By John Turney
|Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt, our predictions|
These are the ones who have been voted in under the contributor category—
Edward DeBartolo, Jr.
These are names that have been mentioned in the press as having been close in the voting—
Paul Tagliabue (Was one of the nominees but was rejected by full committee)
And these are a few other names we've read that have been bandied about—
Jack Kent Cooke
We'd say the favorites are Bowlen, George Young, Gil Brandt, and Tagliabue. George Young has the most tangible achievments—he was a five-time NFL Executive of the Year and helped build the 1980s and 1990s New York Giants.
However, our prediction for the two nominees is Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt. Reading the tea leaves yields few other scenarios. Much of the Denver media went ballistic the past few years when others were selected as the contributor nominees. If nothing else, Bowlen becoming one of the nominees this Thursday will finally end that. It shows the squeaky wheel does get the grease.
Brandt is a terrific ambassador of the game and deserves his share of the credit for taking the Rams system that Tex Schramm brought with him to another level and perfected it and computerized it. He did have lots of help with Bucko Kilroy and Ermal Allen in the scouting end of things, many call them the brain trust of the Cowboys system. Yes, Brandt and Schramm did miss on a lot of picks starting in 1978 through 1988 and the wheels kind of came off, opening up the arrival of Jimmy Johnson but the success of the Cowboys from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s should be plenty to put Brandt over the top.
So, there are the picks: Bowlen and Brandt. And we think George Young will be the sole nominee next year.