Saturday, February 03, 2007

More on the Hall of Fame Class of 2007 [J. Mark English]


Michael Irvin was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday despite a troubled past, though voters denied entry to retired NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The former Dallas Cowboys receiver, who won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, got in on his third try.

Irvin pleaded no contest in 1996 to felony cocaine possession. Four years later, he was arrested on drug possession charges, but they were later dropped.

The 40 Hall voters were criticized by two of Irvin's former teammates, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, for previously bypassing the wideout, who retired in 1999.

They didn't ignore him this time.

Tagliabue was eliminated in the first round of voting.

Also voted in were running back Thurman Thomas, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, defensive back Roger Wehrli and two nominees of the veterans' committee - tight end Charlie Sanders and guard Gene Hickerson.

Comments -

Growing up a Giants fan, its hard to believe that Michael Irvin is in the HOF. But in retrospective he has numbers that are up there with the best of them. The Cowboys also would not have won three Super Bowls in five years without him. Its bittersweet though to see the core of that team get into the shrine in Canton, Ohio.

As for Paul Tagliabue, I'm sure he won't take getting snubbed personally. Pete Rozelle also was snubbed in his first ballot the year after he retired.

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