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83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 06:49 AM
Five Hall-worthy Steelers will get their shots soon
Sunday, February 03, 2008
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2008 was announced yesterday, and, for the sixth year in a row no Steeler was on the list. The franchise hasn't been shut out of the Hall for so long a period since it went 17 years, from 1969 (Ernie Stautner) to 1987 (Joe Greene and John Henry Johnson), without an inductee.

Those were the glory days, as Steelers fans dominated the ceremonies to the point that the Hall finally had to stop inducting alphabetically and put the Steeler of the day last on the program so the fans would stay until the end.

That era, a 16-year tribute to the Steelers' dynasty, ended with Stallworth's induction in 2002, a year after Swann. But a return to those days might not be far off.

There won't be the same kind of crush of Steelers inductions, but, if the Hall of Fame voters get it right -- and they don't always do so, there's reason to believe the next decade will be the second-richest in terms of Hall of Fame inductees in franchise history.

There could be -- should be -- five Steelers inducted in the next 10 years.

This second era definitely should begin next year when Rod Woodson, in his first year of eligibility, will be a virtual lock for induction. Woodson isn't just a Hall of Famer, he's an all-time great, and it's hard to imagine him not being enshrined the first year possible as a member of the class of 2009.

Two years later, there's reason to believe Jerome Bettis will be enshrined in his first year of eligibility. His career doesn't quite match Woodson's, but because of his place on the all-time rushing list (fifth) and the immense popularity he enjoyed with fans and the media, it's hard to see Bettis not being in the class of 2011.

The other three aren't as certain, although not because they lack the credentials, but because sometimes the selectors don't make much sense. It's pretty hard to fathom, for example, the way they've disrespected the career of Dermontti Dawson, the great Steelers center of the 1990s. Many expected Dawson to be in the Hall of Fame by now, eight years after the end of his playing career. Not only has he not been inducted, but he's never even been a finalist.

He was the best at his position for almost a decade. How does that not rate enshrinement?

But, if the Hall could overlook Art Monk, which it did for seven years, it can overlook anyone. Monk was voted in yesterday, an honor that was long overdue. He retired as the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 940 catches. He had five 1,000-yard seasons and played on two Super Bowl champions.

A thoughtful veteran voter, not from Pittsburgh, once was asked about Monk. His response was that Monk, unlike, say, Swann, "lacked a signature catch." Say what?

The guess here -- and it's only a guess -- is one of the selectors lobbied hard against Monk. It's the only explanation for his exclusion for so long.

There's no such personal bias against Dawson, an ultra-classy guy. But there's definitely a Steelers bias among selectors, and it has grown stronger with the relatively late inductions of Swann and Stallworth.

One of these years the voters will come to their senses on Dawson.

Alan Faneca will bring credentials similar to Dawson's. He has been the best or among the best among NFL guards for the better part of a decade and has several more good years remaining. He's already made seven Pro Bowls and easily could add two or three. When he's finished, he'll be Hall-worthy.

Hines Ward is the fifth Steeler who should be an early 21st century inductee. Ward has 719 receptions -- more than twice as many as Swann -- and, like Faneca, still has several good years remaining. There's no reason to believe he won't have more than 900 catches when he retires. His Super Bowl MVP award, his reputation as the best blocking wide receiver in the league and his great popularity make him a near-certain selection.

But as Dawson has shown, the best credentials don't always open the door. Still, with these five, sooner or later, the selectors will get it right.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08034/854411-194.stm

Galax Steeler
02-03-2008, 07:13 AM
I can't believe that dawson hasn't made it he was one hell of a player.

PisnNapalm
02-03-2008, 10:19 AM
I agree. I'm still dumb-founded that Dawson isn't in the HOF. He was the best center in the league when he played.

zulater
02-03-2008, 11:06 AM
It's a damn shame that L.C. Greenwood and Donnie Shell haven't got in. Dirt Dawson too. :mad:

Mosca
02-03-2008, 11:27 AM
I agree with zulater, the real mystery here is why not Donnie Shell. You think A Smith is a hard hitter, Shell would destroy him in a one-up. Shell is a 5 time Pro Bowl player, 5 time All Pro, and holds the NFL record for interceptions at strong safety, 51. Along with his 19 fumble recoveries he had 70 turnovers, an average of over 6 per year!

zulater
02-03-2008, 11:40 AM
I agree with zulater, the real mystery here is why not Donnie Shell. You think A Smith is a hard hitter, Shell would destroy him in a one-up. Shell is a 5 time Pro Bowl player, 5 time All Pro, and holds the NFL record for interceptions at strong safety, 51. Along with his 19 fumble recoveries he had 70 turnovers, an average of over 6 per year!

Shell was also one of the greatest special team players I ever saw.:tt02:

jjpro11
02-03-2008, 12:04 PM
it would be awesome if dirt and woodson got in on the same year. man would that be a steelers party in canton!

OneForTheToe
02-03-2008, 01:01 PM
They should ask Earl Campbell if Donnie shell deserves to be in the Hall.

19ward86
02-03-2008, 01:33 PM
greenwood and dawson should be in soon, bettis will probably go a few years after eligibility,steelers fans think he was amazing but i dont know where the so called"pros" would rank him.

LambertIsGod58
02-03-2008, 01:47 PM
Five Hall-worthy Steelers will get their shots soon
Sunday, February 03, 2008
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2008 was announced yesterday, and, for the sixth year in a row no Steeler was on the list. The franchise hasn't been shut out of the Hall for so long a period since it went 17 years, from 1969 (Ernie Stautner) to 1987 (Joe Greene and John Henry Johnson), without an inductee.

Those were the glory days, as Steelers fans dominated the ceremonies to the point that the Hall finally had to stop inducting alphabetically and put the Steeler of the day last on the program so the fans would stay until the end.

That era, a 16-year tribute to the Steelers' dynasty, ended with Stallworth's induction in 2002, a year after Swann. But a return to those days might not be far off.

There won't be the same kind of crush of Steelers inductions, but, if the Hall of Fame voters get it right -- and they don't always do so, there's reason to believe the next decade will be the second-richest in terms of Hall of Fame inductees in franchise history.

There could be -- should be -- five Steelers inducted in the next 10 years.

This second era definitely should begin next year when Rod Woodson, in his first year of eligibility, will be a virtual lock for induction. Woodson isn't just a Hall of Famer, he's an all-time great, and it's hard to imagine him not being enshrined the first year possible as a member of the class of 2009.

Two years later, there's reason to believe Jerome Bettis will be enshrined in his first year of eligibility. His career doesn't quite match Woodson's, but because of his place on the all-time rushing list (fifth) and the immense popularity he enjoyed with fans and the media, it's hard to see Bettis not being in the class of 2011.

The other three aren't as certain, although not because they lack the credentials, but because sometimes the selectors don't make much sense. It's pretty hard to fathom, for example, the way they've disrespected the career of Dermontti Dawson, the great Steelers center of the 1990s. Many expected Dawson to be in the Hall of Fame by now, eight years after the end of his playing career. Not only has he not been inducted, but he's never even been a finalist.

He was the best at his position for almost a decade. How does that not rate enshrinement?

But, if the Hall could overlook Art Monk, which it did for seven years, it can overlook anyone. Monk was voted in yesterday, an honor that was long overdue. He retired as the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 940 catches. He had five 1,000-yard seasons and played on two Super Bowl champions.

A thoughtful veteran voter, not from Pittsburgh, once was asked about Monk. His response was that Monk, unlike, say, Swann, "lacked a signature catch." Say what?

The guess here -- and it's only a guess -- is one of the selectors lobbied hard against Monk. It's the only explanation for his exclusion for so long.

There's no such personal bias against Dawson, an ultra-classy guy. But there's definitely a Steelers bias among selectors, and it has grown stronger with the relatively late inductions of Swann and Stallworth.

One of these years the voters will come to their senses on Dawson.

Alan Faneca will bring credentials similar to Dawson's. He has been the best or among the best among NFL guards for the better part of a decade and has several more good years remaining. He's already made seven Pro Bowls and easily could add two or three. When he's finished, he'll be Hall-worthy.

Hines Ward is the fifth Steeler who should be an early 21st century inductee. Ward has 719 receptions -- more than twice as many as Swann -- and, like Faneca, still has several good years remaining. There's no reason to believe he won't have more than 900 catches when he retires. His Super Bowl MVP award, his reputation as the best blocking wide receiver in the league and his great popularity make him a near-certain selection.

But as Dawson has shown, the best credentials don't always open the door. Still, with these five, sooner or later, the selectors will get it right.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08034/854411-194.stm


As much as I'd love to see Hines in the Hall...I don't think he'll make it. Swann, IMO, made it due to what he meant to the 70's teams and his performance in SB's.

zulater
02-03-2008, 02:01 PM
As much as I'd love to see Hines in the Hall...I don't think he'll make it. Swann, IMO, made it due to what he meant to the 70's teams and his performance in SB's.

Yeah I see Hines as close but no cigar too. Unless he can pull off another season like he had back in 01-03 or plays great during another lengthy post season run then I don't think he quite has enough to get in.

I could see him being a finalist a few times, but that might be as far as it gets.

Rhee Rhee
02-03-2008, 04:10 PM
As much as I'd love to see Hines in the Hall...I don't think he'll make it. Swann, IMO, made it due to what he meant to the 70's teams and his performance in SB's.

hines ward's superbowl MVP doesn't show what he's done in the superbowl??

HometownGal
02-03-2008, 04:36 PM
It's a damn shame that L.C. Greenwood and Donnie Shell haven't got in. Dirt Dawson too. :mad:

Damned straight zu. L.C. should have been enshrined years ago - he was just as much a part of that Steel Curtain D as the others who have already been inducted.

LambertIsGod58
02-03-2008, 05:39 PM
hines ward's superbowl MVP doesn't show what he's done in the superbowl??


Swann was on FOUR Super Bowl winning teams....Hines was on one. That's the difference....

zulater
02-03-2008, 06:08 PM
Damned straight zu. L.C. should have been enshrined years ago - he was just as much a part of that Steel Curtain D as the others who have already been inducted.

L.C. absolutely owned Hall of Fame right tackles Ron Yary of the Viking and Rayfield Wright of the Cowboys in back to back Super Bowls, I'm still not sure how that one figures? :dang:

Lord Stiller
02-03-2008, 08:06 PM
I agree. I'm still dumb-founded that Dawson isn't in the HOF. He was the best center in the league when he played.

No kidding. Also, there hasnt been a center in the league better than Dawson since he retired

Lord Stiller
02-03-2008, 08:09 PM
Yeah I see Hines as close but no cigar too. Unless he can pull off another season like he had back in 01-03 or plays great during another lengthy post season run then I don't think he quite has enough to get in.

I could see him being a finalist a few times, but that might be as far as it gets.

The only way Hines gets in is if he wins another SB MVP

Aussie_steeler
02-04-2008, 02:34 AM
Looking forward to Rod Woodson taking that well deserved place in the HOF.

He is the reason why I became a steeler fan.:tt02:

Galax Steeler
02-04-2008, 04:52 AM
I could see hines making it in the hof beacause of his physical blocking and physical playing I say he makes it.

Steel Pit
02-04-2008, 05:33 AM
Swann was on FOUR Super Bowl winning teams....Hines was on one. That's the difference....

Swann's Super Bowl numbers were pretty impressive as well. These type of numbers wouldn't be huge in todays NFL but Swann isn't playing today.

**The following season became the highlight of Swann's career. He caught 49 passes for 781 yards and a league-leading 11 touchdowns. In the AFC title game against the Oakland Raiders he suffered a severe concussion that forced him to spend two days in a hospital, but surprised many by returning to play for Super Bowl X. Swann recorded four catches for a Super Bowl record 161 yards and a touchdown in the game, assisting the Steelers to a 21-17 win and becoming the first wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.**

**Overall, Swann gained 364 receiving yards and 398 all-purpose yards in his four Super Bowls, which were both Super Bowl records at the time.**

stlrtruck
02-04-2008, 09:15 AM
Let's face Steelers faithful - the reason they can't put any more Steelers players in the HOF is because they haven't designed the blue print for the STEELERS WING!!

I was talking to someone yesterday about how is it that a man who was the standard at his position not make it in to the HOF on the first Ballot. That goes for most of the Steelers players from the 70's and it goes for Dawson, and Woodson too!

revefsreleets
02-04-2008, 09:45 AM
This article is 100% right on the money. Sadly, I think the last of the 70's players have made it in, regardless of merit. They just aren't going to put any more Steelers from those teams in. Dirt's omission amazes me. I just don't get it. It actually makes me mad that he isn't in. Bettis will get in year one...he's the best big back to ever play the game. Woodson is a shoe-in. Faneca could, but if they don't let Dirt in, well? I doubt Hines gets in unless he has another SB win under his belt. Great article.

Elvis
02-04-2008, 05:19 PM
Dermontti Dawson not being in the Hall of Fame is just a slap in the face for Dawson. This man was the best in the biz for around 8 or 9 years and they are just shunning him, what a travisty. If Rod Woodson is Not Voted for by anyone with a vote, they should have their vote taken away. Jerome Bettis should make the Hall but it wouldnt suprise me if it takes a few years for him to get voted in.

Dino 6 Rings
02-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Bettis will get in on the first ballet. He's the 5th all time rushing leader isn't he. Then Curtis Martin PITT GRAD will get in on the first ballet as well. Dawson will get in, eventually. His time at the position and his dominant play will eventually get him in the door and his bust will be cast.

Dick L belongs in the Hall too.

Ward will get in if the Steelers continue to have great playoff seasons for the remainder of his time in the league (I imagine he'll retire a Steeler.) He has become a face of the franchise, especially after the SB Win. Everyone in the country knows his name, its not like he's only getting Eastern Time attention. He'll need help from his team mates, another SB Title would seal the deal for him for sure.

Lord Stiller
02-04-2008, 06:17 PM
Dermontti Dawson not being in the Hall of Fame is just a slap in the face for Dawson. This man was the best in the biz for around 8 or 9 years and they are just shunning him, what a travisty. If Rod Woodson is Not Voted for by anyone with a vote, they should have their vote taken away. Jerome Bettis should make the Hall but it wouldnt suprise me if it takes a few years for him to get voted in.

This was only Dawson's second year of eligibility. Considering he is a lineman, it is not a 'slap in the face at all'

Chill out

Woodson will be inducted his first year of eligibility. Bettis might be or he might have to wait a few years

Lord Stiller
02-04-2008, 06:18 PM
Dick L belongs in the Hall too.


good point and i agree

i have a lot of respect for Lebeau

RoethlisBURGHer
02-04-2008, 07:46 PM
Dirt Dawson should be in. How can a guy considered to be the best offensive lineman in his time playing, not get in on his first or second times up?

If they make Woodson wait, then they should have their votes taken away. He is an all-time great at DB.

Bettis might not get in first-ballot. Many people look at his place on the all-time rushing list more due to logevity instead of great seasons (I think that was part of the reason Monk had to wait so long).

And as for LC Greenwood, he should be in, but I don't think he ever will be. I don't see any more of the 1970 Super Steelers getting enshrined. There is too much of a bias against them, the comittee doesn't want to make those teams looked "favored" over others...even though they were the greatest Super Bowl dynasty ever.

revefsreleets
02-04-2008, 10:18 PM
That's exactly why Bettis WILL get in first ballot. He got his yards by being big and nifty. Let's be honest. Dude played at 280 most of his years in the 'Burgh. 280 lb RB's ( who really don't even exist in the first place) play for a year, get injured, and retire. He lasted for over a decade. He's in. Bank it.