Trent Richardson is on the comeback trail and he’s come home to do it. This week the former third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft tells Talk of Fame Network listeners what his hopes are for the new Alliance of American Football and why he wasn’t the first Trent Richardson to score a touchdown at Legion Field. You’ll never believe who was.
“Being back on that field and able to play in front of my family…is just fun,’’ the former Alabama All-American and Doak Walker Award winner said of scoring the first touchdown in the Birmingham Iron’s history last weekend. “Most definitely this is a stepping stone to get back to the Big Show.’’
Like every player in the Alliance, whose 10-week season began last Saturday, Richardson’s hope is to get to the NFL. But unlike most of his teammates, Richardson has already been there, rushing for nearly 1,000 yards his rookie season in Cleveland only to find himself traded to the Indianapolis Colts two games into his second season. That began an odyssey through the NFL and on to Canada, where he played until an injury slowed him two years ago.
Richardson was out of football in 2018, in large part because he had to choose family over returning to the CFL. To hear from Richardson’s own voice why that happened and why he believes his bright promise has yet to be fulfilled but isn’t over yet tune into Talk of Fame Network on your local SB Nation Radio Network station or get our free weekly podcast at iTunes or at the TuneIn app. You can also hear the show on our website, talkoffamenetwork.com, at any time.
You’ll also find newly inducted Hall of Fame selection Champ Bailey this week discussing what it meant to be named a “first-ballot’’ Hall of Famer and why he grew concerned in the days before the vote that he might not gain that special honor.
“It gets closer and you realize you don’t really have any control (over the voting process),’’ Bailey said. “I knew the first ballot Hall of Fame is important. I really appreciated that. But that (Hall of Fame) finalist process is no joke…you get to the final 15 and there’s no doubt they (all) belong in the Hall of Fame.’’
Bailey is part of a history-making class. For the first time since the Hall opened in 1963, the 48 voters put in four defensive backs, a full secondary, among the eight inductees. That included cornerbacks Bailey and Ty Law and safeties Ed Reed and Johnny Robinson. For Bailey, it was an amazing moment the first time they all got together.
“It didn’t hit me until I we were in the room together,’’ Bailey said. “We all had 50-plus picks. That was a for real moment.’’
Bailey was particularly moved by the presence of the 82-year-old Robinson, who was the finest safety in the American Football League before the merger and then led the NFL in interceptions after the merger. Bailey looked at the aging Robinson and wondered what took so long.
“He knew he should have been in a long time ago,’’ Bailey said of Robinson. “(How Robinsons handled that)…is the way I want to carry myself.’’
Also on hand is former Kansas City Chiefs president and general manager Carl Peterson to talk about another of the latest Hall’s inductees, tight end Tony Gonzalez. It was Peterson who drafted Gonzalez out of UC-Berkeley at a time when he was both a football and basketball star at Cal.
Peterson relates a story of negotiating with 4-star agent Leigh Steinberg over the contract he offered to the 13th pick in the draft that year and how Steinberg tried to leverage a threat that Gonzalez would go to the NBA if he didn’t get the deal he was looking for. It is a story of intrigue, sources and, in the end, a win for both Peterson and Gonzalez.
“This guy wanted to be the best,’’ Peterson said. “He would stay after practice to catch 100 balls. It didn’t matter what the weather was. He dedicated himself to it.’’
This week co-host Ron Borges offers his “Borges or Bogus’’ opinion segment on the Alliance of American Football’s embrace of what he calls “old-school football’’ and concedes Millennials might call “jailhouse football’’ because of its level of violence and limited flags. As Borges puts it, “The Alliance is not the NFL in a lot of ways. One of them is that they don’t tell officials to throw a flag for a legitimate hit from someone trying to make a legitimate football play.’’ What do you think?
The guys also hand out Valentine candy to their NFL sweethearts and co-host Clark Judge makes the Hall of Fame case for former Green Bay Packer guard Gale Gillingham, who Judge claims “was John Hannah before John Hannah.’’
To hear it all dial into your local SB Nation Radio station Wednesday or Friday nights or subscribe to our free podcast at iTunes or on the TuneIn app. Or just go to our website, talkoffamenetwork.com, and listen whenever you like.