One of my earliest memories as a Seahawks fan, or in the moments leading up to becoming a real fan of the NFL, was hearing annual reports every fall that our left tackle was holding out for a better contract. It's not the most flattering way to be introduced to probably the best football player to ever join your franchise (Jerry Rice's twilight and like examples not withstanding, and all due respect to Steve Largent) but at the end of the day, all we really care about is if you can play.
Walter Jones could play like a motherf~~~er.
Jones is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I wanted to give you a place to talk about it. As Clare Farnsworth opined:
"On the duh-factor scale, that’s about as startling as a Seattle weather forecast in January that includes rain."
I need to get myself one of those duh-factor scales. Prepare for future installments of "the duh-factor scale."
Jones is in his first year of eligibility, and it will also be his last year of eligibility. It's not unanimous that Jones is the best left tackle in the history of football, but of all the players that most of us have gotten to see with our own eyes, he'd probably get the most votes on the duh-factor scale.
Jones was selected sixth overall in the 1997 draft, a strong class that included Orlando Pace, Tony Gonzalez, James Farrior, Warrick Dunn, Jason Taylor and the Barber twins. The Seahawks hadn't made the playoffs in the eight years prior to Jones joining the team, but they did make it six times in his 12 years, including the 2005 Super Bowl.
(Also eligible for the Hall of Fame again this year is Jerome Bettis.)
Out of all the people that you could associate with the Seahawks 2000s success, from Mike Holmgren to Shaun Alexander to Matt Hasselbeck and Brian Russell, I don't put any of them in the same class as Jones. It's hard to believe that for four seasons, the Seahawks had two Hall of Fame players at the same time with Jones and Cortez Kennedy, but in a Mariners-esque move only made the playoffs once.
Now Seattle is preparing for hopefully it's first championship in franchise history, and while Jones could not overcome Bettis and the refs in 2005, maybe we can make 2013-14 the time to be and the Northwest the place to be. Jones himself says that this team is special, though he says that the '05 team "set the standard" for Seattle football.
Which on the duh-factor scale....
The other finalists are Michael Strahan, Bettis, Derrick Brooks, Marvin Harrison, Morten Anderson, Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Tony Dungy, Eddie DeBartolo, Aeneas Williams, Andre Reed, Will Shields, Charles Haley and John Lynch.
Lynch will be one of the analysts in the Seahawks-Saints game on Saturday.
Don Coryell, who changed the way we play football, as well as the way we eat/live/treat each other, did not make the final ballot. That's right next to "giving Marshawn Lynch a Skittles endorsement" on the duh-factor scale.