Hall Calls

Looking at some deserving Hall of Fame candidates

March 27, 2008

By Brian Jones

Special to CSTV.com


Brian Jones is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.

Yeah, I know dude, it's March Madness, not football season. Don't get upset with me, blame the College Football Hall of Fame. They're the ones that chose to coincidentally announce their hall of fame nominees during the holiest of basketball months.


So as I did last year, here's my take on some of the 2008 nominees.


Once again my former UCLA teammate, Troy Aikman, is on the list as is my fellow co-host of Crystal Ball Trev Alberts. No doubt Troy's Hall of Fame NFL career was head and shoulders above his college tenure. So, it may take some time for others to really appreciate his college years.


As for Trev, he should've been in last year, but he can forget about it! Word on the street is that ESPN has significant influence on the College Football Hall of Fame. The network's broadcasters emcee the big event each December. We all know that my man Trev isn't viewed favorably up in Bristol. Let the grudge go, let my boy in!


Dave Butz - Not familiar with his career at Purdue, but do recall vividly his days as a Washington Redskin. Butz was a beast back in those great Cowboys- Redskins battles. When I played ball, the manner in which I determined whether or not I had a good game was by inspecting the front of my helmet and facemask. It better have had streaks of my opponents color scheme and scrapes and gashes as a result of violent collisions. Folks, Butz's helmet appeared as though it had gone through a meat grinder. But he was a hated Redskin, so not sure I want him in the Hall.


Billy Cannon - Wasn't he like the original "Galloping Ghost" at LSU? Dude won the Heisman and he's not in the college football hall of fame? Wow!


Ray Childress - Got to give a Texas A&M Aggie some props. This cat was a brute during his Southwest Conference days. Very gifted and athletic defensive lineman that had a long career with the Houston Oilers; remember them kids? I would say he's in.


Randall Cunningham - Was anyone aware that UNLV played football until Mr. Cunningham showed up on campus? He stills holds the career passing record at his alma mater. And get this; he was a two-time All American punter. Hell yeah, he's in!


 Sam Cunningham - Are you kidding me, Sam "Bam" Cunningham? The dude that legendary coach Bear Bryant was quoted as saying "single-handedly did more for black football players at Alabama than anyone." Y'all trippin, put Sam in!


Jim Dombrowsk - I was a teammate of Jim's when we both played for the New Orleans Saints. We had a few fights in practice, of course I won. Jim was a fierce competitor in the pros, but I'm not up on his college career at Virginia. Therefore, I can't endorse his induction at this time.


Steve McMichael - "Mongo" as he is affectionately known by his University of Texas teammates. One of the strongest, hardest workers I've ever witnessed train. This dude was scary good as well as a smart tactician. "Mongo" is a tough old throwback whose wrath I would fear if I declined to endorse his entry into the Hall of Fame. Congrats, Mongo!


Gabe Rivera - "Senor Sack" played college ball at Texas Tech, which is located in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas. We refer to it as L.A. - Lubbock Area, sounds more metropolitan....I had the pleasure of watching "Senor Sack" perform in person. Man was he a beast! I'm talking about a cat quick 300 pound nose tackle that could scoot. His play garnered national attention, with all college football eyes focused on L.A. during his reign with the Red Raiders. You're in "Senor Sack!"


Ken Norton Jr. - I must warn you, folks, I might get a little wispy with my comments on this dude. Simply put, Ken Norton Jr. was everything to me during my time as a UCLA Bruin. He took this young, wide-eyed freshman under his wing and showed him the ropes. He showed me how to train, how to be diligent in my preparations. He demonstrated how a leader practices and how a leader leads. Kenny was always so energetic and it was infectious. I can point to Kenny as one of about five people that played a significant role in my successful football career...Kenny was a fast, smart and extremely athletic inside linebacker for the Bruins. He played on some the most successful UCLA squads and was an integral part of that success....My mentor; my teammate;  my friend; my homeboy; good luck, I hope you get in!

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