INDIANAPOLIS – Today’s news looks at the Hall of Fame possibilities for Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy and
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, January 30th.
Harrison, Dungy worthy of the Hall of Fame
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
Wells looks at the Hall of Fame nominations for Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy heading into this weekend’s voting process.
“Marvin Harrison had a tremendous impact on my career,” Peyton Manning said. “My very first football game in the preseason, on the third play of the game, I threw my first pass. I threw him about a 4-yard pass, and he ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I said, ‘Boy, this NFL is pretty easy. All you do is throw it to Marvin Harrison and he runs for touchdowns.’ That’s pretty much what he did throughout the time we played together. He is just an outstanding football player. A great teammate, and he truly helped me out a lot.”
Harrison was a perfectionist of his craft. His footwork had to be precise, he tried to catch anything thrown in his direction. He wanted the team’s best defensive backs defending him in practice, not a practice squad player who could be released at any moment.
“That was Marvin for you,” Polian said. “His unique ability at his size to get open and continue to play for as long as he played is witness to his phenominal athletic ability, great hands and work habit. He’s extremely, extremely gifted athlete. Far more than people realize because he’s made it look so easy. He was a clutch performer.”
Dungy, who coached in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, is in the top seven in wins amongst coaches with at least 100 victories. The Colts won at least 10 games in all seven seasons under Dungy. They won five division titles during that same time span, and Dungy is the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl.
“Everybody who makes the finals deserves to be in, but Tony is in a class by himself,” Polian said. “His record speaks for itself. He has replaced Wellington Mara as the public conscience of the NFL. “
Manning added, “Coach Dungy’s influence on me and our entire team was very strong…I’m indebted to him for his help for me in my career, and of course, our teams there in Indianapolis. I was very honored to play for him for a number of years.”
Coby Fleener on the Art of Saying Nothing
By: Coby Fleener, Monday Morning Quarterback
Fleener is out in New York this week working the Super Bowl media sessions for Monday Morning Quarterback.
As an NFL player I’d rather be on the other side of the microphone, but this week I’m working as a Super Bowl correspondent for Peter King and the The MMQB. I studied journalism and media at Stanford, and one day I might be a sports reporter; for now, though, I’m a football player pretending to know something about sportswriting.
One thing I do know from being on both sides of the microphone is that football players (and professional athletes in general) are notorious for their clichéd answers. During my career I’ve been interviewed countless times, and I often wonder what the reporter could possibly get out of what I’m saying. I’m about as bland and clichéd as possible, and once the cameras are finally off some reporters actually give me a hard time about it.
I will continue to be bland, though, as will other athletes—because to a certain degree our jobs depend on it. Here’s why: