Now, I personally try to minimize the amount of time I spend obsessing over the Hall of Fame's indifference to the Broncos. But as a grown man who had to live in Boston for one painful year (fun details below) the following issue drives me to distraction:
Why is Andre Tippett in the Hall of Fame when Simon Fletcher hasn't got a sniff?
That's an honest question. There may be unmistakable reasons why Tippett was head-and-shoulders better. Their heydays in the NFL coincided with Junior High School for me, so I make no claims to possessing a holistic interpretation of their overall contributions as 3-4 linebackers. What I do have is stats. And the stats say that Tippett recorded 100 sacks in 12 seasons (8.33 per), while Fletcher notched 97.5 in 11 (8.86 per). We also know that Fletcher was an excellent tackler through the middle of his career (average better than 100 per year from 88-93), although his final 12 sacks over the '94 and '95 seasons came primarily in a specialist's pass-rushing role.
Can anybody out there who watched the game with an eye for detail in the late '80s and early '90s explain the difference between the two players? I'm not alleging a theory of media bias here. I just want to know what made Tippett such the clearly superior player.
OK, and while I'm at it, does anybody have stories to share about so-called Patriots fans? In the one year (2007-2008) I did time in Boston, I watched a lot of football games in bars. And I talked to lots of self-declared life-long Patriots fans. True exchanges from those conversations:
Chibronx: Now that I moved here, I've looked into Patriots history. I didn't know that Jim Plunkett was originally drafted by the Pats.
Die-Hard, Hardcore Pats Fan: Jim Plunkett?
Chibronx: So tell me, who all was on that '85 Pats team?
Hardcore Lives-and-Dies-by-the-Pats Fan: Um, Steve Grogan?
Chibronx: Right, and Craig James and Irving Friar and Andre Tippett. But somebody else must have had a really good year for them to make the Superbowl, right?
Rabid, Slobbering Pats Fan: I don't know.
And on and on....
Feel free to weigh in on either topic!