Friday, January 18, 2008

The Hall

Tuesday was another bad day for this Raider fan. It was then that the NFL announced that Lester Hayes did not make the cut from semifinalist to finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Despite Jeffri Chadiha recently declaring Lester's 1980 season the ninth best individual season in NFL history, Lester was again snubbed. Why? Maybe voters actually believe that he would have been a "mere mortal" without Stickum. Perhaps the fact that he overcame stuttering by speaking like a crazy backwoods preacher has them worried about sending him to the podium. Or it could be punishment for the fact that Lester once pawned his Super Bowl ring in Reno for some "emergency dental work." Hey, he had a spare anyway.

Making matters worse, the list of finalists who knocked Lester aside include some real insults. Paul Tagliabue when he has barely had time to shred the evidence of his disdain for the Raiders strewn about his office? Yuck. Triple-C, Chris Crybaby Carter? Horrible irony to see a guy who made his career out of complaining for 10 minutes every time a cornerback covered him knock the greatest CB ever out of contention for the HoF. Art Monk - legit, but head-to-head Lester shut him down long after Stickum had been banned to try and limit Lester's dominance. There are even two Broncos on the list. Broncos don't belong in the Hall of Fame.

The good news is that Ray Guy is a finalist. I really think he deserves it. A real highlight of my week was watching the one reason to turn the channel away from NFL Network, Jamie Dukes, give the standard meathead reply when asked if Ray Guy should get in. "A punter? Are you kidding me?" Jamie Dukes commenting on the Hall of Fame? Are you kidding me? Ray Guy dominated at his position, and last I checked, Punter is a spot on the player roster. In fact, the sport is called FOOT-BALL, and he's one of only two individuals on the roster who actually connects the two syllables of the sport's name.

Well, taking a cue from my NFL idol Lester Hayes, I'm going to learn the complete destiny of forgiveness. I'll keep wearing my #37 jersey to every Raiders game. And meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy the very good fortune I had this boat racing season that got me into the American Power Boat Association's Hall of Champions. On February 2 I will realize a life-long dream and be inducted in Detroit, which is the same day that a bunch of non-Lester Hayes jokers will be elected to the Pro Football HoF.

It also means I'll be on a plane during the Super Bowl. But I think I can live with that.

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