2019 Hall of Fame Class
- Champ Bailey
- Pat Bowlen
- Gil Brandt
- Tony Gonzalez
- Ty Law
- Kevin Mawae
- Ed Reed
- Johnny Robinson
I refused to vote for any of the offensive lineman on the premise that I feel the voters shit themselves over the past few years by not electing Redskins Legend Joe Jacoby to the Hall of Fame. No offense to fellow HOG Russ Grimm, but Jacoby is the best HOG of them all, and he was a better offensive tackle than Kevin Mawae was a center. So call it stubborn or stupid or some word in between, I really don’t care. They were off the list from the start, though I feel that Mawae, and most of the other OL were worthy of Canton.
The first 5 eliminated by the voters were Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, John Lynch and Richard Seymour. Out of those 5, I had Don Coryell as one of my 5 finalists, and quite frankly, I think coaches should be in their own category so that it doesn’t take away from the team, and it gives them a better shot, a lot like the Senior and Contributor categories. Both Coryell and Flores are deserving of the honor and who knows if they will ever darken the halls of Canton at this point.
Next, they cut from 10 to 5 with Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Edgerrin James, being eliminated from the process. Steve Atwater is a Hall of Famer, I don’t care what the 48 say. Edgerrin James is as well, but he didn’t make my final 5. It’s a numbers game. Out of the three lineman, I’d rank them Faneca, Hutchinson, and then Boselli. I’ve seen some compare Boselli and Terrell Davis or call Boselli the TD of lineman with similar careers. TONY BOSELLI never won a Super Bowl. TONY FREAKING BOSELLI was never a SUPER BOWL MVP, so kindly stop with that ignorance.
This brings us to the 5 modern finalists. Each had to receive 80% of the vote which is 39 of the 48 voters. I think that any voting like this should be public whether it’s the NFL, MLB, or even the awards when there have been some foolish choices receiving votes over the years.
- Champ Bailey
- Tony Gonzalez
- Ty Law
- Kevin Mawae
- Ed Reed
Going in to this, I felt that Bailey/Gonzalez/Reed were locks as first ballot nominees. Each are among the best to play the game at their positions.
That leaves Law & Mawae. Again, Mawae didn’t make my cut out of principal, but he’s worthy. Law is likely worthy too at the end of the day, but his biggest game in history is tainted because Belichick instructed them to hold the Colts receivers because the dumb ass Walt Foxborough Colman and his crew weren’t calling it. So yeah that is tainted, it’s just one game, and he’s clearly one of the better defensive players the Patriots had, but he’s not a better corner than Steve Atwater is a safety.
Learning that Steve missed it pissed me off. I can live with Ed Reed, you’ll see him and Atwater both on my all-time team later in the year, so I won’t argue that one, but Ty Law does not deserve it before Reed, neither does Mawae.
Learning that there was actual discussions on whether it should be Bailey or Law added an entirely different level of disgust. Had the news broke Saturday night that the only Bronco representative been Pat Bowlen, a well deserved honor, you have to be thankful, but had it been Ty Law in over Champ Bailey, i think there would have been a meltdown out of #broncoscountry. A well deserved meltdown. #FYNE
Brandt & Bowlen
It’s a yes, to both. Different positions, different dynamics, but it’s a yes to both.
I’m trying to not go on a rant, and I’ll leave it and this and move on to Gil Brandt. Mr. Pat Bowlen should have been the first “contributor” through the door when they created the designation in 2014. How he ran/lead the Broncos is one thing. How he helped move the league forward with TV contracts should have been the deciding factor year ago.
I stand by these tweets:
And that will never change. At least it happens. There was a report of 6 of his children facetiming with him yesterday, so I take that as he was cognitive of the honor (I sure hope so), but hate that it wasn’t bestowed on him earlier so there was an increased chance of him fully appreciating the honor.
Brandt is a huge key behind the success the Cowboys had Pre-Jerry, a football lifer that was instrumental to them allegedly becoming “America’s Team”.
I can’t resist the opportunity to share a great quote from Bum Phillips.
“The Dallas Cowboys may be America’s team, but the Houston Oilers are Texas’ team.”
-O.A. “Bum” Phillips
Gotta love ball. It’s a law. Well it should at least be in the NFL Rulebook.
Senior Nominee: Johnny Robinson
I’m not trying to be rude or disrespectful, but when I have to google, and read a guys bio to learn about him, it’s hard to give him a yes vote. I like to consider myself a bit of a student of the game, and when I have to ask who? what? when?, I can’t vote yes. So I apologize if anyone finds that offensive.
The Bulk of this article was written last year, parts have been tweaked. It was mostly an argument on why he deserved it, now it’s a basis of how he earned it.
In 1984, the Bowlen Family purchased the Denver Broncos from Edgar Kaiser. After the purchase became official, Bowlen declared “I want us to be number one in everything.” A lofty goal for sure. Go big or go home.
When Mr. Bowlen’s Hall of Fame nomination gets put to a final vote in December, the voting committee could look at his career as whole, or separate it into two categories. Owner Denver Broncos, and Pat Bowlen, member of committee, x, y and z).
Each on their own without the other is a hall of fame career. If he was simply the owner, then the stats and bullet points below are enough to fit him for a Gold Jacket and a bust. If you look at his league-wide contributions to the growth and popularity of the game, that too is Gold Jacket/bust worthy as well.
Owner, Denver Broncos Football Club
From 1960 to 1983 the Denver Broncos:
- Were 143-189-9 in the regular season.
- Made the playoffs four times (’77,’78,’79 ’83) 4/24
- Were 2-4 in the playoffs.
- Had three 10-win seasons (’77,’78, ’79, ’81) 4/24
- Won two division Championships (’77,’78) 2/24
- Won one AFC Championship (’77) 1/24
Since 1984 the Denver Broncos:
- Are 322-204-1 in the regular season.
- Made the playoffs
- Are 21-15 in the playoffs.
- Had seventeen (17) 10-win seasons (’84, ’85, ’86, ’87, ’89, ’91, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15)
- Won thirteen (13) AFC West Championships (’84, ’86, ’87, ’89, ’91, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15)
- Won seven AFC Championships (’86, ’87, ’89, ’97, ’98, ’13, ’15)
- Won three Super Bowl Championships ’97 (XXXII), ’98 (XXXIII/38), ’15(L/50)
24 years to 37 years isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison but if it were a see-saw Mr. Bowlen has the weight of every defensive lineman to play for the Broncos on his end and the previous owners have the weight of every kicker on their end (which is elevated in the air). More trips the Super Bowl than losing seasons is exhibit #1 to that. The Broncos have the best home record (207-77 / .729) in pro football over the past 33 years.
AFC West Domination:
- During his tenure, the Broncos have won 13 AFC West Titles. Second (Chargers 7) and third (Chiefs 6) place have 13 combined. The current trio have won 18 between them and the Seahawks won a pair before being shipped off to the NFC West.
- The Broncos have won 144 divisional contests. Kansas City is second with129.
- Denver has had 5 losing seasons. Kansas City is again second with 12.
- Denver has 322 regular season wins. Kansas City has had 262.
- Denver has 18 playoff appearances, Kansas City has had 14.
- Denver has had 36 playoff games. Kansas City 17.
- Denver has played in 9 AFC Championship games. Oakland has played in 3.
- Denver has had 7 Super Bowl appearances. Oakland and San Diego each appeared in 1.
- Denver has 3 World Championships. Kansas City has 0, Oakland has 0, and San Diego has 0. Collectively, they have 0.
The AFC West domination is overwhelming to the say the least.
Since Bowlen took over the Broncos have the best winning % in the NFL with .612. From 1984-2016 they are 322-204-1 and it is that one tie that nudges them ahead of the New England Patriots who are 322-205-0.
Thanks to the 5-11 record last year, the Broncos now have the 2nd best regular season winning % in the NFL since 1984 (.603). They are 327-215-1 while the New England Patriots are 335-208 for a .617 winning %
Note, that the chart below does not negate the statement above, since the Patriots had multiple owners
Invesco Field/Sports Authority Field Broncos Field at Mile High
Invesco Field at Mile High, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Broncos Field at Mile high was built as Invesco Field at Mile High with Bowlen contributing $150M to the construction. In 2013, he helped fund a $30M upgrade. The team is currently seeking a new partner for naming rights.
UCHealth Training Center
The 13.5 acre state-of-the-art facility continues to grow. It opened in 1990 and with the recent addition to the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse, the Broncos are set for years.
- A member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
- Chairman of the board of Denver Broncos Charities, he has donated nearly $30 million to charitable organizations in the Denver area since the inception of that fund in 1993.
- In 2013, he was named the Mizel Institute Community Enrichment Award, the region’s most prestigious philanthropic accolade, for his community leadership and commitment to the city of Denver and state of Colorado.
- In 2017, a youth development park in Commerce City was dedicated as “Pat Bowlen Field” in recognition of Mr. Bowlen’s tremendous contributions to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, including the 14-year funding of the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club.
For the Shield
From a league wide perspective, the Broncos media guide notes the following:
- In addition to his role with the Broncos, Mr. Bowlen was a key figure in securing the league’s labor and TV contracts.
- He served as co-chair of the powerful NFL Management Council Executive Committee from 2001-11
- Formerly chaired the prestigious NFL Broadcasting Committee.
- He also served on the NFL Compensation Committee
- The NFL Network Committee
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee
- The NFL Business Ventures Committee
- The NFL Finance Committee
- The Los Angeles Working Group Committee and
- The NFL Workplace Diversity Committee.
In his role as Chair of the NFL Broadcast Committee, Mr. Bowlen was responsible for the negotiations on the NFL’s $18 billion TV contract, the most lucrative single-sport contract in history. Note: This was written in 2017, and the $’s below have only continued to grow.
The only real look inside the NFL Books you get is via the Green Bay Packers. They are the only team that is not privately held.
In the 2017 Packers Annual report showed them receiving $243.9M from national revenue, which is made up of television deals, league-wide sponsorships, think Papa Johns and Bud Light, (maybe Peyton Manning is on to something) and licensing and merchandise sales2. This is up from the reported $222.6M from 2016. Each and every team receives this $243.9M. So, each and every owner should have been publicly stumping for Pat Bowlen. He didn’t do alone, but he was a key factor in this growth. For example, the Packers total revenue in 2001 was $132M. Total meaning (national and local). Today their national alone is close to twice that amount.
This concept was established in 2015. It is an outright shame that Mr. Bowlen wasn’t one of the first two to be voted on. This isn’t a knock against the other men on the list, it’s just an insult that Mr. Bowlen wasn’t the first through the door when you compare resumes.
Process moving forward
When the Hall of Fame Committee meets in December, Bowlen’s full case will be presented to the full 48 person committee. He will have to receive 80% of the votes (39 out of 48 votes). to be elected. It’s certainly not automatic, as you can see 5 of the 6 men that have become a finalist have been elected, with former NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue being the only not to reach 80%.
Each of those men have been great at their jobs, and made key contributions to the league. Each are deserving of the Gold jacket and the bust. Don’t get me wrong. They simply aren’t on par with Patrick Dennis Bowlen, Owner of the Denver Broncos Football Club, future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.