The Pro Football Hall of Fame's most recent class announcement was a bittersweet affair for Redskins fans. Bobby Beathard, the general manager that took Washington to three Super Bowls, found head coach Joe Gibbs and constructed the greatest decade in team history, was elected in the contributor category.
However, Joe Jacoby, the Redskins' offensive tackle that went to four Super Bowls and won three of them, helped establish "The Hogs" as a legitimate nickname and protected three different quarterbacks during championship runs throughout the greatest decade in team history, was not elected.
As was lamented over the weekend, Jacoby, in his 20th and final year of eligibility to be elected as a modern-era player, was passed over once again, unable to get the necessary votes to head to Canton this summer.
For the purposes of redeeming this mistake, Jacoby will now be eligible as a senior candidate, which is nominated by nine veteran members of the selection committee. Even though it's taken too long, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker does believe Jacoby will eventually receive a golden jacket.
"The senior committee, the purpose of that, is to kind of catch guys that may fall through the cracks because it is a big process," Baker said. "There's so many guys, it's really hard, but that's how Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer got in. And obviously a guy like Jerry Kramer or Robert Brazile are guys who fell between the cracks.
"There's so many deserving guys, and what I would say is, it's hard to get in. And Joe Jacoby, in my opinion, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, just being a finalist probably makes him one of the 900 greatest players to ever play this game. So hopefully we've honored him by making him a finalist the last several years, the selectors making him a finalist, but from what I heard in the room, which I'm not allowed to share, but I can tell you from what I heard, there's no doubt in my mind that someday Joe Jacoby deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and will be in the Hall of Fame."
Baker also commented on how he broke the election news to Beathard, who wasn't in a hotel room awaiting a loud knock in Minneapolis as is normally the case for finalists. Instead, Baker gave Beathard's wife, Christine, a phone call, and she handed the phone off to Bobby around lots of family members, including many of his grandchildren.
Former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard has been selected for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame's Class of 2018.
"I said, 'It's my great privilege to welcome you to Canton, Ohio as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame where your legacy will reside forever,'" Baker said. "And he basically said, you know, 'Holy cow.' He says, 'I can't believe this is happening,' and it was great and Christine was real happy.
"When I told him, there were some massive cheers. It would have been nice to knock on his door here, like I did with these guys, but for a guy like Bobby, I think it's pretty good that he was with all his family and they were so excited. He's flying out here, hopefully we'll have him at the Super Bowl tomorrow, and we start our orientation on Monday, where literally you get measured for your bust, your gold jacket, and your ring. But the bust is pretty much an eight-month process and it starts on Monday and it finishes just before the enshrinement."
Baker helped put Beathard's achievements, chronicled more deeply here, into better context by mentioning the recent elections of general managers and how these talent evaluators have made an impact on the game.
"All of a sudden you have Bill Polian, Ron Wolf, and Bobby Beathard," Baker said. "And I think those are three that stand out in the golden age of scouting. When it went from just coaching to 'Hey how do we go find that talent, and the best talent everywhere?' At a time when the game was being integrated, so it didn't matter what the color of your skin was, what mattered was could you get the job done and could you do it better than somebody else? And I think to have a guy like that as a member of the Hall of Fame is a real statement. And I think it's a great statement about the Redskins."