I never see a list of inductees to the NFL Hall of Fame without thinking of the ones who should be and aren’t. Today, Troy Aikman and Rayfield Wright were part of the Class of 2006. Troy seemed a shoe-in; Rayfield waited 22 years.

It’s a good day.

Of course, I see both of them and think of the Cowboys who aren’t there and may never be, in this case Bullet Bob Hayes and Michael Irvin. Their images haven’t been so squeaky clean, but when it comes to football — they had to change the game to keep up with Bob Hayes. Change the way defense is played just to have a chance to keep up with the fastest man on earth — he’d won the cherished gold medal at the Olympics. The fastest man on earth, no experience with football, and the Cowboys got him and turned him into a football player without equal.

Michael Irvin is all personality, and watching him run, leap and catch was watching music, watching wild beautiful music. Again, some stupid choices which he’s paid for, and you might could convince me that stupid choices are enough to keep somebody out of a Hall of Fame for football players.

If Lawrence Taylor weren’t there.

I’m thrilled for Troy and Rayfield — and thrilled to have the team of the 90s and the team of the 70s both represented.

And they both gave good speeches. I like that.

Oh did I mention — one week of training camp down, preseason right around the corner, and then —

Are ya ready for some football!?!

(One of these days let me tell you about my first fantasy football draft, ahem.)


Filed under Dallas Cowboys, Football, Sports

13 responses to “Enshrined

  1. I totally agree with your Michael Irvin-Lawrence Taylor analogy. Clearly, off-field mistakes weren’t a factor for LT’s enshrinement, so I wonder why the double standard when it comes to Irvin. I’m not even a Cowboys fan and I think he should be in!

  2. Thanks. I figured I’d get blasted for that. And I probably will. But I’m glad to know that you get it. And if you do a little reading about Bob Hayes, you’ll definitely agree about him. The zone defense was INVENTED because of him. Football was changed because of him. He was amazing, may he RIP.

  3. I think that Michael Irvin had a good career but he is a borderline hall of famer. He’s hurt by the fact that many of his contemporaries put up really good numbers. Cris Carter, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and a few others.

    Lawrence Taylor was so clearly dominant in his position whereas Michael Irvin was the number one receiver of the best team.

  4. Oh, yeah, I grew up in Dallas. Cowboys? They rock even when they lose!

  5. (high-fiving Glenda!)

    Mr. Kim, the Triplets of Dallas managed to do something remarkable. They were ALL three great, and managed to share points and glory without jealousy, and the team was The Team because of it. No prima donas, just stars. Plus, Irvin was the heart and soul of the team. He could single-handedly lift the team from the sidelines, pump them up, and send them back out to win. It was a remarkable thing to see and read about all those years.

    Anyway, the only reason Irvin wasn’t in the Hall his first year of eligibility was because of his drug arrests. People on the Hall’s committee admitted that. The second year, same thing.

    As I said, if LT makes it with his “history,” drug issues shouldn’t be enough to keep Michael out.

  6. If cheering from the sideline is the criteria, you should have been up there in Canton yesterday. Only the QB is largely measured by Super Bowl rings. The WR and RB by stats. And LT’s dominance was SO GREAT that he had to get into the hall of fame. The problem with Irvin was that he was borderline H of Famer. And his past put him under the threshold.

  7. Hey Pooks, welcome back! Football season is around the corner – yay!

  8. young — you miss the point. Michael Irvin was the heart and soul of the 3-out-of-4 Cowboys AND he had the stats. He deserves to be in the Hall.

    And if Bob Hayes isn’t in the Hall, it’s worthless.

    And yes, Candace, the first game is Saturday. YAY!!!!!!!

  9. Irvin would get my vote and I am not a hardcore ‘Boys fan…nor am I really a fan of Irvin as a person. Yes, his numbers are borderline and not gaudy enough to be in HOF. Addressing numbers in general, Art Monk was the all-time receptions leader until Jerry Rice eclipsed that record a short time later. Monk had much better numbers than Irvin and he should’ve been an automatic shoe-in on his first ballot, yet he was left at home.

    Irvin will be kept out by HOF voters for the next several years, simply by virtue of his out-going personality (abrasive at times), ego, arrests, and his other questionable decisions in life. But watch him on film and he defines work ethic. He didn’t take plays off as Randy Moss does and even Terrel (sp?) Owens will do on occasion. He ran his routes and gave 100% effort on every play. Irvin played hurt and he always played to win. He inspired his team with both his play and on the sideline.

    Irvin was not faster than anyone, his relatively low touchdowns-per-season for a Pro Bowl receiver reflect that. And no, that wasn’t because they had Emmitt, Moose and Novaceck to punch it in. Michael rarely beat someone deep in his prime. Either he out leapt the defender or outmuscled the defender, but he didn’t outrun the defender on a fly pattern. Irvin anticipated where the ball was and he rounded off his routes better than the defender could cut.

    He was master of the old school seperation by hands. Like some magical combination of a kung fu master and a blind man, he would feel where the defender was…while watching for the ball, and making the catch without drawing the flag. Because he was playing the ball the whole time.

    A good receiver had to do this before the NFL tightened the rules in 1979 against the defensive player mugging the receiver all day long. Irvin is the best at this technique that I’ve seen this side of 1980, like an Ed McCaffrey or Dwight Clark with just a little more speed.

    Still, Irvin is the type of player that would’ve been successful in any era of the NFL and if he were to be judged solely by how he played and his game leadership, instead of everything else, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.


    As much as I love having T.O. and Julius Jones in trade limbo, this trade is blocking me from planning my 30 trades before Labor Day!

    Just go to your FF team. See my trade proposal. Hit APPROVE or DENY. Thanks!

  11. And here I thought you were about to admit that Michael belongs in the Hall of Fame!

    (Okay, trade approved.)

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