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.
Hall of famer?
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.
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.
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.