Friday, August 9, 2019

Coaches and Contributors—HOF Class of 2020

By John Turney
Yesterday the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that a Blue Ribbon Panel will choose a group of 20 senior players eight coaches and ten contributors that will then be narrowed to ten seniors, three contributors, and two coaches. Then, that final group of 15 will be voted on, up or down, but the full committee.

We don't care that much about coaches and the Hall and even less about so-called contributors. Some players in the Hall of Fame don't like it that owners like Eddie DeBartolo, Jerry Jones, and Pat Bowlen wear the same jacket as they do. These recent owners are not pioneers like the Maras or Rooneys, for example. And to some degree, not 100%, we agree with those Gold Jackets who are a bit dubious of recent owners getting in the HOF with such frequency.

Regardless, here is a list of names to look for in media reports and 'chatter'.

So, who might compose the preliminary list of eight coaches?
Tom Flores—2 Super Bowl wins, first Hispanic coach, will get 'trailblazer' credit.
Don Coryell—Innovator in offensive football.
Buddy Parker—Two championships, some innovations.
Clark Shaughnessy —Innovator in offensive football.
Jimmy Johnson—Two Championships, innovator.
Mike Shanahan—Two championships, known as excellent offensive coordinator.
Dan Reeves—Went to four Super Bowls, high on the all-time wins list.
George Seifert—Two championships, known as excellent offensive coordinator.
Mike Holmgren—One title, two losses, known as an innovative offensive coach.

George Young
Art McNally—Gets lots of ink, a representative of the officials' contributions.
George Young—Many time NFL Executive of the Year.
Steve Sabol—The driving force behind NFL Films.
Carroll Rosenbloom—Key player in hiring Pete Rozelle, AFL-NFL merger, 3 titles.
Bucko Kilroy—Scout and player, successful in both.
Art Modell—Owner who is credited
Ralph Hay—Recognized as driving force in formin the APFA (NFL)
Robert Kraft—The most successful recent owner. Personal issues will delay induction but induction, at some point is inevitable.
Seymour Siwoff—Head of Elias Sports, the godfather of NFL statistics. If it has to do with the numbers (fantasy football, metrics, etc.) then Siwoff is responsible.
Paul Tagliabue—He's getting some press attention but much if it is negative. We will see.
Carroll Rosenbloom
If we were to guess we'd say George Young is a lock, and McNally will be the one with the next-most support. Sabol is our favorite for the third spot but Tagliabue could surprise. Siwoff deserves a fair hearing but we're not sure the Blue Ribbon Committee will give it to him. Too few of them know what Siwoff and his company did for the game in the 1960s-2000s.

As far as coaches we'd rate Flores as a front runner, but for those who think he's a lock, we'd say that to promote only the positives and ignore the so-so seasons he coaches is a mistake.

Jimmy Johnson's ability to scout talent, the fact he took a team at the bottom to the top and perfected the draft value chart works well for him. Siefert and Flores kind of 'gravy-trained' their first titles—taking over a competitive team.

It will be an interesting process and we will follow it for you.


  1. I myself, don't want any more owners in the Hall, but it almost seems like a deal might have been made under the "Centennial" guise, if you will, to add more players, as long as owners, or "contributors" are also added. I hope I am DEAD wrong, but if two owners, say Kraft and wormy Modell get in, my theory will have weight. After all, this class was only supposed to have one, contributor, not three.

    If you're going to put in contributors, they also need to be exceptional scouts, Scouting Heads, or GMs with scouting experience, that turned teams around. Haley of Pittsburgh, Vainisi of GB, and others fit the bill.

    The Players union and other player health/rights,advocates need representation as well, and though controversial, and an NFL Dissenter, Bernie Parrish fits this bill.

    Siwoff and Sabol are interesting, because with Siwoffs information/statistics, and Sabols film and music alternative to live action, from the networks game coverage, more publicity and interest were generated for the game and especially, the players (Though, NFL Film's wrongly, didn't pay royalties to players, and coaches they made money off of, spotlighting) With Ed Sabol already in, adding Steve might be too much.

    1. the "all or nothing" voting process is curious. That gives some credence to your ideas.

  2. Modell (ugh!) is a on it.....this is (especially the all or nothing) ridiculous....WHO is on the BR panel and who selected them???