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Reason #9: What is a hall of famer? Steve Atwater

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Atwater was not only at his best when the spotlight was turned on and the games mattered most, he revolutionized the safety position.

What is a hall of famer?

Two years ago, I asked that question for our 30-in-30 on Terrell Davis. Since we’re in the midst of our 27 reasons in 27 days Steve Atwater is hall of famer, now seems like a great time to revisit that question.

As I said for the Davis story, when that key question is asked, there is no right or wrong answer. There is no codex to lay out how you know for certain. What you have is the facts and your own judgment. There is no doubt that some criteria carries more weight, or at least should. But that’s also why this process is so maddening. It always seems the goalposts move from one player to the next on who gets inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — or in the case of the Denver Broncos, snubbed. Is this really that difficult?

On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Atwater joined Adam Malnati and me to discuss his candidacy and what being inducted would mean to him. Atwater should already have his bust in Canton, Ohio, and the fact he does not is a major blight on the so-called museum.

Atwater was not only at his best when the spotlight was turned on and the games mattered most, he revolutionized the safety position. If that’s not enough for some of the 48 members on the selection committee, the Broncos legend’s whole career is a highlight reel.

If that’s still not enough, had there been a defensive MVP for Super Bowl XXXII, the biggest and most important game in the history of the organization, Atwater would have been the guy. Davis was a major reason Denver won its first Lombardi Trophy, but so was Atwater. Had he not dropped that interception, he joked with Adam and me that he may have won the MVP.

As I asked earlier, is this really that difficult?

When the question is asked, what is a hall of famer, the answer is simple.

Steve Atwater.