"I have a hard time putting 19 Steelers in the Hall of Fame..."
-- Peter King, misguided HOF Voter
Time for Justice|
Legendary WR Lynn Swann is long overdue for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Article by McMillen & Wife
To not learn from your mistakes is to repeat them...
He has now been a top-15 finalist in each of his 15 years of eligibilty, and a top-six finalist for 3 of the last 4 years (and will surely make the top 6 again this year). His name seems right at home in the same breath with the likes of Gale Sayers, Lance Alworth, and Walter Payton. Yet year after year, former Steeler wide receiver Lynn Swann finds himself a handful of votes shy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of idiots like S.I.'s Peter King (one of the uninformed, stats-driven sportswriters who sits of the HoF's voting panel comprised of 38 sports writers). King has repeatedly stated that he won't vote to induct Swann because Lynn only averaged 2.9 catches per game during his career. King went on to say, "I have a hard time putting 19 Steelers in the Hall of Fame," perhaps providing us with his real motivation for keeping Swannie out. The idiocy in King's logic is surpassed only by his weight.
Father time is also hurting Swannie's chances for induction. The clock is ticking, my friends... after next year, Swann will fall into the "senior" category where only one candidate per year is considered, and his HOF chances will diminish substantially. To make matters worse, there is an ever-growing number of HoF voters who are simply too young to remember Swann's play first hand. All too often, I fear, statistics are the primary vehicle for arriving at a decision for these younger panel members. The ignorance of such stats-driven sportwriters who cast their vote based soley on the numbers is disgraceful, but it's reality.
Wanna know who decides who gets in and who doesn't? CLICK HERE for a listing of the names & addresses of the sportswriters who cast votes for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I submit this question to Peter King and his ilk: If Jerry Rice had only averaged 2.9 catches in HIS career, would anyone even know who in the hell he is? Very Doubtful. Especially not 15 years after his retirement. Yet, everyone remembers Swann... he's an immortal.
The Hall of Fame isn't just about "how many," it's about "HOW." It's the stage on which the player performed, his impact on the game, the style with which he played the game, and the legacy he left behind. Stats shouldn't be the lone deciding factor in determining a player's worthiness for HOF induction (would Terry Bradshaw be in Canton based soley on stats?). Swann, like Bradshaw, possessed so many intangibles... singular abilities which no other receiver before or since has demonstrated. He was the greatest big-game receiver of all time, hands down. He defined the position for a generation of players and fans. And he is one of the classiest individuals to ever grace the sport.
Swann vs Ozzie
Former Browns TE Ozzie Newsome was inducted in '99, while Swann narrowly missed election. Click Here to find out why this is ludicrous.
How good was Lynn Swann? I'll leave you with a future Hall of Famer's thoughts on the matter:
|"Lynn Swann was an idol. It would amaze me how he could fly through the air and make those catches. I'll never forget the one versus Dallas. It was the greatest catch I've ever seen."
-- San Francisco Receiver Jerry Rice
Couldn't have said it better myself, Jerry. Perhaps you should make a phone call to Peter King and company.
One final observation: The only measuring stick an IGNORANT person can use to deterimine a player's contributions is statistics. The sportswriters on the HOF voting panel have a RESPONSIBILITY to look beyond the stats (after all, on paper Neil O'Donnell is better than Terry Bradshaw, so how much validity can really by assigned to stats?). Lynn Swann has been done a great injustice. Ignorance in this case is NOT an exceptable excuse.
Webmaster, McMillen & Wife
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Joe Roberts|
Dear Mac and Gorgeous Wife,
I read with interest your article about Swann and Stallworth getting screwed yet again in the Hall of Fame balloting. ITA with your comments but I'd like to point out that there are several other worthy candidates from other teams who have been by-passed repeatedly by Hall of Fame voters. Among these are Jim Marshall (perennial Viking all-pro who played more games than any other NFL defensive lineman), Jack Tatum (Raider safety who was the hardest hitter I ever saw), Jerry Kramer (all-pro OG with the Pack in the 60's), Carl Eller (Marshall's linemate with the Vikes and an all-pro in his own right), Larry Brown (perhaps the dominant RB in the NFL in the early 70's for the Redskins), and Bob Hayes (all-pro WR for the Cowboys in the 60's and 70's).
As you probably know there are reasons why some of the above players have been kept from the Hall of Fame. Eller and Hayes both had drug convictions off the field (so did Lawrence Taylor), Kramer wrote a book entitled Instant Replay that was controversial in its day (it's very tame now), and finally you have Tatum's hit on Daryl Stingley. All of these men were fine players who merit inclusion into the Hall of Fame along with Swann and Stallworth yet for some reason they have been excluded. IMO Marshall, Tatum, Kramer, Eller, Brown, Hayes, Swann, and Stallworth are much worthier members of the Hall than slugs such as Mike Ditka (who was only a slightly above average TE) and Jim Langer (who got in because he was friends with a Miami sportswriter named Art Pope. Pope also happened to be the chairman of the selection committee at the time).
Several great Steeler players from the 70's have been excluded from the Hall of Fame. Yet, the same thing happened to several great Packer players from the 60's. Willie Wood and the late Henry Jordan were the leaders of the Packer defense during the Lombardi era yet both waited over 20 years after their retirement until selected to the Hall. The same thing happened to Leroy Kelly (the dominant RB in the NFL in the late 60's) and Paul Krausse (NFL all-time leading interceptor). These latter two men should have been elected to the Hall on their first year of eligibility. That they weren't selected for so long is nothing short of criminal.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I believe the selection process for the Hall of Fame is blatantly corrupt. Many fine players (not just ex-Steelers) have been either excluded or granted admission long after they should have been accepted. There's something rotten in Denmark as that Danish prince once said. Damned if I know what it is because I'm not privy to the selection process itself. I thank you for your time.
Submitted by Craig Pittman
I have been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I was five. Lynn Swann was my favorite player. I could not believe my eyes when I saw him catch those passes that no other reciever ever to play, or ever will play could make. The Super Bowl X reception is my favorite. I pretended to be him when I played football with my friends, I even practiced spiking the ball behind my back the way he did.
It really upsets me that he has not made the HoF. Not only was he a great player, he is a great person. He has had an impact on my life personally.
When I was 11, I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, and noone thought I would make it. I had surgery, and radiation, but there wasn't much hope they could get it all. My grandmother called the Last Wish Foundation, and told them about me, and that I loved the Steelers, and Lynn Swann was my favorite player.
I received an autographed picture of Lynn's Super Bowl X reception signed, To Craig, Lynn Swann. He also wrote me a letter to encourage me, and signed it with his name, and number. In the envelope were some 50th year anniversary stickers, and an emblem sticker.
Well, I did make it. No tumor, no cancer now for twenty years. I really appreciated what the Steelers and Lynn Swann did for me. He will forever in my mind be the greatest reciever of all time, and belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Matt Begley
I have been frequenting the CNN/SI webpage now for almost 2 years, and I
Shit you not have never seen that Fat Bas@#rd write anything positive about
the Steelers. Now granted, there haven't been that many positive things to
write about the past couple of years but even when the Steelers went on their five game
winning streak, Mr. King refused to say anything about our team and
refuses to reply to any of my questions or comments, albeit I have not used
a whole lot of tact when phrasing my question or comment but still, the fact
remains! I am not a conspiracy theorist nor do I think the sky is falling,
but coupled with his refusal to vote in Lynn Swann and "put 19 Steelers in
the HOF" I honestly believe this worthless bag of lard has something against
the hard nosed, blue-collar people of Pittsburgh. So I beg anyone reading
this right now that you head on over to CNN/SI and let that dirtbag know how
you feel about him!
P.S Tell him his Buddy Matt from the 'Burgh said Hello!
Submitted by John Scully
When I was a kid, I used to be called "The White Lynn Swann" LOL. I used
to practice catching footballs every single day! I wore Swann's
number, tried to write my S's like he did in my last name, etc., etc.
The man was great and I am his biggest fan. In 1982 when he retired, I was 15
years old I remember walking out of my house in a daze. I walked over
to my friend's house and he was saying "Shat's wrong?" I said, "Swann
retired today." It was like someone had died! Anyway, the 'Miracle Catch'
he made in Super Bowl X... the 53 yarder... to me is the GREATEST reception
EVER! The fact that Lynn Swann is not in the Hall of Fame is CRAZY! On
every field in America, a kid either wants to be a WR, RB or QB... if you asked
any potential WR "WHO DO U WISH U COULD BE LIKE?" he would answer you
"LYNN SWANN." If Swann does not get in, then no one should get in.
Submitted by Barry Fox
When I was growing up, I wanted to be two be like two people that I looked up to when it
came to football and basketball; Lynn Swann and Julius Erving. What in the
world is going on? You mean to tell me you have to have 100 catches in one
season to be a Hall of Famer? I remember when we would play football in our
neighborhood. I impersonated Lynn Swann from the soft hands to the great
leaping ability. Guys in my neighborhood at that time remember the catch that
he made against the L.A. Rams. I was so silent when he came down on the ground so
hard. Does Peter King remember the catch Swann made in the Super Bowl against
the Cowboys? I guess he's thinking, "Why should we keep putting Steelers in the
Hall of Fame? They have too many already." When will the voters
finally think of how Swann contributed in those four Super Bowl victories and
how he made those great catches and the passes were not always great spirals or
right to the numbers and were way up in the air? Ask Yancey Thigpen, Jerry
Rice, John Stallworth, Tony Hill, Drew Pearson, or any defensive
back at that time. They will tell you how much they respect the play of Lynn
Swann. When they do decide, I hope they also remember a tall lanky fella named
John Stallworth. Stop feeding us bull.
Submitted by Christian Boddie
Dear Tim and Sandy:
I came across your web page at work and found it extremely entertaining.
Congratulations on the birth of your new child.
Between work and your newborn I am sure your life is very hectic. I want to
commend you on your web page it is outstanding. I am a Dallas Cowboy fan,
please do not hate me. I have always had tremendous respect for the Steeler
organization. First of all the reason Swann gets screwed every year is quite
simple... in the last fifteen years football has become a game dominated by
numbers. Swann does not have the numbers these geeks are looking for. Does
that make him any less of a receiver? Hell no, but Art Monk because of his
streak will get in before Swann or Stallworth will. Terry Bradshaw was
quoted as saying that Stallworth was the receiver that most defenses feared
because he was the more physical of the two. The biggest problem I have had
with the HOF criteria is that it seems to change regarding the situation. I
am sure you have been to Canton, and the rules state in order to be inducted
the player in question needs to be dominant at his position for a period of
time. I think the Steelers domination of the seventies qualifies as
dominating. Unfortunately, as long as Fat Ass Peter King has a vote Swann and
Stallworth may forever be screwed. I can see some other dominant players of
their era being harmed by this as well. Men like Mark Bavaro, best tight end
in football for five years no argument, Charles Haley, moody and disliked by
teammates and the media, Jim Kelly & Thurman Thomas to closely associated
with the Super Bowl Losses. I could continue but I am sure you get the
Let me know if you are going to be at the draft. Take care and keep up the good work.
Submitted by Patrick Vest
I'm so glad to have stumbled on to your site again after a few years.
How it has grown. Very nice. And I'm further thrilled that you have a
place for thoughts on Lynn Swann.
When I was a boy, the number on my chest was 88. The name on the back:
Swann. He was my hero. He was graceful and and magical and although he
was never the focus of the offense, he was just as important to winning
four superbowls as Franco, Terry, Jack, Jack or Mean Joe.
Instead of dwelling on my anger toward the Hall of Fame and its
ridiculous bean-counter mentality to induction, I'd like to share a
memory of Lynn Swann and how his demeanor on the field shaped the person
I was born in the City of Champions, but lived there only for the first
seven years of my life, and although these are formative years indeed,
my true love for the Steelers didn't get cemented until I moved to rural
Ohio. I lived in a very small town in Ohio, filled mostly with Bengal
fans, and back in the day, that was quite the rivalry. Well, somehow my
Dad scored us tickets to the Steeler/Bengal game in Cincinatti. It was
freezing, one of those midwestern storms had swept through Cincy,
basically shutting it down. My dad tried to talk me out of going to the
game, but for a chance to see Swann in action, there was no temperature
too low. But the thing is, we didn't even know if Swann would play. He
had been knocked around pretty good by Tatum or Atkinson and was coming
off a concussion, but still I had to go. Our seats were in the endzone,
although the stadium was nowhere near capacity, so we could've probably
moved to anywhere we wanted, but we were above the tunnel to the
Steelers locker room, so we stayed put.
It was really cold, and although it's been more than twenty years, I
still recall how tough a decision it was to stay there, but my dad was a
good sport and remained with me. Right before halftime, Swann caught a
pass going across the middle, and stayed on the ground. Can you imagine
my horror? This was shaping up to be the worst day of my life.
Freezing, losing and Swann not getting up. Finally, he got up and was
assisted from the field. Being that it was close to halftime, the
trainer walked Swanny towards the dressing room. As he crossed under
the goal post, he reached out his hand to stop the trainer, and with his
helmet in his other hand, he turned around to watch the rest of the
drive. I'll never forget that. A man coming off of a concussion,
heading to the training room for treatment cared so much about his team
and about winning that he stood in the freezing cold to see if his guys
could put a few more points on the board.
To bastardize Shakespeare: "This is a man, when comes such another?"
Swann didn't return in the second half. The Steelers lost the game.
But those eventualities didn't matter. The life lessons I learned from
this sports hero that I looked up to had cemented themselves into my
So, yeah, maybe Swann would be the player with the fewest catches in the
Hall of Fame; but shouldn't the WR with the fewest receptions be the one
with the biggest and best? Sure, Swann would be yet another Steeler in
the HOF, but without him, they wouldn't have won Super Bowl X, and I'd
wager they wouldn't have wone XIII or XIV either. It's not Swann's fault
that he wasn't the centerpiece of their scheme, but he was always there
when it counted. It's not Swann's fault that headhunters like Tatum and
Atkinson lived to knock him out of the game and send him to early
retirement. What he did, no other man was capable of. He belongs in
the company of Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders. But more importantly he
belongs in the company of his comrades in Canton, Ohio.
Thanks for your website!
Submitted by Don "Muddy Water" Rossbach
What did Dan Rooney do to deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame? It was his DAD, not him, who built the Super
Bowl Championship Teams of the '70's. I am glad he made it, but I just don't understand how he can be there but
Swann & Stallworth can't. It is wrong, really wrong, to deny them their rightful place in the Hall Of Fame. I still think
Peter King is a Cowboy fan and is still upset about his team getting their butts kicked by the MIGHTY
STEELERS in 2 Super Bowls. Peter King is an idiot.
Submitted by John Scully
HELLO! my name is John Scully. I am a professional boxer from CT. When I
was a kid, all i wanted to be was LYNN SWANN! I am without a
doubt his biggest fan ever. I used to be a Steelers lunatic until june of
1982 when Swann retired. I have not watched with any interest ever since.
I just read your profile of him and it was great. I agree 100 percent!
The man influenced people like Collinswoth, John Jefferson, and even Jerry
Rice to name a few. WHY do you think they are keeping him out of the Hall of
Fame? I hear two reasons... 1) There are already too many
steelers from the late 70 's, and 2) because swann crossed the picket
line ion '74. Either way, HE DESERVES TO BE THERE! WHAT MORE CAN U TELL ME
Submitted by Douglas Brown
Thanks so much for keeping your outstanding site up and running all year.
As always I found it very informative and entertaining. Hopefully next
year will be a better one for the Steelers and for Swann and Stallworth who
continue to be blocked from the HOF simply because they played on a team
with too many great players instead of on sound merit.
Again, Congratulations on the latest addition to your Steeler Clan!
Submitted by General Destruction
Well, it was no surprise that Peter King and his band of idots have screwed Swann & Stallworth agian in the annual HOF voting.
All I ever hear out of those pricks is look at the years played and the total yards and yards per catch, agianst other HOF wide
receivers or HOF hopefulls at the WR posistion. Well, all I've got to say is this... I'll bet if I gave Peter King a million years and more
chances to catch a pass, his fat ass couldn't do better than a pee wee football player. That goes for his co-conspirators also.
Swann made catches that people only dreamed of making to win the big game for our favorite team (STEELERS).
Swann didn't dream about it, he made it a reality. You talk about making the big plays that ultimately swing the momentum in
your team's favor or win the big the big championship (Super Bowl), Swann & Stallworth did it. Only Johnny Jefferson that I can
recall made freaky catches like that on a consistant basis. Swann & Stallworth kicked major ass! Peter King & Co. suck major
Broadcasting to you from deep within enemy (Dallas Cowgirls) territory.
Submitted by Tom Bragg
The Hall of Fame sportswriters proved once again just how truly
STUPID they really are. They wisely induct Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott, both
of whom are worthy members. However, after that they induct Howie Long
over Lynn Swann. I dare any man to tell me that Howie Long was more
valuable and made more of an impact on his team than Lynn Swann did
for the Steelers! It is absolutely mind-boggling that Swann could be
left out this year in what was one of the weakest fields in recent
memory. A four-time world champion and Super Bowl MVP means absolutely
nothing to these IDIOT sportswriters! The sportswriters and the Hall of
Fame should give Swann a big fat hug and kiss because they have been
royally SCREWING him for years! The Hall of Fame is nothing but a
complete and total joke! To hell with them!!!
Submitted by Jimmy Grant
Once again, the great receiver Lynn Swann will sit and watch during the Hall
of Fame inductions. What a joke! How the f*ck did Howie Long get in? Are you
F*cking serious? Dave Wilcox? I hope I see Peter King at the induction
and those other fat, incompetent idiots. Even Dan Rooney... for
what? Lynn got totally robbed... AGAIN!
The following articles were submitted the week prior to Swann's snubbing by the Hall of Fame in January of 2000.
Submitted by Jimmy Grant
If people want to look at stats, just check Swann's Super Bowl stats... 3 starts, 16 receptions
364 yards, 3 TDs, and almost 23 yards per grab. I'll be at Canton in July
if for no other reason but to see Joe Montana get in to the hall. However, I
can't see in this class how Swann-ee could miss. The real BS will come if TV
nice guy Howie Long gets in and Swann doesn't. But that could happen with
some of the idiots we have voting.
Submitted by Vince Azzarello
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the information
on your Steelers Page. I too have been a fan of the Steelers since I
was young. I've book marked your page and plan on visiting often.
One additional comment. I believe the lack of Hall of Fame
consideration for Swann, Stallworth, Greenwood and perhaps Shell, is due
to the politics of the NFL. I had the fortune of attending all of the
current Steelers' induction speeches and I believe that the NFL wants to
avoid the scene created by the Steelers fans. I was disappointed in
some of our fellow fans when they would chant "DEFENSE, DEFENSE", in the
middle of some other player's speech. Here he is being inducted into
the Hall of Fame, the climax of his career, and the fans could care
less. For what it is worth, I think this is the reason the 70's players
will not get in the Hall anytime soon.
Enough of my soapbox. Thanks for a great page!! Go Steelers!!
Submitted by Bill Fidler
The Steelers of the 70's were the greatest team to ever hit the gridiron, PERIOD! Lynn Swann (my personal
favorite player of all time), as well as every member of that illustrious team, should be in the HOF. The Steelers
had it all, and Swannie defined the aerial assault. He simply was magic in the air. When I think of
wide-receiver, I think of Lynn Swann. And Stallworth was fantastic as well. What a combo those two made! I
don't see that being duplicated any time soon. It's not only an absurdity that these two aren't in the HOF, it's an
insult--not only to Steelers fans, but all football fans. These stats-counting pinheads need to get their heads out
from their collective ass an induct Swann and Stallworth into the Hall of Fame where they belong.
Submitted by AG7JG22
I totally agree. Swann and Stallworth not in the Hall of Fame is a joke.
You see receivers like Tommy McDonald get in (not that he wasn't good), but
Christ, he couldn't hold Swann or Stallworth's jocks, and yet these two are
omitted. My friend who thinks they don't belong in there and I argue about
this all the time. My biggest point about this is the game is totally
different today than it was when they played. It was more of a running
league then and DBs could physically abuse receivers. Today, it is freaking
touch football practically and teams throw 40+ times a game. Look at the big
game performances and compare them to what they did in their primes. Not at
sheer numbers. To me, even some Jerry Rice is inferior to Swann and
Stallworth when you look at the HUGE plays they made. The main problem is,
most of these sportswriters like fat ass Peter King never played they game.
In fact, the only balls Peter King ever played with...ah, nevermind, I think you get the point!!!
Submitted by Scan0371
Yes, he should be in the Hall of Fame. Some of the voters are merely
concentrating on statistics alone. What a terrible way to judge one's
contribution to the game. Everyone knows who Lynn Swann is... and he
retired following the '82 season. Its the "Hall of Fame," not the "Hall of
Statistical Achievement." If they're going to vote strictly on statistics,
then where are Cliff Branch, Harold Carmichael and Drew Pearson? We remember
Swann because he played his best when it mattered most... in the Super Bowl.
Why is Joe Namath in the Hall of Fame? It certainly isn't for his statistics
(he completed only 50% of his passes for his career and missed many, many
games due to injury). Namath is in because he was a memorable and
charismatic player (Super Bowl III and his guaranteed victory to be specific).
Lynn Swann is memorable, too, and for that reason deserves his day of
Submitted by Sheldon McGruder
NEWS FLASH: SWANN GETS IN THIS YEAR!!!...
...OR IT COULD BE THAT I'M JUST FULL OF $#!T AND HAVE
NO FREAKIN' IDEA OF WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!
Mr. T, (..."I PITY the fool!!!...")
You know, "Tim". "Mr. T"?...Get it??? Okay, sorry. Never
Okay, shake those bad images of George Peppard sporting a
cigar, and the aforementioned buffoon with his shaved head and
McMillen and Wife's "10 Most Hated List"-if-I-ever-get-off-
Whew! That should fill my hyphen quota for the month of
Now -- where in the HELL was I? Ahhhh yes. The point of this
whole e-mail. I think that this year the Hall of Fame numb-
nuts guys will vote in Lynn Swann. You, undoubtedly, are
at this point wondering why I might think this. Glad you
asked. Allow me, if you will, to lay some facts on you.
This year, the Hall of Fame dudes (hereafter referred to as the
HOFDs), have 71 nominees from which to choose 12 finalists.
The 13th and 14th "modern-era" finalists will be Howie Long and
Swann because they finished in the top six in the voting for
the Hall's 1999 class, but were not elected. [By the way,
as a HUGE aside, you should rent the video "Election" if you
didn't already see it at the theater when it came out...
At this point, you may be saying, 'Okay, Shel, but you haven't
provided me with any information that I couldn't have gotten
off the internet already.' To which I would reply, "You
sarcastic BASTARD YA'!!!" Just kidding. I wouldn't really
do that. I'm a nice guy. REALLY!
So the question (and the point, hopefully in your mind,
to this whole e-mail) is...WHO will get elected to the Hall
on Jan. 29?
Let's start with the "sure things"(with apologies to John
Cusack). Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott, in my opinion, are
in. There's no doubt. Those are the ONLY members of the
27-member First-Time Eligibles list that will make it.
Seeing as how the HOFDs usually elect 4-6 members each year,
and I've accounted for two of those with Montana and Lott,
let's say we've got four left to play with, for argument's
sake. I've seen the list of First-Time Eligibles and with
the execption of Montana and Lott, there shouldn't be any
more of those guys. We're talking Jay Schroeder and Clarence
Verdin here. There are some guys in this first-timers group
who were genuine hard-ass balllplayers: Steve McMichael,
Mark Bavaro, Tim Krumrie, Charles Mann, Mike Kenn, Karl
Mecklenburg, Steve Jordan, and Leonard Marshall. But these
guys are not HOF-worthy on their first try. That's just my
opinion and I'm entitled to it.
So, 71 - 27 = 44. Let's now look at the 44 remaining. They
are referred to as "Additional Nominees" and their lot is made
up of such names as Stabler, Casper, Kuechenberg, Youngblood,
and Gradishar. Oh, and also Swann, Stallworth, Greenwood,
I just have a very hard time seeing how the HOFDs could come
up with four more enshrinees (and it could be more) without
including Swann. If it's any consolation, if Swann didn't
make it I don't see how they could miss Greenwood or
Stallworth. There just aren't that many slots and qualified
players with which to fill them.
Okay...so maybe my argument at this point breaks down into
what could be considered biased-homerism, but holy shit guys!!
Look at the f***ing list!! It HAS to be Swann in there
[Well, THAT was certainly a non-emotional, non-biased couple
of sentences. Honestly!...I didn't plan this out before I
typed it. It just IS what it IS.]
I'm telling you. I've seen the list. There are some very
worthy ballplayers there...I grew up watching these guys
and thinking they f***in' ruled. But if they don't choose
Swann this year out of that group then someone's getting
paid. Probably a friend of Tex F***king Schramm's.
Submitted by STEELRSFRK
You look at the individuals being inducted into Canton and MUST wonder how
these Swann & Stallworth can be missed. The voters need to start looking at not
just overall stats, but the contributions the individuals made to their team
and the league. To me, a clutch 5-yard reception for a first down in a big
game is must more important than a 60 yard TD reception when your team is
already winning by three scores. Think about it!
Do the voters think the Steelers would have been as successful without #82
and #88 for #12 to throw the ball to? Their presence and talent on the
field, in many peoples eyes, cannot be matched. THOSE HANDS... were
magical! Look at some of the receptions, Mr. King, and then look at how many
clutch, game-turning receptions were made by these two individuals. Those
hands don't lie!
Submitted by Sheldon McGruder
The Hall of Fame thing does seem pretty abysmal every year.
You've got these narrow-minded bastards who focus on their one
thing whether it's stats (as in Swann's case), or some bad play
this guy made that everyone remembers, or the fact that that
guy never played on a Super Bowl winner. They choose some very
deserving players, usually obvious choices, and overlook what
SHOULD be equally obvious choices (read: Swann and Stallworth).
It takes someone, a particular sportswriter for example, to
lobby year in and year out for a player and hopefully open the
eyes of some of these chuckleheads. Hopefully, they get through.
In the meantime, you just gnash your teeth.
You and others that you've posted on your page have made the key
points well enough: look at what Swann did during money games
and the fact that everyon who knew football in the '70s
recognized that he was the premier wide receiver of the decade.
More to the point, even people who DIDN'T follow football knew
Lynn Swann's name, who he was, and who he played for. As for
Stallworth, he didn't have the name-recognition of Swann in your
grandmother's quilting circle. But again, those who are supposed
to truly know the game, oh, I don't know... let's say the people
who VOTE on who gets inducted into the Hall of Fame... should
know better. All I can add about those individuals is -- they
must shave with electric razors because I'll bet when they
look in a mirror, there is no reflection.
Submitted by Dennis "DDogg" Wright
You know, there's gettin' something wrong, and then there's just being
blantantly stupid. How in the hell can you not induct Lynn
Swann and John Stallworth into the hall of fame? This topic has been festering
in the minds of Steelers fans all over the country and with good
The Hall of Fame voters (Sportswriters) are supposed to be professionals. They are supposedly selected because they
have extensive knowledge on football and the thousands of players that have
graced the gridiron of the NFL. I can't begin to display my disgust for the
hall of fame voters.
Lynn Swann and John Stallworth played in a day when
running was much more emphasized than passing (unlike today) and the
rules for defenders were much more lenient. Anyone with an ounce of
intelligence knows it takes a hell of an athlete to play under
circumstances such as those. I think is it inexcusibly unfair to not
recognize, or at least apologize, for not addressing these obvious
issues. Swannie and Stallworth brought an element to the Steelers that was
unmatched by anyone in that decade. You can quote me on that. If the
Steelers played a west-coast offense (which, by the way, wasn't even invented
yet), Swann's stats would be breathtaking. But the style that the Steelers
played spread the ball around to alot of different people and everyone had a
specific role. Swann was the big play guy. And not to be overlooked was
Stallworth. In their day, these guys were the best recieving tandem
in all the NFL... maybe ever.
It's pretty sad when you also consider the fact
that I'm only 15 years old and I can see this. I'm a die hard fan, and as
all die hard fans know, Swann and Stallworth belong with the rest of the
Steeler greats in the Hall of Fame. I hope, for Swann and Stallworth's
sake, that all you Hall of Fame judges out there put the stats
aside and decide the outcome based on talent and overall
contribution. Swann's S.B. X performance was by far one of the best by any
wideout ever... that alone should be enough to help fuel his induction
into the hall.
It's really unfair to even try and compare any player's stats
from now to anyone's then. Football, like anything else, evolves over
time... sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad (that brings up
another issue... instant replay... but I won't even get into that now), but
the point is, it's an ever-changing sport. Please don't rob the great athletes
out there of their rightful place in the hall because their "stats" didn't
look good enough or any other BS like that. Football is about
heart, and pride, and belief in yourself, and teamwork. If those words don't
describe Swannie and Stallworth, I don't know what does.
And Peter King... I've
got just one thing to say to you... open your damn eyes, fat boy. Be a man... step up
and give respect where it's rightfully due. That's wht the Hall of Fame was
created for... it's supposed to honor football greats. If so, Swann and
Stallworth's inductions into the hall are way overdue. By the way, McMillen, your site
kick ass... I just now found out about it. Sites like this are what the
Steelers are all about. You should be very proud... no other team has a
site like this... I can guarantee that!)
Submitted by Brinley Dempski
In 1975, I was 7 year old boy trying to be Lynn Swann on
the snow covered back yards here in northeast PA. Lynn Swann defied the laws of
gravity. He would make catches that seemed unreal. He was by far the most
acrobatic receiver the game has ever seen (or will see). Not only should Swann
be in the hall of fame, there should be a statue of the guy as you walk in the
front door. I'm with you, brother... SCREW THE HALL OF FAME!!!
Submitted by Thomas Bragg
I had to take a minute and let you and your loyal readers in on
something! I have been looking for e-mail addresses to our BELOVED HALL
OF FAME SPORTSWRITERS, and I finally found one of the MAIN CULPRITS!
It's our good buddy PETER KING of Sports Illustrated. He can be reached
at CNN/SI.COM and he has his own little section called Peter King's NFL
MAILBAG. In this section he answers questions about any topic
pertaining to the NFL . Believe me when I say I could have jumped for
joy ! I sent 'ole Peter a nice long e-mail and basically told him what I
thought of him and his other sportswriter buddyies' decision to CHEAT ONE
OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME OUT OF HIS RIGHTFULL
PLACE IN THE HALL OF FAME! This may be like locking the barn door after
the horse has run away, but it damn sure made me feel better! You might
want to consider putting some of this information on your web-site,
because this is a SUREFIRE WAY to let off a little steam on a guy that
has been a thorn in Lynn Swann's side for years. Just thought you and
the rest of the readers would like to know.
IF WE ALL TAKE THE TIME TO LET 'OLE PETER KNOW HOW WE FEEL, WHO KNOWS... MAYBE
THIS GUY WILL FINALLY WISE UP!
Thomas D. Bragg
Submitted by David Schinhofen
One more extremely unbiased reason why Lynn Swann must be voted in
Below is a list of players (by position) voted by NFL
fans on NFL.com as the players they would want to play for them in
the Super Bowl. It seems to me that all of these players are, or
will end up, in the Hall of Fame. I left out special teams because
no player will make it to the Hall of Fame based on special teams
play ( with the exception of kickers).
The point is that NFL fans voted Jerry Rice to play opposite of Lynn
Swann on the Super Bowl Dream Team. Read the list below and imagine
any one of these great players not being inducted into the Hall.
If the ninnies that did not vote Swann in to the Hall this year
can't get it right, at least the thousands of fans that voted in the
Dream Team poll can! For the record, John Stallworth was the third
place vote for WR.
SUPER BOWL DREAM TEAM
QB Joe Montana
RB Franco Harris and Emmitt Smith
WR Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann
TE Jay Novacek
G Nate Newton and Gene Upshaw
T Anthony Munoz and Joe Jacoby
C Mike Webster
LB Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary and Ray
DE Reggie White and Charles Haley
DT Mean Joe Greene
CB Mel Blount and Eric Wright
S Ronnie Lott and Donnie Shell
Coach: Chuck Noll
Submitted by Michael Eaker
I just can't believe the selection committee snubbed our beloved Steelers
once again. Lawrence Taylor, of all people! I can't dispute the man's
accomplishments on the field... they speak for themselves; however, he has been in and out of jail
so many times it makes one's head boggle! Well, I can only say congratulations, "Crackhead Taylor." You didn't deserve it this time around.
Michael Eaker, NC.
Submitted by Mister Azzurri
I, too, get frustrated that Lynn Swann has not been selected for the
Hall of Fame. We can argue statistics until the cows come home, but
there's one convincing argument that wins over all:
If you were involved in a "mythical" football game that you had to win
in order to save your life, and if you could choose any players for your
roster that you wanted, your starting wide-receivers would have to be
(1)Jerry Rice, and (2) Lynn Swann.
BTW--I love your website. Keep up the good work!
Submitted by Thomas D. Bragg
Never in all my life of watching professional sports have I been
more aggravated, dissappointed, and just plain pissed off than I was
on Saturday when Lynn Swann was once again CHEATED out of his rightful
place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Would somebody please
tell me what the requirements are for a player to make it into the Hall
of Fame? Eric Dickerson, Ozzie Newsome, and the great L.T. were all great
players, but they still are no more deserving than Lynn Swann. As long
as the Hall of Fame judges players soley on statistics, there will be
MANY deserving players just like Swann that fall by the wayside, and that is a SAD
DAMN THING! The last time I checked, I don't believe that DICKERSON or
NEWSOME ever won a SUPER BOWL, nor were they named MOST VALUABLE PLAYER of one, for that matter!
As far as L.T. getting in, I will say this... he
was definitely one of the best linebackers to come along in a long time. His
playmaking abilities on the field speak for themselves. But OFF the field,
it's an entirely different story. I think he should've had to sit
back and pay his dues just like Lynn Swann has. The contrast
between Pro Football Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is
staggering! At least baseball has standards (in this instance, at least)... a deserving player
like Pete Rose has been BANNED from the baseball Hall of Fame because of alledged
gambling activities, but the Football Hall of SHAME is quite willing to induct a man that
is a convicted felon, accused of buying crack cocaine, and filing false
income tax returns (among other things). Personally, I fail to see what the difference is
between the two. With Rose, he's an outcast in baseball because of off-the-field activities,
but with L.T.m, he's welcomed in with open arms with far more serious offenses.
In my way of thinking, something is BADLY WRONG with that picture!!!
I wish that any true Steeler fan out there reading this will
take it upon themselves to write, or call, or e-mail these IDIOT
SPORTSWRITERS and let them know exactly how you feel on this! I'm
certainly not silly enough to think we're going to change the selection
process this year, but what about the future? If all TRUE STEELER FANS
WILL BAN TOGETHER, MAYBE SOMETHING GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS MESS!
HALL OF FAME YOU TRULY ARE THE HALL OF SHAME!!!
Thomas D. Bragg
Submitted by Tim McMillen
The gasp we let out when ESPN announced that Lynn Swann was again bypassed for HOF induction was surpassed only by my wife's gasp when our 2-year old son rather skillfully repeated at least half of the stream of expletives that escaped my mouth upon receiving the bad news. Yikes.
For those of you who haven't heard, the HOF class of '99 consists of running back Eric Dickerson, guard Tom Mack, tight end Ozzie Newsome, guard Billy Shaw, and linebacker Lawrence Taylor (good thing they don't have to include L.T.'s police rap sheet on his HOF plaque... it'd never fit). All are deserving of the honor, with the possible exception of L.T. But unlike baseball, the Pro Football HOF doesn't have a citizenship clause, and with L.T.'s off-the-field indiscretions not part of the equation, he admittedly deserves his spot in Canton for his stellar play. Congratulations, gentlemen.
Lynn Swann was a finalist as usual, reaching the final six for the 2nd time in three seasons, but again narrowly failed to receive the 80% vote required for induction (those stat-driven rat-bastards).
One question seems relevant. Not to take away anything from Ozzie Newsome... I have the utmost respect for what he brought to the the game on & off the field and there's no doubt in my mind that he absolutely deserves enshrinement... but does ANYONE think that his level of greatness surpassed Lynn Swann's? Further proof that the HOF voters are driven by STATS, not careful consideration & common sense.
Of course, Ozzie's stats speak for themselves... very impressive, especially for a TE. But they're no more impressive than John Stallworth's. And Stallworth didn't get in. Why? Because even the idiot sportwriters that vote on this thing every year recognize the Swann was the better of the two, and how can Stallworth get in unless Swann gets in? It's ridiculous. If forced to pick between those three players, I'd take both Swann & Stallworth for my team ahead of Newsome, hands down. Newsome's election is further proof that the voting is almost entirely stats-driven. That's not my bias as a Steelers fan, either... just common sense.
Living in the heart of Browns country, I'm very well aquainted with Newsome and watched him week-in & week-out for all of his 13 years. I'd definitely categorize myself as a Newsome fan and a borderline expert on the guy. I remember well the many great plays by the "Wizard of Oz" and the incredible consecutive-game reception streak he had, and his astounding durability. But Ozzie was never the dominating offensive presence that Lynn Swann was... not even close. Few players were. If someone wants to dispute that, let them send me recounts of Ozzie's game-winning post-season heroics. Let them show me his clutch catches in crunchtime when everything was on the line. Let them show me how he lifted his entire team to a higher level when IT MATTERED. Ozzie played in 3 AFC Championship games and a total of 9 playoff games and scored just ONE TOUCHDOWN. Where was he? In only one of those games did he achieve what I'd consider a "great game" ('86 playoff vs. the Jets), and he was non-existant in all three of the AFC title games. Contrast that with Lynn Swann & John Stallworth. I'm not knocking Ozzie... he deserves to be in the HOF... I'm merely making my case that Swann & Stallworth deserve to be there, too.
And don't give me that, "Well, Swann & Stallworth played for a great team" crap... they are a large part of what MADE that team great. Let's face it... had Ozzie played for the ball-control Steelers of that era, he might've spent much of his time riding the bench (in spite of the impressive receiving statisitcs, he was FAR from the best blocking TE I've ever seen, and last time I checked, a HUGE part of a TE's job is BLOCKING, something the stats-driven HOF voters seem to be oblivious to). And he almost certainly wouldn't be going to Canton.
Swann & Stallworth deserve to be in the HOF (especially Swann). The clock is ticking... in a couple of years, Swann will fall into the "senior" category where only one candidate per year is considered, and his HOF chances will diminish substantially. The ignorance of the stats-driven sportwriters who failed to vote for Swann is disgraceful.
One final observation: The only measuring stick an IGNORANT person can use to deterimine a player's contributions is statistics. The sportswriters on the HOF panel who vote for induction have a RESPONSIBILITY to look beyond the stats (after all, in many respects on paper, Neil O'Donnell is better than Terry Bradshaw, so how much validity can really by assigned to stats?). Lynn Swann has been done a great injustice. Ignorance in this case is not an exceptable excuse.
Webmaster of McMillen & Wife
The following articles were submitted the week prior to Swann's snubbing by the Hall of Fame in January of 1999.
Submitted by Anthony Wright
Well, the Hall of Fame finalists have been named, and although L.C.
Greenwood's and Donnie Shell's names are not on that list, there ARE names
of two former greats who are WAY overdue to be placed into Canton!
Those names are John Stallworth, and especially Lynn Swann! Even though
every year, the Steelers orginization gets ripped off by not having
their former Steeler greats inducted, you can't help but getting your
hopes up for these players getting their just due!
I don't mean to harp on this subject, especially being a die-hard San
Diego Chargers fan, but you have to be realistic! Everybody that has
watched these two players play agree with me I'm sure!
I am 26 years old, and have stuck with the Chargers for at least 20
years, but there is one year that I have to admit I did not know the
Chargers existed! At the age of seven, my brother Robert, who is the
biggest Steelers fan that I know (along with Tim, of course), used to sit
down on the couch with me showing me JC Penney and Sears catologs of
the NFL helmets displayed. Not trying to influence my choosing of a
team, he asked me which team I liked. For some reason, I quickly picked
out the Los Angeles Rams helmet as the team I liked (along with the
Chargers). That same year, the Rams and Steelers happened to meet in the
Super Bowl. I was so excited to see the team that I had chosen having a
chance to be world champions! It was then that I witnessed the awesome
Steeler team that would ruin my liking the first team of my NFL life
It was, now that I think back on it, very neat to see my brother, who I
look up to most in this world, getting excited watching his Steelers
team become World Champions once again (I watched the two previous
titles they won against the Cowboys)! And even though it made me cry
watching the Rams get beaten by the Steelers, it was then that I admired
and realized what a good team the Steelers were!
After that year, I chose a newn team (the Chargers) which I know is no
better (ha ha), and I swear I will now stick with THEM until the end.
But the Steelers will always be my second team, the team that I feel was
the greatest team assembled of all time, and will always be campaigning
for those great players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame! (EVEN
THOUGH I STILL ENJOY GIVING MY BROTHER A GOOD RIBBING ABOUT MY CHARGERS
BEATING THE STEELERS IN THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN 1994!)
Submitted by Dave Von Schriltz
I think back to the 70's and football, and even if I weren't a Steeler's
fan, I couldn't deny that they were THE team. The football historians talk
about football prior to the 70's, and all you hear about are quarterbacks,
running backs, linebackers and defensive and offensive linemen. It wasn't
until Mr. Swann and Mr. Stallworth came along that the wide receiver
position became a "glory" position. Receivers catching 10-15 passes per
game, racking up 100+ yards per game, and 1,000 yard seasons were unheard of
until these two graceful warriors dawned the Black & Gold. They single
handedly changed the face of the position and the game. They not only
belong in the Hall of Fame, they deserve the keys to the front door! I
think that the sports writers in this country have WAY too much power in
deciding the fates of athletes and teams at all levels of sports. If Mr.
Swann and Mr. Stallworth don't get in the Hall of Fame, they should rename
it the "Sports Writers So-Called Hall of Fame." What do they have against
the original dynamic duo? Are they not liked because they were humble,
which is now judged as boring? Are they not liked because they weren't
screaming for the money they deserved or causing problems on and off the
field like today's spoiled babies are doing? These two men are the epitome
of what the Hall of Fame should represent. Class, pride, accomplishments,
loyalty, and selfless team players! If the supposed experts can't see this,
then maybe they should find another line of work. I have some ideas for
them if the need help finding a new job.
Thanks for giving the fans a place to relay and vent our frustration. Let's
hope this topic doesn't have to come up again after this year!
Dave Von Schriltz
Submitted by Nat La Borde
Lynn Swann was the Jerry Rice of the 70's, period. Both Swannie and John
Stallworth was way better than any of the so-called "great" receivers
of today. They were easily better than Michael "Where's my coke and ho's" Irvin
or Andre "I'm the greatest player EVER" Rison. The PANSY-ASSED
NANCY BOYS who decide who goes in the Hall are all
players or owners who continually got their little BALLS shoved down
their geeky little throats thoughout the 70's by THE GREATEST TEAM EVER,
THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS!!! [Ed. note: Actually, its a bunch of geeky sportwriters who decide who goes to Canton... if it were players & coaches (who actually know something about football), we wouldn't be having this discussion] Well, I say SCREW the Hall of Fame... everyone
knows it... like it or not, who ruled the 70's? Swann and Stallworth
were the best ever.
Nat La Borde
Submitted by Shawn M. Lucas
Lynn Swann and John Stallworth belong in the Hall of Fame.
It's not about statistics or anything else... they were just as much a
part of the Steelers dynasty of the 70's as anyone else. In fact, I
think these two guys played a more important role than that of most of
the other players. Swann and Stallworth gave Terry Bradshaw two huge
targets on the ends that he needed to blossom into the great player that
he was. It also stretched the Steelers' offense, making it less
predictable. Without Swann and Stallworth, the Steelers probably
wouldn't have won any of the Super Bowl titles that they have. For that
Swannie and Stallworth deserve to be there.
Submitted by Michael Flynn
The fact that Lynn Swann doesn't already have a shrine in Canton brings into
question the current system used to vote members into the Hall of Fame. The
first thing that springs to mind is that catch against Dallas in Super Bowl
X. It is one of the most memorable images in NFL history. That should be on
a stamp or something. I could go on & on about Lynn Swann forever. He made
plays that no one else could make. He brought down passes that seemed
impossible to catch. He stepped it up when he had to & he brought out the
best in his teammates & his opponents. Three years ago I found out that he
was hanging out at a bar down the street from where I worked. I ran down the
street, pen & paper in hand, as fast as I could. What shocked me, besides
how polite & accommodating he was, was his size. I'm not a tall guy & I
stood eye to eye with him. I thought about this the next time I watched
Swann highlights. Amazing. Let's shrink Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin a few
inches and see how many catches they make! He signs a cool autograph too.
Writes his last name in the shape of a swan. I certainly hope the Hall of
Fame wises up.
Submitted by Thomas D. Bragg, Part II
This is a sad and unfair thing to say, but the fact is, some very
deserving players on the Steelers teams of the 1970's probably will
never be inducted into the Hall of Fame. My personal opinion
is that Lynn Swann & John Stallworth will eventually get in, but players
such as L.C. Greenwood and Donnie Shell will probably never make it. It
boils down to politics... once so many Steeler players have made it in,
the sportswriters are going to say, "That's it... no more Steelers." This is a ridiculous way
of thinking, but that's just the way it is. Another thing to consider is
that Greenwood & Shell are caught up in a numbers game. I think that
a lot of the sportswriters feel that these guys were just GOOD players on
a GREAT team. Thats a idiotic way of thinking, because these were the
types of players that could dominate a ballgame regardless of what team
they played for. For Swann and Stallworth, the future looks bright, but
for Greenwood and Shell, the picture is not as pretty In closing, I have
one thing to say to the HALL of FAME... IT'S YOUR LOSS!
Thomas D. Bragg
Submitted by Thomas D. Bragg, Part I
The fact that Lynn Swann has never been inducted into the Pro Football
Hall of Fame just goes to show the absolute stupidity of certain people
who are supposed to be knowledgable enough to be making these types of
decisions! Without question, Swann is the best big game receiver of
all time, bar none! This man revolutionized the wide receiver position
in the 1970's. The fact that he only played nine seasons should have no
bearing on his taking his rightful place in the hall of fame. Lynn
Swann did things on the football field that will never be
duplicated! If it were a playoff game or a Super Bowl, this truly
was the man that could singlehandedly change the outcome of a game.
Very few players have had that ability. The ones that did are HALL OF
FAMERS! It is a travesty that Swann has been denied as long as he has!
Hopefully that comes to a stop in 1999!!!
Thomas D. Bragg
Submitted by Anthony Wright
Now that the Steelers season is over, something that I feel is important
has to now be addressed. With the Hall of Fame inductees for 1999
getting close to being named, once again you see Lynn Swann and John
Stallworth on the inductee list along with Donnie Shell & L.C. Greenwood. These
four players should have been inducted a long time ago! I also believe
that along with the players, their respective numbers should also be
retired! I think that after watching the domination of the Steelers
Super Bowl teams in the early years that ALL the starting members of
that team should be retired. I understand that if this indeed were to
happen, that the Steelers players of the present and future would be
left with numbers in the 100's, but this is just how I feel.
I understand you can't retire everybody's number, but the 88, 82,
and 20 should definitely not be worn by another Steeler again! Who are
these ignorant people who determine who gets into the Hall of Fame [ed. note: the sportswriters vote on HOF induction each year] and
whose number should be retired [ed. note: that one's on the Steelers... they don't retire numbers]? Apparently, they are people who did not
appreciate the awesome players and team in that 70's era. Match up the
Steelers Super Bowl teams with any of the recent dominating teams from
the 49ers, Redskins, Cowboys, and Broncos, and you would see one hell of
a game, with the results quite different from the blowouts you've seen.
All the above stems from one thing... LET SWANN, STALLWORTH, SHELL, AND GREENWOOD
INTO THE HALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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