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Sports Then and Now



Selection of Jack Butler Brings Out the Best and Worst in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 25

Posted on February 04, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Though he retired in 1959, it took until 2012 for Jack Butler to get serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Let me start this post by saying that after watching his gleeful interview during the NFL Network Hall of Fame show I am pleased that 84-year-old Jack Butler is able to enjoy his moment as a new member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

However, in my opinion it is the selection of Butler that best illustrates what is wrong with the selection process for the Hall of Fame.

If given the chance to ask one question to the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee it simply would be: “Why is an 84-year-old who last played in the NFL in 1959 being selected to the Hall of Fame in 2012?”

I’m not really sure whether Butler deserves to be in the Hall of Fame or not, but I am sure that the Hall of Fame selectors did a bad job in handling this selection.

Because, given that Butler had never previously even been a Hall of Fame finalist, the voters either were woefully negligent in not considering him before now or they caved in to a recent campaign by fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers to get Butler into the Hall of Fame.

Either way, the true loser in this scenario is the integrity of the Hall of Fame.

This marks the third straight year that a senior candidate that had never previously been a Hall of Fame finalist suddenly found himself not just as a finalist, but as one of those chosen to enter the Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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