Nov 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Former professional American football coach Tony Dungy prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Indianapolis Colts are closely associated with 3 Hall of Fame finalists in former head coach Tony Dungy, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, and front office executive Bill Polian for potential enshrinement this year. Voting will occur soon on January 31st for the Hall of Fame Class of 2015, and the results will be released later that evening. The current bylaws are that no more than 5 inductees can be enshrined in a given year, which means it’s highly exclusive on a year-to-year basis.
For one possible Indianapolis Colts-linked inductee, the idea of potential Hall of Fame enshrinement never really crossed Tony Dungy’s mind in his playing or coaching career until fairly recently according to longtime Colts sports journalist and rtv6’s very own Mike Chappell:
"“I never thought about the Hall of Fame or any of that,” Dungy told Chappell. “But you can’t say it doesn’t matter to you because it’s a tremendous honor and something you would love to have happen.”"
However, to Dungy, seeing his former players reach football immortality is more of an honor and joy to him than seeing his own lifelike bronze bust come to fruition:
"“To see Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and Marvin Harrison and John Lynch go in, that would be the joy and the excitement for me, knowing that I did my job well, that I helped some of my players play better,” Dungy said."
It’s still perplexing to him that Marvin Harrison wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer at wideout last year. Instead, former Buffalo Bills wideout Andre Reed got the nod at wide receiver, after spending his 8th year on the ballot:
"“I was more hurt last year that Marvin didn’t go in than me,” Dungy said. “If there ever is a definition of a first-ballot Hall of Famer, it would be Marvin.” Later adding, “Marvin was the receiver of his decade. To me, it should have been a slam-dunk.”"
For all diehard Colts fans, it’s still a shock. If Marvin Harrison wasn’t a sure-fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer at wideout, then who else reasonably is besides Jerry Rice? Among the NFL’s all-time receiving marks, Harrison ranks:
- 3rd all-time with 1,102 receptions
- 7th all-time with 14,580 receiving yards
- 5th all-time with 128 touchdowns
Additionally, Harrison was an 8x Pro Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro, 5x Second-Team All-Pro, NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team Member, and Super Bowl XLI Champion. If he doesn’t make it this year, then someone must have a personal vendetta against him in the voting process because it’s nothing short of highway robbery based on his career accomplishments. Simply put, he’s one of the best wide receivers to ever lace them up.
(Associated Press) AP file photo-Marvin Harrison runs after making a catch in Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 in Miami, Florida.