Another year, another Denver Broncos player is overlooked for the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
This time, it’s Randy Gradishar. Well, he’s been overlooked for 35 years, and 2018 is no different, as he’s been forgotten by the Senior Committee once again.
Today, Gradishar joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Mile High Sports Radio for the Afternoon Drive to discuss that snub by the Hall of Fame, once again.
“Well yeah, I have not worried about that [getting into the Hall of Fame] for many, many years,” Gradishar said. “Maybe, at some point if that happens, it’ll certainly come as a surprise. I don’t put a lot of thinking into it, or hoping. I just believe if it’s going to happen, it will happen.
“I will just always look back onto the Ring of Fame and my 10 years with the Denver Broncos,” Gradishar continued.
Without a doubt, No. 53 was one of the greatest defenders in Broncos history. And, the fact that he’s handling it so well with this much class, is a huge plus.
So, why didn’t he get in? Well, part of the reason may be the lack of media support he had. And really, that all Broncos players of that era had.
“You retire and now it’s 35 years later. Somewhere, there’s a media issue there of somebody going to bat for you. I just don’t think I had that kind of recognition,” Gradishar explained on Friday afternoon.
“All I hear back in the 70s and 80s is, ‘You guys are out in cow county and you’re in the wrong time zone. And the Broncos don’t win any games.’ I always call those excuses that somebody didn’t come and over object those,” he said.
Back in the day, when Gradishar would have been a regular candidate and not a senior one, the Broncos had exactly zero Hall of Famers. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 — 44 years after their beginning as a football team in the AFL — that Denver got the recognition they deserved, when John Elway was inducted into the Hall. Disrespect for Denver is all we knew until the “Duke” finally got enshrined.
And, when he was pushed, Gradishar admitted, “In many instances, my statistics are better than guys who are already in.”
Tackles were not recorded back in his day, but Gradishar explains he had over 2,000 in his 10-year career. That sounds unrealistic, but, as he notes, they ran the ball a lot more in those days. He also had 20 interceptions — which is a ton for a linebacker — and three pick-6s, with a mere 4.5 sacks (coming at the end of his career). Another statistical anomaly which is hurting the all-time great was that the NFL didn’t record sacks before 1982, which is very near when Gradishar retired.
Hear those quotes and many more at the link below:
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