In August, a vote was cast to enlarge the Hall of Fame class of 2020 to include a few extra names in honor of the NFL’s 100th season. There will be 20 inductees in all, which will be the finalists from a field of over 300 names, according to the NFL.
The Board of Trustees felt that this was a reasonable way to honor the 100 years of history within the NFL, as well as a chance to raise a little more awareness and interest in the Hall of Fame. They made sure to note that this is a one-time thing, taking care not to risk watering down the honor of being named in Canton.
On December 19th, the Hall of Fame announced the finalists for the honor. I have emphasized those with Chargers connections.
...Actually, because the list would be over after the first bullet, I also threw in those who had an ‘impact’ on the Chargers by working for the NFL or other interesting businesses. It’s a fair wrap!
COACHES (8 FINALISTS) - Coaches who last coached more than five seasons ago
- Don Coryell - 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Bill Cowher - 1992-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
- Tom Flores - 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks
- Mike Holmgren - 1992-98 Green Bay Packers, 1999-2008 Seattle Seahawks
- Jimmy Johnson - 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
- Buddy Parker - 1949 Chicago Cardinals, 1951-56 Detroit Lions, 1957-1964 Pittsburgh Steelers
- Dan Reeves - 1981-1992 Denver Broncos, 1993-96 New York Giants, 1997-2003 Atlanta Falcons
- Dick Vermeil - 1976-1982 Philadelphia Eagles, 1997-99 St. Louis Rams, 2001-05 Kansas City Chiefs
CONTRIBUTORS (10 FINALISTS) - An individual other than a player or coach
- Bud Adams, Owner - 1960-2013 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans
- Ralph Hay, Owner - 1918-1922 Canton Bulldogs
- Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Scout/General Manager/Executive - 1960-61 Philadelphia Eagles, 1962-64 Washington
- Redskins, 1965-1970 Dallas Cowboys, 1971-2006 New England Patriots
- Art McNally, Official/Administrator - 1959-2015 National Football League
- Art Modell, Owner - 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
- Clint Murchison, Founder/Owner - 1960-1983 Dallas Cowboys
- Steve Sabol, Administrator/President - 1964-2012 NFL Films
- Seymour Siwoff, Owner/President - 1952-2019 Elias Sports Bureau
- Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner - 1989-2006 National Football League
- George Young, Contributor/General Manager - 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League
SENIORS (20 FINALISTS) - A player who last played more than 25 seasons ago
Many of the nominations skewed toward the NFL’s early days, and none of them had significant Chargers roots. The LA Chargers were first incorporated in 1960 and should have had some presence, but here we are.
Five modern-era players will also be selected, but none of the 15 nominations have significant links to the Chargers.
While the Hall of Fame has little to do with league parity, it seems that the Chargers have less to look forward to on Superbowl weekend than most other clubs. With the exception of Don Coryell, there are no Chargers in the running to be enshrined in 2020.
Coryell’s monumental enhancements in the passing game continue to impact how pro football was and is being played. Nicknamed “Air Coryell,” his offense in San Diego took the NFL by storm and continues to reverberate today. While his offensive philosophy changed pro football forever, Coryell never won a Super Bowl. That is a fact that all Chargers’ head coaches can share to this day, as none have reached the promised land, except as coordinators or players for other teams.
Here’s hoping for some fun action with Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen at the Pro Bowl!
-Jason “Nomination without representation” Michaels