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Sansevere’s Nano-Column: It’s a SHAME Foreman isn’t in the HOF #VoteforForeman

Since the team isn't "pushing" for Chuck, let's do it ourselves!

#VoteforForeman

It’s a shame Chuck Foreman isn’t already in the Hall of Fame.

And … Shame on the Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee members who decide which former players deserve HOF enshrinement.

Shame on the Vikings.

It is a travesty neither group — Hall of Fame voters or Vikings — has done enough to put Foreman where he rightly belongs.

Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the semifinalists for the 2021 class. Drew Pearson is the senior committee’s candidate.

Good player?

Yes.

Hall of famer?

Eh.

Foreman was the best all-around running back of his era. Run. Catch. He could scald a Defense either way. And he did it during an incredible period for running backs. Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson, Franco Harris, Larry Csonka, John Riggins — they all played when Foreman played.

They’re all in the hall of fame. Foreman isn’t.

Travesty.

There are reasons. Here’s a big one: the Vikings haven’t promoted Foreman for the Hall of
Fame. He’s down the pecking order. Bud Grant, the Vikings’ coach when foreman played in Minnesota, has another favorite from the Purple People Eaters. Grant wants to see Jim Marshall in the HOF. Above any other Viking from that era.

“I know my team isn’t pushing me at all,” Foreman said last week. “If the team isn’t pushing you …”
Let’s finish that sentence for him.

If the team Isn’t pushing you, you’re screwed.

There are three players remaining from the Purple People Eating days who merit HOF Consideration. They are, in order, Foreman, Guard Ed White, who also had a terrific career with the Chargers, and Marshall.

Foreman is hurt by Grant and the Vikings not stumping for him. Meantime, the HOF voters aren’t a bunch of knotheads, even if they behave that way. All they have to do is look at the stats and override the Vikings’ attempt to get Marshall in ahead of Foreman.

In 1975, Foreman gained 1,761 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. In 14 games.

If he’d done all that damage just running the ball, people would be far more impressed. Which is stupid. It shouldn’t matter if he just ran the ball or also had a multitude of catch-and-runs. It’s the overall yards that should matter most.

Foreman was as versatile a back as any that ever played, and he was a fullback. The only fullback in the Hall of Fame is Csonka, and he wasn’t an all-purpose player like Foreman.

That ’75 season, Foreman ran for 1070 yards and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He also led the NFL with 73 passes for another 691 yards, and nine touchdowns. And remember: they only played 14 games back then.

From 1973 to 1978, he was the second-leading receiver in the entire NFL and had more catches than the four wide receivers in the Hall of Fame from that period. No running back in the Hall of Fame, nobody in all the league, averaged more touches, yards, or points per game over those six seasons.
That’s elite. That’s HOF-worthy. So is this: his career average of 108.4 yards per game is better than Harris, Riggins, Csonka, Earl Campbell, Floyd Little, Leroy Kelley — all HOFers whose careers overlapped with Foreman.

Foreman was responsible for nearly a third of The Vikings’ team offense during that aforementioned ‘73-‘78 period. He was a huge reason the Vikings played in three of their four Super Bowls; he still was in college when they played in their first.

His versatility helped revolutionize the running back position. His play helped put Fran Tarkenton, Ron Yary, and Mick Tingelhoff in the Hall of fame. Now it’s time he got some help or it will continue to be a shame.

#VoteforForeman

Bob Sansevere hosts “the bs show” podcast, which also is broadcast on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR). He also co-hosts the jimbob sports jam
With fox 9’s Jim Rich and Chuck Foreman, and swears he felt as strongly about Foreman belonging in the HOF long before he ever did a show with him.

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Bob Sansevere

Bob Sansevere hosts a daily podcast, The BS Show, which also is broadcast on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR). He also writes occasional columns for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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cka2nd
cka2nd
1 month ago

Actually, the Vikings player from the Purple People Eaters era with perhaps the best credentials to make the Hall of Fame is the late LT Grady Alderman. His problem is that his best years, like Mick Tingelhoff’s, predated the PPE defense, as he made six Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro team between 1963 and 1969. However, he continued as the Vikes’ starting LT through the 1973 season.

Based purely on credentials and not the opinions of his coaches, teammates or opponents (raves for his earlier work, but the dismissive comments of Raiders like Gene Upshaw have hounded him for decades), Jim Marshall probably has the weakest case to make the Hall of the four men named. He only made two Pro Bowls and never made a 1st team All-Pro squad, and it doesn’t help that even after the disaster that was Super Bowl XI, there’s three more years worth of film making Marshall the case that Marshall should have retired at least before the 1977 season, if not with the post-74 purge of Alderman, Milt Sunde and Bill Brown.

Ed White only made four Pro Bowls, but I have to think he might have made two or three more if he wasn’t playing out of position as a left guard from 1970 to 1974. I’ve often wondered why Grant and Co. didn’t flip White and Sunde after the 1970 season, given that Sunde had made the Pro Bowl as a LG and was outweighed by White by a good 20 pounds or so. Paired with Ron Yary on the right side, White made three Pro Bowls in 1975-77, and might have made more if they’d played together the previous four years.

Foreman is in the uncomfortable position of having only three thousand-yard rushing seasons among his five Pro Bowl years, and only one 1st team All-Pro nod. Foreman probably has more of a shot at the Hall than Lydell Mitchell or Lawrence McCutcheon (the LA Rams, the most underrated team of the 1970’s), perhaps because he was such a touchdown machine, but the fact that his career was cut short by injuries, while Walter Payton ran for over thirteen hundred yards in his 11th year in the league, kills Foreman’s chances. The comparison with Payton even, unfairly, questions Foreman’s claim to be the best all-around RB of the 1970’s (don’t forget Chuck’s blocking, by the way). I’ve grown as a Foreman fan over the decades, and I think it’s between him and Alderman for the crown of ex-Viking most deserving of a HoF bust, but comparing them to their peers, it’s truly a tough case for either of them.

No, Pearson does not belong in the Hall, even discounting his pushing off of Nate Wright. And I wouldn’t really call Foreman a fullback after the 1974 season, at the latest. Also, where’d you get the idea that Larry Csonka was the only fullback in the Hall of Fame? Many of the running backs in the Hall from the first 60 years of the league were fullbacks, from Bronko Nagurski and Marion Motley to Jim Brown and John Riggins.

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