(Photos courtesy of Minnesota Vikings & Oakland Raiders)
Talk of Fame Network
The finalists have been decided for Super Bowl 50, so let the debates begin.
That’s what’s happening with our Talk of Fame guys, Rick Gosselin, Ron Borges and Clark Judge, this week as they pack their bags and prepare to head to San Francisco for the usual Super Bowl hysteria.
But this is Interlude Week, that odd seven-day stretch after the conference championships have been decided when there are no games but plenty of talk about the one that will finally be played in two weeks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
All not only will cover all the festivities in the Bay Area but Rick and Ron are preparing presentations of Hall-of-Fame finalists Dick Stanfel and Kenny Stabler. In support of Stabler, the guys talk with Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff on this week's Talk of Fame Network broadcast about his former quarterback, whose enshrinement Biletnikoff believes is long overdue.
“I always thought Kenny should have been in years ago,’’ Biletnikoff says. “Why not? I have no idea. He was as successful as anyone who ever played the game. John Madden has always said he wouldn’t want anyone but Kenny on the field in a tight situation.’’
Beyond Stabler’s obvious passing skills, Biletnikoff cited a more intangible reason he believes the man they called “The Snake’’ belongs in Canton.
“He was in total control on the field,’’ Biletnikoff recalled. “Of the huddle, the play calling, using the personnel. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. John only called timeouts so it seemed like he was coaching Kenny.’’
Another guy always in control on the field also came by to discuss his Hall-of-Fame candidacy. The NFL’s all-time leading scorer, kicker Morten Andersen, is once again a finalist and remains mystified why only one pure kicker, Jan Stenerud, has ever been enshrined. Anderson believes he should be the next but not the last.
Add Hall-of-Fame general manager Bill Polian, invited to assess the Hall's Class of 2016, and you have a complete show aimed at the best and brightest of this year's Canton finalists.
The guys also dissect Peyton Manning’s unexpected return to the Super Bowl in what may well be his final game and the odds that challenging the Carolina Panthers will end happily for him. While Goose firmly believes Manning doesn’t need to win a second Super Bowl to cement his legacy, his sidekicks have their doubts.
Those are nothing compared to the doubts Clark has about the Hall-of-Fame candidacy of wide receiver Terrell Owens, and this week he’s bringing in some backup to help make his case. Long-time Hall-of-Fame voter Ira Miller, who covered T.O.’s turbulent years in San Francisco, stops by to argue forcefully that there is more to consider than the numbers when it comes to Owens.
Speaking of numbers, Ron states the case for Hall-of-Fame finalist Marvin Harrison ... and he is certainly someone who put up numbers. A six-time Pro Bowl receiver, Harrison ranks in the top half-dozen in every receiving category after a 13-year career of catching passes from Manning when both were in Indianapolis. Yet Goose raises a skeptical eye at one missing page in his resume.
Make sure you tune in to hear those debates as well as the guys’ points of view on what derailed the Patriots and Cardinals ... and if the Carolina Panthers are as good as their glossy 17-1 record makes them appear. There’s all that and much more, including Goose’s “Dr. Data’’ segment that points out winning Super Bowls is a young man’s game. At least if you play quarterback.
To hear the full two-hour show just tune in to any of the 90 radio stations around the country carrying Talk of Fame Network or go to our podcast at iTunes. The show, as well as repeats of archived shows, can also be found on the TuneIn app or by visiting talkoffamenetwork.com. That will take you to our webpage where you can listen in to this or any past show and read a host of essays about the game’s past and future.