The presenters for this year’s Hall of Fame class have been announced, so I thought it might be interesting to compare them using Football Relativity. Here they are, with 10 being the presenter I’m most interested in hearing and 1 being the presenter I’m least interested in hearing.
10 – Roger Staubach (presenting Cowboys WR Bob Hayes) – I’m not a lifelong Cowboys fan, but I know that Staubach is a legend not only in Dallas but across the league. He’ll provide a sense of perspective about why the late Hayes deserves enshrinement in Canton. He’s the only Hall of Famer on the presenter list, which is worth noting as well. He’ll add a touch of class and extra esteem to these proceedings.
9 – none
8 – O.K. Fulton (presenting Vikings OG Randall McDaniel) – McDaniel chose Fulton, his high school athletic director and assistant principal, to present him for induction. I’ve never heard of Fulton before, but I admire this choice because it affirms an educator who chose to invest in McDaniel and serve as a coach or mentor. Who knows – Fulton could end up stealing the show in Canton with his speech.
7 – Carl Peterson (presenting Chiefs OLB Derrick Thomas) – Thomas’ family chose Peterson, the Chiefs’ long-time president and general manager, to present him for induction. Peterson will have all sorts of stories from Thomas’ time with the Chiefs – he’s probably one of the few guys who was in Kansas City throughout the Thomas era. And as someone who has interviewed Peterson, I can tell you that he has one of the best voices around as well. Good stories + a deep baritone = a great induction speech.
6 – none
5 – Ted Cottrell (presenting Bills DE Bruce Smith) – Cottrell, a long-time NFL assistant coach who was Smith’s first position coach and later his defensive coordinator. He should have great insight on what made Smith great and what Smith was like when he entered the league, and that should be interesting.
4 – none
3- Tracy Foster (presenting Steelers DB Rod Woodson) – Foster, a childhood friend of Woodson’s, was a former college basketball player who now runs Woodson’s car dealership. He seems like a strange choice, but hopefully the childhood friendship will shine through in Foster’s speech. If that happens, we could learn some fun stories about Woodson in the process.
1 – Chris Berman (presenting Bills owner Ralph Wilson) – Berman has been on ESPN since the beginning, but his shtick has grown over the years to the point where he’s now all style and no substance. (I could say he’s overrated, but I don’t have to, because PFW already did.) I hope that this speech will be marked by historical perspective and subtlety, but I’m afraid that Berman will make it all about himself, like he does with most of the other stuff he does on TV nowadays. I don’t understand why Wilson would not have chosen Marv Levy or another great Bills player to present him for induction. (The late Jack Kemp or even the late Tim Russert, perhaps the Bills’ most famous fan, would have been great as well.)