Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Fame’

I had already seen the jerseys and boots worn by some of the most incredible and unforgettable players in NFL history, and my jaw had hit the floor after I was about a metre away from the goddamn Superbowl trophy.

Couldn’t get any better right? Yes it could. The most untidy queue I had ever been part of wound its way around the Hall of Fame tent outside Wembley stadium to none other than a winners ring from every Superbowl ever played.

Despite being rushed through the exhibit and told I could not take any photographs I put my camera lens on close up focus and tried to snap as many rings as I could in about 30 seconds. The results were varied to say the least but I did manage to get some absolute crackers.

If you are reading this blog and I capture one of your team’s Superbowl rings I hope they bring a smile to your face….

Superbowl XLI

Superbowl 41 ring - won by Indianapolis Colts

Superbowl XLIII

This special Superbowl ring celebrates the Pittsburgh Steelers six wins, including earlier this year with this ring

Superbowl XVII

One for all you Washington Redskins fans the ring from their first Superbowl victory in 1983

Superbowl XXXIII

John Elway led the Denver Broncos to their second Superbowl in 1999 - this is the ring he won

Superbowl III

Joe Namath guaranteed this Superbowl win for the New York Jets in the 60s

Superbowl XXXV

This is a Baltimore Ravens Superbowl ring won in 2001

Superbowl XXXIV

Kurt Warner led the St Louis Rams to this Superbowl ring in 2000

A Hall of Fame coach AND broadcaster - Sir Madden

There are certain people’s voices in the world who become so synonymous with sports commentary that when they finally retire from the broadcast booth it is hard to imagine anyone ever filling their shoes.

To me John Madden is the voice of football, the crazy man who wore far far too much makeup but was the personification of the NFL.

A Superbowl winning head coach with the Oakland Raiders, Madden could make wild, wacky or weird comments, but he had the NFL wins to back it up, and anyone who has seen his heartfelt interview in the Superbowl XI episode of ‘America’s Game’ knows that winning a big one meant the absolute world to him.

I like millions of other NFL and computer games fans grew up playing the John Madden franchise of computer games, in my case on the Sega Mega-Drive, Sony PlayStation, Sony Playstation2, Nintendo Wii and Sony PSP.

I almost lost my future wife to be at university due to my addiction to Madden ’95, as my friend Pin (named after a very obscure 1980s Horror film of the same name about a doctor who talked to a dummy) and I would spend hours, that turned into days battling our mass of coloured pixels against each other. This was well before flat screen HDTV.  

Hearing Madden make little comments as I try to guide the Redskins to a 16-0 undefeated season is a part of my childhood and adulthood, and I have still not shaken the habit as I purchased Madden 09 – with Brett Favre as a Packer on the cover.

NFL commentary will sorely miss John Madden and his ‘doinking’ as well as his turkducken – the most legendary bird based meat product ever discussed on Thanksgiving day.

John Madden you are a living legend – and from an NFL fan in England I will certainly shed a tear knowing that there is no more Maddenisms coming in the 2009 NFL season.

Fred Dean en-route to one of his Superbowl rings as a 49er

Fred Dean en-route to one of his Superbowl rings as a 49er

He may have won his two Superbowl rings in the red and gold kit of the San Francisco 49ers but for many thousands of NFL fans Fred Dean was the San Diego Charger’s original sackmaster, ploughing his furrows through the likes of the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs offensive lines in the late 1970s.

It has been announced today that Dean joins thirty-three other former Bolts as the 34th member of theSan DIego Chargers Hall of Fame.

2008 is turning out to be a glorious year for Dean, as back in February he was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

I do wonder why it took so long for Dean to get elected into the ChargersHall of Fame, but with the likes of Lance Alworth, Charlie Joiner, Sid Luckman, Kellen Winslow (the original not his bad boy son), Dan Fouts and the man nicknamed the intellectual assassin offensive tackle Ron Mix already in the Californian Hall then it really isn’t that surprising.

In 2004 I had the absolute pleasure and honour to watch the San Diego Chargers play against the New York Jets at  Stadium. What made the day one of the most memorable sporting events I have ever been to however was that my wife and I watched the game from the 50 yard line with none other than Charger Hall of Fame inductee Ron Mix.

My wife worked with a professor (Speedy Rice) who studied law in California with Mr Mix – hence his nickname – the intellectualal assassin. Mr Mix also is in the NFL Hall of Fame and took great pleasure in flashing his Hall of Fame ring to our party as many times as he could. Aside from his rather dark sense of humour Mr Mix was a real gent, and it was a day I’ll never forget.

Whilst Ron Mix and Fred Dean’s paths never crossed in uniform, I am confident they have got together at Chargers reunions, and even Charger Hall of Fame events.

The Chargers press office said  “The NFL did not make sacks an official statistic until 1982, but numbers kept by teams indicate that he recorded nearly 100 sacks during his 11-year career. In 1978, Dean unofficially posted 15.5 sacks, which would be the third-highest single-season mark in Chargers history were it official. He unofficially logged nine sacks in 1979 and 10.5 in 1980.”

Some remarkable statistics when you look at it – above alcongratulations Fred, and maybe to celebrate you will come over to England in October and watch the NFL International game between the Chargers andthe New Orleans Saints on 26 October at Wembley.

If you come Fred I’ll buy you a cold one !

If anyone has any memories of Fred Dean playing please feel free to post…………