Posts Tagged ‘hof’

Wilber Marshall: HOF Bad Ass

Wilber Marshall was inducted this past weekend into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 19 others including Troy Aikman, Lou Holtz and Thurman Thomas. This seems like a good time to look back at Wilber’s NFL career and his post NFL days.

Wilber Marshall was an incredible football player. He was fast and he was strong. He could seamlessly move from fighting off big offensive tackles for sacks to covering speedy running backs in pass coverage. He could hit…hit you hard. If you are a younger person and are trying to picture Wilber, picture LaVar Arrington…but a LaVar that actually made all the plays. He was a hybrid of Derrick Brooks and Lawrence Taylor. HE WAS A BAD ASS! Wilber’s 84 sacks/turnovers during his career are more than Hall of Famer’s Jack Ham and Ted Hendricks.

After playing for the Bears from 1984-87, Wilber signed with the Redskins as a free agent. No big deal in today’s game but in 1988 there was no free agency. Wilber was to the NFL what Curt Flood was to baseball. He took on the system and was the first free agent in 11 years to switch teams. The Skins gladly gave up 2 1st round picks for the right to give him a 5 year 5 million dollar deal.

Wilber played those 5 seasons in DC, played in all 80 games over that span. He played hurt, he played well. He roughly averaged 5 sacks, 3 int’s, and 125 tackles a year during that period. WOW! He was a big time player in big time games, he made big plays when they counted.

Wilber retired in 1995 after 12 seasons and 179 games. 2 Super Bowl titles, 3 Pro Bowl appearances and a broken body. Retirement has been a struggle for Wilber. He fought with the NFL for years over disability benefits. Marshall has had or needed the following procedures: both knees and both shoulders replaced, 4 knee surgeries that left the knee bone on bone, fractured both ankles, nerve damage in both hands and wrist, and a compressed spine with bulging discs. He now walks with the aid of a cane, he’s only 47 years old.

I am personally a huge proponent of the players that helped make the NFL what it is today. The guys that played before the billion dollar TV deals and the $100 million dollar player contracts. Players that had to take on 2ND jobs in the NFL off season, players that had to start working a regular 9-5 job the day they retired from the NFL. Players that made the NFL what it is today, a corporation that prints money. The players of yesterday deserve their share. I hope that the players of yesterday continue to fight until they get what they feel is a fair deal for them. I hope that people like Mike Ditka and Gridiron Greats continue to support the players in need.

I am thankful that I got to watch Wilber Marshall play for the Washington Redskins and help them win a Super Bowl title in 1991. So thank you Wilber and congrats on your HOF induction. You’re one of the reasons I’m proud to be a Redskins fan.

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Monday, July 20, 2009

Categories: Redskins

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July 9: Happy Birthdays

On a daily basis, Fatpickled recognizes the birthdays of the men who have played, and currently play for, my favorite teams. The Redskins, Orioles, Wizards, and Terps.

Happy birthday Leonard Stephens. The man Steve Spurrier and Dan Snyder felt was deserving of Bobby Mitchell’s sacred number played one season in DC, catching one freakin pass. Thanks a lot Leonard, your catch was surely worth alienating a great man who’s a hall of famer who devoted over 40 years of his life to the organization. Happy f*&kin 31st, I hope you kept the ball.

Happy birthday Trent Green. Green spent the 97-98 seasons with the Skins before leaving via free agency. He actually had a pretty stellar season in 98, passing for 3,441 yards with 23 Td’s and only 11 Int’s. Both the yards and Td’s rank in the top ten all time for a Redskins single season. Unfortunately, the stats didn’t add up to wins, and The Skins decided to go with Brad Johnson in 99. Green blew out his knee in 99, allowing us the Cinderella story that is Kurt Warner. Trent went on to have a very productive 5 year run for the Chiefs before injuries and concussions took their toll. Green retired last month to pursue broadcasting opportunities. Happy 39th Mr. Green.

Happy birthday Pete Kendall. Pete has spent the past 2 seasons with the Redskins starting all 32 games and doing a very good job. He is currently a free agent after the Redskins chose not to resign him. However, I think there is some gas left in that tank and if injuries open a spot, we may not have seen the last of Mr. Kendall. In the meantime, happy 36th Pete.

Happy birthday Omar Stoutmire. The backup safety spent parts of the 2005 and 2007 seasons with the Skins. Happy 35th.

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Categories: Fatpickled, Happy Birthday!, Redskins

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The NFL Hall Of Fame System Is Flawed

This post originally debuted at the Cooley Zone
I was at a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house back in Feb. 2004. Joe Jacoby was at the party, and I kinda know Joe from being in the same line of business. So I’m saddled up next to him at the buffet line when I strike up a conversation.

Fatpickle: “Our boy Art got F’d again, huh?”

Joe Jacoby (all 6 foot 6 inches of him, glares down at me and says):

“He’s not the only one.”

I quietly grabbed a few more bacon wrapped scallops and retreated to a quiet place. And I realized, yeah, he’s not the only one. The Redskins had a dynasty from 1982-1991, and until last year only one player was in the Hall of Fame? How about Jacoby, Mosely, Grimm, Bostic, Clark, Mann, and Manley. The HOF system is flawed!

How else can Art Monk be denied 7 times? I don’t need to get into the reasons why Art should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer, anyone who knows anything about football would have voted him in first ballot. The ultimate slap in the face was voting Michael Irvin into the Hall before Monk. I guess when considering a Wide Receiver, pushing off gives you extra points? Is there a special wing in the Hall for offensive pass interference?

The Hall of Fame balloting is like some super secret club. Secret ballots, secret meetings. This much we do know, the wizards behind the curtain are Peter King and Dr. Z. They single handily kept Monk out of the Hall all those years. And with all due respect to Dr. Z, who is recovering from a series of strokes (get well soon), these guys piss me off to no end. What we have is a bunch of sportswriters who have never played football, who are voting players in or out. So, if you blew off Peter King a couple times for an interview 10 years ago, it’s probably going to come back to F you in the long run. However, if you text him inside info, or grab a bite to eat with him, your getting in the Hall. And since I’ve got a sports blog, why can’t I vote? Chris, your good to go since you granted me this interview. If you had blown me off, LJ Smith would be in the Hall before you are!

All of that brings me to Russ Grimm, Mr. Hog. Russ is the one thing left this year for Redskin’s fans to cheer for. He’s a finalist for the Hall of Fame for the 5th consecutive season. He’s also a coach for the Arizona Cardinals, and is a candidate for head coaching positions. He could possibly have the greatest week of his life next week. Hall of Fame on Saturday, Super Bowl win on Sunday, Head Coach on Monday. I’m pulling for you Russ.

Here’s my choices for the NFL Hall of Fame 2009

Shannon Sharpe – He retired with every TE record you could have. That didn’t mean anything for Art Monk, but I hope it does for Shannon. I’m assuming he was one of Chris’s idols?

Bruce Smith – One of the greatest of all-time. Not so much with the Redskins.

Rod Woodson – Simply one of the best ever at the Cornerback position. Also a game changer on special teams.

Chris Carter – Now that Art is in, you can put Carter in. All he does is catch touchdowns. Nope, if he did, he’d have over 1,100!

Russ Grimm – 4 time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. 3 Super Bowl rings. The best offensive lineman for the most well-known offensive line in NFL history. Mr. Hog

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Categories: Fatpickled, NFL

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Hall of Fame Player, Hall of Fame Coach?

“Norv Turner ain’t worth a shit, Russ Grimm should be the head coach of the Skins”

Margaret Pearson circa 1995

My late Grandmother told me those words with great confidence. And while she may have been right that Grimm was the best coach the Skins had in 1995 (or 2008), Russ has never risen to the head coach position. In fact, this time of year that normally was the annual “Art Monk gets the shaft for the HOF” time of year, is now the Russ Grimm “gets the shaft for the HOF and head coaching position” time of year. This will mark the 5th consecutive season that Grimm has been interviewed for head coaching positions, and the 4th consecutive season that he has been a finalist for the HOF.

As a player Russ won 3 Super Bowls in his 11 seasons with the Skins. He was elected to the Pro Bowl 4 times, and also was selected All Pro 4 seasons. He played Center, Guard, and Tackle. He was the definition of the “Hogs.” As a coach he has led some of the best offensive lines in the past 15 years. He also added another Super Bowl ring as a coach for the Steelers. He can boast on his resume that he has played or coached 19 seasons under Bill Cowher and Joe Gibbs.

So while Grimm may not be a great interview, or some new offensive genius, he is the epitome of a coach. Just look at the picture above, is that not the picture you would put in the dictionary under football coach?

So I hope that this is the year that Grimm gets his parlay, a HOF ticket and to be the head coach of a NFL franchise. My guess, Russ gets into the Hall of Fame, and passed over again as a coach.

But I hope I’m wrong, and I hope an owner will step up to prove my Nanny right!

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Categories: Fatpickled, Redskins

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New Road Sign For Cooperstown

Is Mike Mussina a Hall of Famer? That seems to be a popular question this week with the announcement of Mussina’s retirement. Well, my answer to that is a resounding YES!
Full disclosure, Mike Mussina is my favorite pitcher of all-time. Even after he left the O’s to play for the “evil empire”, I still found myself pulling for Moose. Mike debuted in late 1991 and was a full blown star by 1992. I was pitching in college during this time. My motion and mannerisms were patterned exactly after Moose. In my mind, I looked exactly like him. Some 15 years later, I was still imitating his pitching motion while I played in a fantasy camp, my real baseball career long over. Moose, on the other hand was still busy winning 15 games or more a year for the Yankees.
Mussina won 20 games last year for the first time in his career. He was certainly cheated of a couple more 20 win seasons. Strike shortened seasons, blown saves, and pop-ups that found there way into the left field seats at Camden Yards. Mike pitched for 18 seasons in the AL East. 18 seasons with a DH. At least 10 seasons dominated by steroids and another 10 at Camden Yards. Moose could easily hang around a couple more seasons and get to 300 wins, which is an immediate ticket into Cooperstown. But, he’s walking away. He could chase the 300 wins and probably make 25 million doing so. He could also chase that ring that I wish he had, but he’s walking away on top, and on his own terms. I admire that.

So, we have to judge the numbers that are in the book. I’ve looked at them, I’ve lived them, and they work for me. Enjoy your retirement Moose, you will be missed.

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Categories: Fatpickled, MLB, Orioles

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