Random thoughts: Lynch deserves the Hall of Fame

by Gary Shelton on February 3, 2019 · 2 comments

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

You notice the nearest mountains. It's the same way with ballplayers.

It is because of that that I've always had a weak spot for John Lynch, the former Bucs' running back. I saw, up close, how dominating he was in the box. I watched, with my own eyes, as he went from a bit player to a great one. I argued, to the last fibre of my being, that he belonged in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I still think that, although fame passed Lynch by again on Saturday. Hall of Fame voters are reluctant to elect safeties, and in a year when Ed Reed went in, they certainly weren't going to elect two. Lynch's specialty was run support -- and the Bucs' defense became a dominant one because of it -- so his interception numbers didn't match that of some other candidates. But if you are going to tap great players on the shoulder, you're going to tap his. No doubt in my mind.

Look, I have zero problems with Reed or with Tony Gonzalez or with Champ Bailey. They are special entrants. But I thought Lynch deserved to be among their number. He was a smart player, a great tackler, a brutal hitter and a wonderful leader.

One of the problems I do have is the addition of yet another Kansas City Chief to the Hall of Fame Remember, the Chiefs of 1969 didn't even win its division, and it (like the Bucs) won only one Super Bowl. But the Chiefs have Lamar Hunt, Hank Stram, Len Dawson, Bobby Bell, Curly Culp, Willie Lanier, Jan Stenerud, Emmitt Thomas, Buck Buchanan and now Johnny Robinson. Heck, that's Steeler-like numbers. Bluntly put, over time, the Chiefs weren't that good.

No doubt, the Chiefs were good. But I've compared a decade of the Bucs' numbers with a decade of the Chiefs, and the Bucs were better. So how do you explain the difference?

-- Today would be Jackie Robinson's 100th birthday. To celebrate, every player -- no matter their race -- should make a donation to their favorite charity. We are far better for Robinson's gifts, and none of us should forget it.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: Tom Brady over Jared Goff, barely.

-- One of the biggest decisions that a baseball Hall of Fame electee has is to decide is which of his team's caps to wear on his bust. Which made me wonder: If Jose Canseco would ever miraculously make the Hall, would he be the first player with a tin-foil hat?

-- Of course, such a hat would go great with a bloody sock. Just ask Curt Schilling.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: Bill Belichick over Sean McVay, by a lot.

--Houston's DeSean Watson says he wants a Tom Brady-Peyton Manning type duel with Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes. Only two things are needed: 1) championships and 2) records. Small details, right?

-- A few prop bets you can still bet on before the Super Bowl: Whether Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine will wear a hat, how long Gladys Knight's national anthem will be, whether an ad will feature the words "dilly, dilly," how many times Donald Trump will tweet, how many times Giselle Bundchen will be shown on television and what color the liquid that will be poured on the winners will be.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: The Rams' Todd Gurley over the Patriots James White, by a significant amount.

-- Also, you can actually bet on whether the Patriots or Rams will win. What a concept.

-- Quick poll: If the Rays could (and they can't) land either Manny Machado, Bryce Harper or J.T. Realmuto, who would you want? Hint: None of the guys are closers.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: Rams' receivers over the Patriots receivers, by a bit.

--The Miami Dolphins plan to release Ryan Tannehill, huh? Give the Dolphins credit. They only waited six years too long.

-- N.C. State, once a proud champion of college basketball, scored all of 34 points Saturday. They might have scored more, but they were busy celebrating the rest of 1938. They made two of 28 three-pointers and scored 10 in the second half. Hey, 24 isn't a good night for a star forward, let along the nation's No. 23 team.

-- N.C. State might have scored more if it didn't take so much time to fish the ball out of those peach baskets.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: Rams' defensive line over the Patriots', by a bunch.

-- According to Yardbarker.com, the Bucs won the eighth-most lopsided Super Bowl ever over the Raiders.

-- Super Bowl edge matchup: Patriots' defensive backs over the Rams, by a solid margin.

-- Let's see. If you're the Lakers, you have a chance to get Anthony Davis, but you may have to give up Lonzo Ball and Daddy Blowhard. Sounds like a win-win to me.

-- Super Bowl prediction: L.A. Rams 28, New England 24.

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