cards have only 14 Hall-of-Famers.

16. New England Patriots, 7: Nick Buoniconti, John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Andre Tippett, Curtis Martin, Bill Parcells (coach) and Don Criqui (broadcaster). This counts players from their AFL days, when they were officially the Boston Patriots. Drew Bledsoe is eligible, but not yet in. Cases could also be made for Jim Nance, Jim Hunt, Steve Nelson, Julius Adams and Irving Fryar. Most of the players of the Bill Belichick Super Bowl teams are not yet eligible.
 
17. San Diego Chargers, 7: Ron Mix, Lance Alworth, Fred Dean, Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Ron Kellen Winslow, Sid Gillman (coach). LaDainian Tomlinson is not yet eligible.
 
Canton Bulldogs, 6: Jim Thorpe, Guy Chamberlin, Joe Guyon, Pete Henry, William "Link" Lyman, Earl "Greasy" Neale.

18. Denver Broncos, 5: Willie Brown, Floyd Little, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman. Longtime owner Pat Bowlen and 3-time AFC Champion coach Dan Reeves have never been elected, but should be. So should Randy Gradishar, Steve Atwater and Mark Schlereth, although because of how many feathers he ruffled, I don't think you'll ever see Bill Romanowski get in.

19. New York Jets, 5: Don Maynard, Joe Namath, John Riggins, Curtis Martin, Bill Parcells (coach-executive). Although the Big Tuna only coached the Jets for 3 seasons, he was an executive with them for 4 seasons, and thus meets my qualification for a Jet HOFer. Wesley Walker, Joe Klecko and Marty Lyons should be considered, although nobody seems to be willing to vote for Mark Gastineau. Vinny Testaverde is eligible, but not yet in. (He would also qualify as a Buccaneer.)

St. Louis Cardinals, 4: Larry Wilson, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, Roger Wehrli. Dierdorf has also been elected as a broadcaster, although not specifically with the Cardinals. Ottis Anderson should be elected as a Cardinal, although he achieved his greatest moment as a Giant.

20. Seattle Seahawks, 3: Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Walter Jones. Rickey Watters is eligible, and while he only played 3 seasons each with the 49ers and Eagles, he played 4 with the Hawks, so if he goes in, he would qualify only for them.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3: Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks. John Lynch is now eligible, and should be in, and would also qualify as a Bronco. Warrick Dunn is now eligible, and should be in, and would also qualify as a Falcon.

Duluth Eskimos, 3: Walt Kiesling, John "Johnny Blood" McNally, Ernie Nevers. 

22. Cincinnati Bengals, 3: Charlie Joiner, Anthony Munoz, Paul Brown (founder-owner-coach). Reggie Williams and Corey Dillon should be in, but Boomer Esiason is a borderline case. Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson is not yet eligible, but he's both a borderline Hall of Fame case and a borderline mental case.

23. Baltimore Ravens, 3: Rod Woodson, Jonathan Ogden, Ozzie Newsome (executive). Newsome was elected as a Cleveland Browns player, but has been a masterful executive for the franchise since the move, so I'm bending the rules to include him as a Brown and a Raven. Ray Lewis is not yet eligible. Jamal Lewis is, but isn't yet in.

24. New Orleans Saints, 3: Rickey Jackson, Willie Roaf, Jim Finks (executive). Mike Ditka was Saints coach for 3 seasons and Tom Fears for 4, but neither was elected as a coach, so they can't be included here anyway. Same for Hank Stram, who was elected as a coach, but only coached the Saints for 2 seasons. Morten Andersen should also be elected.
 
Frankford Yellow Jackets, 2: Guy Chamberlin, William "Link" Lyman. The 1926 NFL Champions should also have Russell "Bull" Behman and Henry "Two-Bits" Homan -- the former a big guy by the standards of the time, and the latter a little guy who was the NFL's answer to Wee Willie Keeler -- in the Hall.  But both died in the early 1950s, so neither was able to speak on his own behalf since the 1962 founding of NFL Films. Although the Eagles replaced the Jackets as Philadelphia's NFL team, the two teams are not the same franchise.

Providence Steam Roller, 2: Jimmy Conzelman (player & coach), Frederick "Fritz" Pollard.
 
25. St. Louis Rams, 2: Marshall Faulk, Aeneas Williams. Kurt Warner and Isaac Bruce become eligible next year; Torry Holt, the year after.

26. Indianapolis Colts, 2: Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk. Marvin Harrison is now eligible. Edgerrin James becomes eligible next year. Peyton Manning, of course, is still active.

27. Atlanta Falcons, 2: Deion Sanders, Claude Humphrey. Tony Gonzalez will probably be a first-ballot inductee in 2020. Michael Vick is still active, and I wonder if anyone will vote for him when he becomes eligible.
 
Brooklyn Dodgers (NFL 1930-1948), 2: Clarence “Ace” Parker, Frank "Bruiser" Kinard.

28. Tennessee Titans, 1: Bruce Matthews.  He only played 3 years as a “Tennessee Titan,” but counting 2 as a “Tennessee Oiler,” he qualifies for the Titans. Eddie George is eligible, and should be in.

29. Arizona Cardinals, 1: Aeneas Williams, who was just elected. Emmitt Smith wasn’t with them long enough. Kurt Warner was with them for 5 seasons, so he would qualify as a Cardinal if he is elected, and he might well be.

30. Houston Texans, none. Not surprising, as they are the newest franchise. While the Texans made the Playoffs in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, it's not yet clear who their first HOFer would be.

31. Carolina Panthers, none: Not surprising, as they are one of the 4 newest franchises -- 3 if you count the Browns as an established team (and you should, even if they have looked like an expansion team). Mike McCormack was an executive with them, but that’s as close as they come. Reggie White, who played for them in 2000 and died in 2004, is their only former player thus far inducted. Perhaps the late Sam Mills might end up being their first elected HOFer, or maybe Steve Smith.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars, none: Also one of the 4 newest franchises. The former Jag most likely to be their first HOFer is Fred Taylor, although it could also be Tony Boselli or Jimmy Smith.

1 comment:

cal nay said...

you should include players from an organization, regardless if the team moved or not. the Colts & Rams have equal, if not more, players from Baltimore & Los Angeles than the locations the teams are now.