Saturday, February 03, 2007

Kuechenberg Can Wait

I read in Pat McManamon's column on Friday that there's at least one Hall of Fame voter who refuses to vote for Gene Hickerson's induction until Bob Kuechenberg gets in. That voter doesn't deserve a ballot.

Bob Kuechenberg was a very good player on some great teams and he certainly deserves to be in the Hall, but not at the expense of Gene Hickerson. Kuechenberg made All-Pro only twice, while Hickerson was selected five times. Gene Hickerson made the 1960s All-Decade team at his position; Kuechenberg did not make the 1970s All-Decade team at his. Heck, whatever Kuechenberg's credentials might be, the fact remains that he wasn't even the best guard on his own team. That honor belongs to Larry Little, who has been a member of the HOF since 1993.

The biggest problem I've got with the idea that Kuechenberg is somehow more worthy than Hickerson is that, frankly, guards from the 1970s are simply overrepresented in Canton. John Hannah, Gene Upshaw, Larry Little, Joe DeLamileurre, and Tom Mack are all in the Hall of Fame, but if anything, those players were less integral to their teams than the guys in the 1960s were--and players from that era are vastly underrepresented. In fact, the only pure guard from the 1960s who is a member of the Hall is Billy Shaw of the Buffalo Bills, and he played his entire career in the AFL.

It's inexcusable that in an era when the Lombardi Sweep dominated pro football, none of the guys who made that play go have been enshrined. Gene Hickerson's not there. Jerry Kramer's not there. Howard Mudd's not there. Fuzzy Thurston's not there. Yet half a dozen guys from a time after the pulling guard's signature play was made obsolete by moving the hash marks in have been found worthy of enshrinement. I'm not knocking the 1970s guys; all I'm saying is that if there are five of them in the Hall, shouldn't the best guard of the 1960s get in before they add a sixth from that decade?

Voting Gene Hickerson in today would be a long overdue step toward giving the guys who made the NFL's running game go back in the 1960s the credit they deserve.


Vinny said...

F*** Kuechenberg.

I'm tired of Hickerson getting screwed year after year.

herald review said...

You should get your facts straight there Vinny...

Bob Kuechenberg is a 6 time Pro- Bowler.

Second longest playing Dolphin in their history, {15 years, 2nd only to Dan Marino}.

Probably the BEST guard to ever play the game.

Anonymous said...

Your such a dumb f***!!

This is Kooch's 8th nomination not 2nd.

Where have you been this decade??!

Kooch is one of the greats!

Pro News said...

Kooch was a good player on some teams???? What???

To the best of my knowledge Kooch did a short stint with the Eagles then went on to play out his 15 year career with the Miami Dolphins, in which he helped bring the Dolphins to 4 Superbowls, including the '72 perfect season.

6-7 time Pro-bowler.

How can he not be in the Hall of Fame?