Published: Sun, February 3, 2013 @ 4:43 p.m.
I had a story in today's newspaper about Valley native Joe Reedy, who is one of 46 Pro Football Hall of Fame voters. (You can read it here: http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/feb/03/valley-has-voice-in-voting/?newswatch)
Here's a couple more notes about Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.
- DeBartolo spent much of the week at his ranch in Montana but was in Los Angeles on Saturday, ready to fly to New Orleans in case he was selected. But neither he nor Modell made the cut from 15 to 10.
- DeBartolo's chances are trending up, while Modell's chances have diminished. Eddie's chances have been hurt by his involvement in the corruption case with former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards but I'm told that isn't coming up as much. The fact that he's won five Super Bowl and the fact that the 49ers are getting a new stadium (which has been a 20-year process) is helping his case.
- Obviously, he's also hurt by the fact that there's no separate category for contributors, which means he has to beat out a player (or a coach like Bill Parcells, who was selected Saturday). Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter feels they should get rid of one of the two Senior Candidate slots and give that to a contributor each year. That would probably clear a path for DeBartolo, but it would also help Modell's case, too.
- DeBartolo is best known for being the first "players' owner," paving the path for guys like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, but he was also an influential member of the management committee during the two NFL strikes in the 1980s and helped push the league toward a 16-game schedule.
- I'm never going to be objective when it comes to Modell (my official policy is he can rest in peace, as long as he doesn't rest in Canton) but the case against him goes beyond moving the Browns. After Blanton Collier (his replacement after firing Paul Brown) retired in 1970, Modell's record was below .500, even after the Ravens' Super Bowl. Add in the fact that he was such a wretched businessman that he still had to sell the team after Baltimore saved him from bankruptcy and there's just too many strikes against him.
- Of the 46 voters, 30 were different since the last time Modell made the final round of 15, so it's not just a select group of bitter guys keeping him out. He's had his moment twice and, outside of adding a contributor's category, I don't think he'll get in.
- Joe Scalzo