With all due respect to Tony Dorsett and Willie Brown, it's hard to believe that just ten years ago the Denver Broncos did not have a single enshrinee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
John Elway was the first in 2004 (what a glorious day that was!). Gary Zimmerman joined him in 2008. Then in back to back years, 2010 and 2011, Floyd Little and Shannon Sharpe got the nod. However, when Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry announced the 2012 enshrinees this last Saturday, representatives from the orange and blue were conspicuously absent.
It turns out that 2012 will be the first year in awhile that a deserving member of the Denver Broncos didn't make the Hall of Fame.
However, there is still hope for 2013. Now is the time for Broncos Country to come together for a common cause and get more Denver Broncos into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stick with me after the jump to find out what you can do.
It all starts with a nomination. Anyone can nominate an eligible player.
Any fan may nominate any player, coach or contributor who has been connected with pro football simply by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only restriction is that a player and coach must have been retired at least five years before he can be considered. There is no mandatory retirement period for a contributor before he may be considered. Every nomination of an eligible candidate received will be processed and forwarded to the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee.
To visit the HOF website for more information on how the nomination process work, click here.
In today's hyper digital age of internets and the wi-fi, nothing hits a point home more than a personally written old-school snail mail-type letter. Sure, it takes a little longer and costs you the price of a stamp, but that's a small price to pay to nominate your favorite deserving (and qualified) Denver Bronco.
Here are some suggestions for your letters:
- Nominate a player you are passionate about (familiar with or interested in).
- Do a little research on their career achievements (stats, pro bowls, all pros)
- Think about including salient quotes from notable people (players coaches and media) regarding that player.
- Speak to your geographic location, especially if living outside Colorado.
- Avoid negative pronouncements (we know it's easy to fall into) about the Broncos under-representation in the hall. (This is most important).
These nominations don't need to be epic, just sincere. Here's the address you should mail them to:
Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Drive NW
Canton, Ohio 44708
Unsure who you want to write about? Here's a list of eligible greats and their selection committee status:
The Dark Ages (1960-1975)
Lionel Taylor, WR [Senior Committee]
Rich Jackson, DE [Senior Committee]
Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin, S [Senior Committee]
The Orange Crush (1976-1980)
Randy Gradishar, ILB [Senior Committee]
Tom Jackson, OLB [Senior Committee]
Billy Thompson, S [Senior Committee]
Louis Wright, CB [Senior Committee]
The Reeves Era (1981-1994)
Dennis Smith, S [Eligible for Standard Selection until 2019]
Karl Mecklenberg, OLB/ILB [Eligible for Standard Selection until 2019]
Dan Reeves, Coach [Eligible for Standard Selection until 2028]
The Shanahan Age (1995-Present)
Steve Atwater, S [Eligible for Standard Selection until 2024]
Terrell Davis, RB [Eligible for Standard Selection until 2027]