Who are the best AFL players not in Canton? The countdown is about to begin
The AFL Call for the Hall is about to begin.
A week ago we told you that too many AFL players have been ignored and/or forgotten by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but big deal. You knew that. What you didn’t know was that we’re determined to do something about it by promoting the AFL’s top players for Hall-of-Fame consideration.
And we’re doing it now.
We figure if Canton can celebrate the NFL's 100th anniversary with 10 seniors in a Centennial Class we can follow with 10 AFL seniors that could have been ... no, should have been ... considered for that class.
Now, before we get started, let’s make something clear: This is not endorsed by the Hall … is not promoted by the Hall … and, in fact, has little to do with the Hall, other than we have five Hall-of-Fame voters on our board (including our Rick Gosselin and Ron Borges) who are part of its senior committee. This is simply an exercise to recognize Hall-of-Fame worthy AFL stars whom Canton has not.
OK, so the Jets’ Winston Hill just landed in the Hall as part of the Centennial Class of 2020. But he’s the only AFL inductee. In fact, he was the only AFL candidate among the Centennial’s 20 finalists.
Repeat: The only one.
No question, he deserved to be inducted. But he deserved to be inducted decades ago. So did a raft of others from the AFL.
Consider this a chance to name them.
In addition to the five Hall-of-Fame voters, we have five historians, too – including AFL expert Todd Tobias of TalesfromtheAFL.com and frequent Talk of Fame Network collaborator John Turney of Pro Football Journal. The balance is not dissimilar to a panel I convened late last year as our own Centennial Class, with six of the selectors returning for this vote. That went off seamlessly, and the hope is that this will, too.
So let’s get started.
Today we present our preliminary list of 46 candidates proposed by voters and readers. From this group, 20 finalists will be chosen on June 10, with our 10 winners named the following week – with June 18 the most likely date.
Important: This list is not fixed. It can be amended ... and it can be amended by you ... but only if you propose a deserving candidate who is missing. If not, the polls open to our voters next Wednesday on the list before them.
Any questions? Good. Introducing the preliminary list of candidates for the AFL Call for the Hall:
QB – John Hadl (San Diego, 1962-72; L.A. Rams, 1973-74; Green Bay, 1974-75; Houston 1976-77), Jack Kemp (L.A./SanDiego, 1960-62; Buffalo 1962-69), Daryle Lamonica (Buffalo 1963-66; Oakland 1967-74).
RB – Clem Daniels (Dallas, 1960; Oakland, 1961-67; San Francisco, 1968), Cookie Gilchrist (Buffalo, 1962-64; Denver, 1965, 1967; Miami, 1966), Abner Haynes (Dallas/Kansas City, 1960-64; Denver, 1965-66; Miami, 1967; N.Y. Jets, 1967), Keith Lincoln (San Diego, 1961-66, 1968; Buffalo, 1967-68) Paul Lowe (L.A./San Diego, 1960-68), Kansas City, 1968-69); Jim Nance ( Boston/New England, 1965-71; N.Y. Jets, 1973).
WR – Chris Burford (Dallas/Kansas City, 1960-67), Gino Cappelletti (Boston, 1960-70), Elbert Dubenion (Cleveland, 1959, Buffalo, 1960-68), Charlie Hennigan (Houston, 1960-66), Art Powell (Philadelphia, 1959; New York Titans, 1960-62; Oakland, 1963-66; Buffalo, 1967; Minnesota, 1968), Lionel Taylor (Chicago, 1959; Denver, 1960-66; Houston, 1967-68), , Otis Taylor (Kansas City, 1965-75), Warren Wells (Detroit, 1964, Oakland, 1967-70), .
TE – Fred Arbanas (Dallas/Kansas City, 1962-70), Dave Kocourek (L.A./San Diego, 1960-65; Miami, 1966; Oakland, 1967-68).
OT – Jim Tyrer (Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-73; Washington, 1974), Ernie Wright (L.A./San Diego Chargers, 1960-67; Cincinnati, 1968-71; San Diego, 1972).
OG – Ed Budde (Kansas City, 1963-76), Wayne Hawkins (Oakland, 1960-69), Walt Sweeney (San Diego, 1963-73; Washington 1974-75), Bob Talamini (Houston, 1960-67; N.Y. Jets, 1968).
C – Jon Morris (Boston/New England, 1964-74; Detroit, 1975-77; Chicago, 1978).
DT – Houston Antwine (Boston/New England, 1961-71; Philadelphia, 1972), Tom Keating (Buffalo, 1964-65, Oakland, 1966-67, 1969, 1970-72; Pittsburgh, 1973; Kansas City, 1974-75), Ernie Ladd (San Diego, 1961-65, Houston, 1966, Kansas City, 1967-68), Tom Sestak (Buffalo, 1962-68).
DE – Earl Faison (San Diego, 1961-66; Miami, 1966), Rich Jackson (Oakland, 1966; Denver, 1967-72; Cleveland 1972), Ike Lassiter (Denver, 1962-64; Oakland, 1965-69; Boston/New England, 1970-71), Jerry Mays (Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-70), Gerry Philbin (N.Y. Jets, 1964-72, Philadelphia 1973).
LB – Dan Conners (Oakland, 1964-74), Larry Grantham (N.Y. Titans/Jets. 1960-72), E.J.Holub (Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-70), Mike Stratton (Buffalo, 1962-72; San Diego, 1973), George Webster (Houston, 1967-72, Pittsburgh, 1972-73; New England, 1974-76).
CB – Butch Byrd (Buffalo, 1964-70, Denver, 1971), Dave Grayson (Dallas Cowboys, 1961; Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-64, Oakland, 1965-70).
S – Goose Gonsoulin (Denver, 1960-66; San Francisco, 1967), George Saimes (Buffalo, 1963-69; Denver 1970-72).
SPECIAL TEAMS (2)
P – Jerrel Wilson (Kansas City, 1963-77; New England, 1978).
PK – Jim Turner (N.Y. Jets, 1964-70; Denver, 1971-79).