Larry Brown, Joe Jacoby, and Brian Mitchell – get ready to don gold jackets. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is ready to make amends.
The hall’s board of trustees will decide August 2 whether to elect 20 people in 2020 rather than the usual seven or eight. The NFL’s 100th anniversary is the perfect time to amend the backlog of candidates long overdue for enshrinement, including 10 senior players rather than the typical one or two.
That means Brown and Jacoby have a real chance to reach Canton next year, and maybe Mitchell will join them as the league’s career leader in return yards.
Redskins Nation – get out your Ohio maps.
Mixing the 20 selections, which will require two induction dates to handle the lengthy speeches, with the league’s anniversary is a smart decision. There was just no way to catch up with senior selections of those whose careers ended more than 20 years ago. Jacoby came oh-so-close in his last years of eligibility, even reaching the final 10 once. Brown was overlooked because of a shorter career, but recent selections of those with similar tenures now make his case more compelling. And other special teamers have been honored, so it’s time for Mitchell to be selected.
Fans of Brown relaunched his Hall of Fame bid last month before news of the likely expanded field. Now the running back’s chances have gone from possible to ‘why not?' Brown was the 1972 NFL Most Valuable Player, a four-time Pro Bowler, and two-time All-Pro. He was great from 1969-72 before knee issues slowed him down. Brown finished as the Redskins career rushing leader with 5,875 yards. The Redskins of the early ‘70s were powered by Brown.
Maybe now some long overdue honors will include burgundy and gold. It’s about time.