Much was made of the Pro Football Hall of Fame not allowing Junior Seau’s daughter, Sydney, to speak during his induction this upcoming weekend, but in the end, the Hall didn’t have much choice. Only players can speak at the podium.
That’s the rule.
“What do you tell the next person whose father is dead and they want to speak and they say no it’s the rules?” Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain asked on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “To me, you either have a rule or you don’t. If you’re going to make allowances for the Seau family, then you have to make allowances for the next one that we put in or change the rule. And the rule was put in because the people . . . have a time limit and they weren’t living up to it and these things were getting to be over four hours – and it’s not the acceptance speeches; (it was) the presenters. They were supposed to have five minutes and one went on for 28 minutes, so they started doing those by video. And so they made it shorter. But I believe that everybody should be able to speak, and I think the rule should be changed.”
Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 at the age of 43, will be inducted this weekend along with Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.
Seau spent 13 years with the Chargers, three with the Dolphins and four with the Patriots. He was a 12-time Pro Bowler, an eight-time first-team All-Pro, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, played in two Super Bowls and was a member of the 1990s All-Decade Team.
Needless to say, that’s quite a resume. Where does Seau rank among all-time linebackers?
“Well, Seau moved all over the place,” McClain said. “They let him freelance a lot. This was when he was with the Chargers and they let him try to take advantage of mismatches. They left it up to him because he was such a great player. I don’t put him up there with Lawrence Taylor. To me, the four greatest players I’ve ever seen were Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White. To me, those four are the Mount Rushmore of NFL players. And in that second group, Junior certainly was great. He was durable. He had the longevity. It’s going to be very sad but exciting at the same time when he’s inducted. It is kind of strange he’s in a Patriot uniform because everybody kind of thinks of him as a Charger.”