HALL OF FAME TO ROBERT BRAZILE: WAIT YOUR TURN!
Written by: Mike in DA
Date Posted: 8/11/2010
ART MONK'S FANS HELPED HIM!
In February 2008, wide receiver Art Monk was selected by the voting committee to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in August of that year. Around that time (February 3, 2008), SI.com’s, Don Banks, spoke for many media members back then when he wrote, “I’m glad Art Monk made the Hall of Fame. If only because it now puts the cottage industry known as the Art-Monk-deserves-to-be-in-the-Hall-of-Fame Washington lobbyist group out of business.”
Just in case you’re not familiar with it, for several years up to 2008, there was a campaign waged by Washington Redskin fans to include Art Monk in the NFL Hall of Fame. This included online petitions signed by fans to those who dressed in monk robes. The campaign also included websites, the best of which was http://artmonk.wordpress.com/
that you can check out for yourself. Included in the website is an outstanding highlight reel of Art Monk’s career. It had filmed evidence to specifically refute some of the arguments voters had made against Monk in the past. There were also links to articles about Monk, quotes about him from teammates and opponents, a list of his peers at the wide receiver position, a list of the names of the Hall of Fame voters with their contact addresses, etc., etc. In other words, Monk "deserves-to-be-in-the-Hall-of-Fame" fans really brought it.
In addition, thousands of Redskin fans confronted Hall of Fame voters directly through e-mails, letters, and phone calls demanding Monk’s inclusion into the Hall of Fame. You can ask the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain who can probably confirm that statement.
THE BRAZILE CAMPAIGN!
The above brings us to a similar campaign that is being carried on currently by the self-proclaimed “Houston Sports Leader”, SportsRadio610, for former Houston Oiler, Robert Brazile. If you go to the SR610 website, http://www.sportsradio610.com/, you can sign the petition for Mr. Brazile urging the HOF Veterans Committee voters to send Brazile to Canton.
FYI - Nine members of the Selection Committee for modern era players serve as a subcommittee known as the Seniors Committee to screen candidates who finished their careers 25 or more years prior. The Seniors Committee then adds two finalists from prior to the modern era to the 15 finalists from the modern era to make a final ballot of 17 finalists. Since Brazile retired after the 1984 season, he fits into the senior category.
Since I wasn’t living in Houston during the “Luv Ya Blue” days, I wouldn’t know Robert Brazile from Bobo Brazil, but I do know that on a national scale, Robert Brazile had a relatively low profile compared to a whole lot of others who also may be Hall-of-Fame worthy, but are currently on the outside looking in just like Brazile. Names like Jerry Kramer, Alex Karras, Chuck Howley, John Brodie, Johnny Robinson, Randy Gradishar, Charlie Connerly, Harold Jackson, Chris Hanburger, and Cliff Branch, to name ten of them, are household names, compared to Brazile on a national basis.
The following petition was written about Brazile by Gavin Spittle (pictured left), SR610’s program director, and appears on the SR610 website:
We the sports fans of Houston strongly urge the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee to consider electing former Oilers Linebacker, Robert Brazile. Brazile is the only Linebacker on the 1970's All-Decade Team not to be in the Hall of Fame. He was Defensive Rookie of the Year, went to seven Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro five times. Robert Brazile was a pioneer for the pass-rushing linebacker before the league recorded sacks and many have said that he was, "Lawrence Taylor before Lawrence Taylor".
Thank you for your consideration.
The Undersigned (as of Tuesday, August 10, there were 2,291 Signatures). END.
IS THAT ALL THERE IS TO SAY?
If one believes Brazile has been overlooked for Canton, who are the voters that can be personally contacted so that arguments can be stated to them for Robert? Where is the highlight video of Brazile sacking a whole bunch of guys? Compared to the Art Monk campaign, Brazile will need plenty of more lobbying for him in future years to get into Canton.
NOW HERE'S A FACT-FILLED LETTER/PETITION!
There are a whole bunch of players who are not in the Hall of Fame that I think are more deserving than Brazile. I can list at least 15 that I feel should get a crack at Canton before Brazile. One of them is Chuck Howley (also a linebacker) who played most of his career for the Dallas Cowboys. Howley played a little more than a decade before Brazile. This is what a fan(s) of Chuck would send to John McClain, if he (they) knew that John would help them get Chuck into the Hall of Fame. All one has to do is go to the Internet and search for info on the player:
To: John McClain
SUBJECT: CHUCK HOWLEY, LINEBACKER, DALLAS COWBOYS
Played 14 Seasons: Chicago Bears, 1958-59; Dallas Cowboys, 1961- 1972
Chuck Howley was a member of the famed Dallas Cowboys’ “Doomsday” defense in the 1960s, Chuck was a speedy, ball hawking outside linebacker that seemed to be everywhere on the field. Displaying a nose for the ball, Howley intercepted 25 passes in his career and seemed to be in on every tackle. He scored a touchdown on a 97-yard fumble return in 1966 and had 18 fumble recoveries during his career. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and earned first team All-Pro honors on five occasions.
Originally, a first round draft choice in 1958 by the Chicago Bears, he retired in 1959 after what appeared to be a career-ending knee injury. The Cowboys took a chance on his comeback in 1961, and it paid off handsomely. Despite the knee injury, Howley still had great speed and was a tremendous overall athlete. Tom Landry has said that Howley could have been successful in the NFL as a running back, if he wasn’t as valuable as a linebacker.
Chuck Howley was the type of player you could count on to play his best when it meant the most. In 1970, despite Dallas losing the game, he was named Super Bowl MVP after picking off two passes and recovering a fumble. He was the first defensive player to win the award, and the only player on a losing team to be named MVP. Howley refused the award because the Cowboys lost the game to the Baltimore Colts.
In the next Super Bowl, Howley contributed another interception and fumble recovery in Dallas’ Super Bowl win over the Miami Dolphins.
During his time on the Cowboys, Dallas finished in the top seven in the NFL in scoring defense and fewest yards allowed ten times. They also made the playoffs in his last eight years with the team, missing the playoffs the first year after Howley retired.
In 1977, Howley was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium. Howley was the fourth player honored, after Dallas legends Bob Lilly, Don Meredith, and Don Perkins. Howley is still probably the greatest linebacker in the storied history of the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite his success, credentials, and awards, Chuck Howley has incredibly never ever been on the list of finalists for Hall of Fame induction. He is a player that has been consistently ignored first by the Hall Selection Committee and now the Veterans Committee. He has never made the finalist list, which is hard to fathom.
A Tom Landry quote when Howley retired says it all: “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody better at linebacker than Chuck Howley.”
Chuck Howley definitely belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Robert Brazile.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Undersigned (I’m sure there would be many more than the 2,291 Brazile Signatures) END.
IMPROVING THE BRAZILE LETTER/PETITION!
The Brazile petition should have been longer and should have made reference to some of the following facts that are found on the Internet, if you look close enough:
Brazile was a first-round pick by the Houston Oilers in 1975.
He was the sixth player picked overall and was picked right after his college teammate, Walter Payton.
Brazile was rated as the premier collegiate linebacker in 1974 while playing at Jackson State and was called "Mr. Versatile", a nickname that he earned because of his ability to excel at either the inside or outside linebacker slot.
He helped lead Jackson State to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 1972 and 1973.
Brazile is a member of the Jackson State Sports Hall of Fame, the SWAC Hall of Fame, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Head coach, Bum Phillips, switched Houston's base defense from the 4-3 to a 3-4. Brazile is credited by many to be most important in making the 3-4 popular by his ability to rush the quarterback from his outside linebacking position.
He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons.
Brazile was a key member of Oilers teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 1978 and 1979.
In 1984, Brazile's wife died in a car wreck. He retired immediately from the NFL, which shortened his career.
In the NFL, Brazile was nicknamed "Dr. Doom" by his teammates after being tossed out of a game in his rookie year for hitting Washington Redskin Quarterback, Billy Kilmer, in the head.
Brazile was a vicious hitter and was equally excellent in pass coverage and run support.
He didn't always play on good teams, so he wasn't given the nationwide notice, during that era, he deserved. Since the NFL did not record sacks as a statistic until 1982, his impact on the game may not be fully realized by newer fans.
Those who saw Brazile play knew he was always one of the better defensive players in the NFL in his era year in and year out.
Etc. Etc. Etc. - The more facts that could have been added, the more informative the petition could have been.
We have a few minutes left, so let’s go to the phones!
Caller, you’re on:
“It’s not gonna happen. Maybe Brazile should have gone on “Dancing with the Stars” or become an CBS, FOX Sports, ESPN, or NFL Network loudmouth.”
Caller, you’re on:
“This is Texas Mike. I agree with the petition. Brazile deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Right after Larry Allen, Too Tall Jones, and Drew Pearson. Oh yeah, Charles Haley, too.”
Caller. you’re on:
“It's a shame that Brazile won't get the recognition he deserves. I'm not surprised. The Oilers around his time were overshadowed by the Steelers, Cowboys, Raiders, and then the 49ers. Even on the Oilers, the only players people heard about around the country were Earl Campbell and Billy "White Shoes" Johnson. It's a shame.”
Let’s go to a break and pay some bills.
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