Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union-Tribune
Vote: Maybe Yes (6/10)
The Washington Post
January 7, 1981
Charger Assistant The Right Man; The Right Man for the Redskins: Gibbs, Creator of Charger Attack
If you stand next to Joe Gibbs for one minute as he diagrams a big pass play in a moment of joy, you will know this: “The guy is lousy with class,” said Jerry Magee, the veteran sportswriter of the San Diego Union. “It’s unbelievable for anybody to be that good-looking, that bright, that moral and that good a football coach.”
Everything Dan Fouts sees Magee talking to Gibbs, the record-setting quarterback shoos the writer away. “I want to keep Joe a secret,” Fouts said, “or some team will hire him away.” Magee: “Dan’s kidding on the square there.”
You get the idea. Joe Gibbs is a good guy. He is a born-again Christian. A model of decorum. A sweetheart with the press. A demanding coach who knows how to smile at the right times.
November 10, 1991
Stats would put Lofton in ‘Hall’
But Jerry Magee, pro football writer for the San Diego Union, wouldn’t speculate on Lofton’s chances.
“He had a period where he wasn’t very productive,” he said. “I think guys in the Hall of Fame should play well all the time. I remember him dropping balls all over the place. And I can’t say his personal life has been exemplary. Some guys pay attention to that.”
The Dallas Morning News
December 12, 1999
Irvin on right track for Hall of Fame
Then come players such as Sterling Sharpe, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Irvin.
“He wouldn’t be a slam dunk,” said Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union Tribune. “I know he had a distinguished career, but so have a lot of other receivers.
“I’m an old-timer and I’ve covered some of the great receivers in the game. He doesn’t rank with Alworth or Rice. He’s borderline.
“Alworth was a superb receiver and a dynamic athlete. He could outrun and outjump Irvin. He could do anything athletically.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune
February 4, 2006
Hall of Fame Candidates
Russ Grimm, G, Washington Redskins One of “the Hogs.” A meritorious candidate, but this list of finalists is a stellar one. Only six can be enshrined.
Claude Humphrey, DE, Atlanta Falcons See Grimm, above.
Michael Irvin, WR, Dallas Cowboys When push came to shove, Irvin too often was doing the shoving. Pushing off is supposed to be a no-no.
Bob Kuechenberg, G, Miami Dolphins There are Dolphins in the hall that were not his equal.
John Madden, coach, Oakland Raiders Not many men have done more to popularize the game of our times than Madden, and he could coach. In another era other than the one in which he operated, his teams arguably would have created a dynasty.
Art Monk, WR, Washington Redskins The consummate possession receiver, but one has to question if that alone qualifies one to have his bust cast in bronze.
Warren Moon, QB, many teams in two leagues, CFL and NFL Exemplary credentials, talent, class and longevity. He has to be in the hall.
Derrick Thomas, LB, Kansas City When he was in the mood, he excelled, but too often he seemed to disappear.
Thurman Thomas, RB, Buffalo Bills Anybody who broke a Jim Brown record by leading the league in rushing four consecutive years has to be respected. The man had thrust.
Pro Football Weekly
February 18, 2007
Selection committee needs to evaluate totality of candidate
The word had got around that a year ago I had spoken in opposition to Irvin’s candidacy, not because of his conduct, which has not always been exemplary, but because on too many occasions when I was observing him, he would be pushing off on defenders while he was tracing his pass routes.
In my heart, I must admit, I did harbor misgivings about Irvin as a resident of the Hall because of his off-the-field peccadillos, but the Hall’s position is that there is no such thing as a bad boy or a candidate for induction who has been overly naughty. Father Flanagan took the same stance when he founded Boys Town. Spencer Tracy was great in the part.
Anyhow, I welcomed Aikman’s call. For openers, I advised him that he was going to have to disabuse me of my thinking that Irvin’s successes, and he had some, were founded in large part on putting his hands on defenders and shoving. You know what? I was so flattered that Aikman, fine quarterback that he was, would take the time to contact me — and he talked persuasively — that when it came time the following day to write Irvin’s name on a ballot, I checked the “Yes” box and not the “No” box. Yes, Irvin should be permitted to take a place among football’s gods.
Perhaps I should not have said that. What occurs behind the closed doors of the selectors’ session is supposed to be privileged. Too often, it is — for about 10 minutes. Then the word gets out. There are moles in that room, I am convinced of it. Hush-hush soon loses its hushes. I have become aware that the high mucky-mucks of the NFL had been advised of every word that had been spoken within minutes of the meeting’s adjournment.
Whatever, since I cast my vote for Irvin, I have been having second thoughts. Did I act properly? Was I caught up in a P.R. effort? Should the Hall welcome individuals who, while they excelled on the field, were less impressive off it?
One day before Irvin received what he termed a “validation” from the board of selectors, commissioner Roger Goodell in his “state of the league” news conference had decried the incidence of misdeeds by NFL players. What sort of message was the league sending by admitting a person with Irvin’s personal history?
Not a favorable one, I fear. I am thinking now of some of those enshrined in Canton. John McNally, known as “Johnny Blood,” a noted roisterer who was a member of the Hall’s founding class. Lawrence Taylor, fierce on the field, hardly a member of the Boy Scouts of America off it. Joe Namath. His saloon, Bachelors III, was frequented by guys with very hard eyes.
I could go on. Guys aren’t welcomed into the Hall because they know how to handle tea cups in drawing rooms. If the persons I have cited were invited to walk up the steps at Canton, it would be an injustice to impose a citizenship clause on the circumstances for admission, but sometimes steps must be taken that are not wholly fair.
My position: Amend the Hall’s bylaws and write into them a stipulation that when a player’s credentials for admission are weighed, he is to be examined as a whole person, for what he represents in society as well as what sort of a football player he was.