The Pro Football Hall of Fame contends that it adopted a policy in 2010 not to permit introductory speeches for deceased inductees. Joe Horrigan, a spokesman for the Hall, said the speeches in these cases “got redundant” with videos featuring the dead person.
Carl Peterson, a much-respected executive during his years with the Kansas City Chiefs, should take this as an insult. He was the last person to present a deceased honoree, Derrick Thomas in 2009, before the Hall decided words of praise offered in-person were redundant.
It was a long tradition of fighting against redundancy cited by Horrigan as the reason that Junior Seau’s daughter, Sydney, will not be allowed to speak in honor of her father when the deceased linebacker is inducted on Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.
This strict Hall policy has been used once: For Les Richter, a Los Angeles Rams linebacker, when he was posthumously honored in 2011. Richter played his last game in the NFL in 1962, so with a 49-year gap between his career and his induction, a video might have provided a proper summation.
Seau played the last game of his 20-season career for the New England Patriots in 2009. He died from suicide on May 2, 2012. After his death, he was found to have degenerative brain disease linked to playing football.
Horrigan can do all the bull-slinging he wants about “policy” as the reason Sydney Seau will not be allowed to offer an emotional tribute to her father.
It is a policy that covers one deceased inductee who was a half-century removed from the playing field. The great Junior Seau is fresh in every football fan’s memory — six years from being on the field, three years from ending his life.
The NFL is tied in with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in creating induction weekend. Seau family members have filed suit against the NFL in their father’s death.
Anyone who thinks silencing Junior’s daughter is the result of a firm policy, and not manipulation by the NFL, hasn’t paid attention to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s spiteful, arrogant methods.
PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK
Going, going and gone:
• The 17th quadrennial Pan-Am Games end today in Toronto. Yeah, I didn’t pay any attention, either.
• The sixth stop of the U.S. Skateboarding Championship will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at 3rd Lair Skatepark in Golden Valley.
• Parker Bohn III defeated Pete Weber 259-238 in finals to win the PBA 50-and-over bowling tournament at Treasure Island Casino on Wednesday.