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  1. #1
    AlphaRam Guest

    Rams HOF Nominees

    The nominess will be decided Saturday evening. There are 3 former Rams on the finalist list. Any thoughts on the nominees? They are:
    LES RICHTER:
    Linebacker Les Richter was the second player selected overall in the 1952 NFL Draft by the New York Yanks. Two days later, the franchise folded and was sold back to the NFL. Shortly thereafter the assets of the club, including the signing rights to Richter, were granted to the expansion Dallas Texans. The Los Angeles Rams dealt 11 players to the Texans to obtain the All-American from California.

    Los Angeles had to wait two years while Richter served in the military. When he returned he signed with the Rams and embarked on a nine-season career that earned him the reputation as one of the best linebackers of his era. He was especially known for his rugged and punishing style of play.

    Richter was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls. The only time he did not receive the honor was in his final season in 1962. He was also named a first- or second-team All-NFL each season during a six-year span from 1955 to 1960. Aside from his play at linebacker, Richter also saw some time at center and handled the Rams placekicking duties early in his career. He received much attention in 1955 for his play on defense as well as clutch placekicking that helped the Rams to an 8-3-1 record to win the NFL Western Division crown and a berth in the championship game.

    He led the Rams in scoring in 1955 and 1956. In all, he totaled 193 points off of 29 field goals and 106 extra points during his career.

    Richter recorded 16 career interceptions which he returned for 206 yards. Twice he had four picks in a season (1957 and 1961) and was the Rams leading interceptor in 1957. Richter battled through various injuries but never missed a game during his 112-game NFL career. In fact, early in the 1961 season he suffered a broken cheekbone during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played through the injury not initially knowing it was broken. He had a protective guard added to his helmet and completed the season even though he broke his cheekbone again five weeks later.

    Richter passed away on June 12, 2010 at the age of 79.

    JEROME BETTIS:
    Jerome Bettis was selected in the first round, 10th player overall, out of Notre Dame by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1993 NFL Draft. He finished second in the NFL in rushing during his rookie season after gaining 1,429 yards. Included in that total were his first career 100-yard and 200-yard rushing games, both of which came against the New Orleans Saints. His 212-yard day that season was a career-high. At the time he was only the eighth rookie in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a game. His output that year marked the first of eight 1,000-yard seasons in his first nine years. He was named Rookie of the Year by numerable media outlets and was chosen as a first-team All-Pro and All-NFC.

    Bettis led the Rams in rushing each of his three seasons with the club before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second- and fourth-round draft pick. He rebounded from a subpar year in 1995 with the Rams to earn Comeback Player of the Year and was again named first-team All-Pro in 1996, his first in the Steel City. Bettis gained 1,431 yards on 320 carries and scored 11 TDs for the division-winning Steelers.

    The 5'11", 243-pound runner continued to carry the load for Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers' leading ground gainer eight times in 10 seasons. Bettis, a six-time Pro Bowler, retired following his lone Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season (Super Bowl XL). The Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the game played in Bettis's hometown of Detroit.

    At the time of his retirement, Bettis ranked fifth all-time in rushing with 13,662 yards on 3,479 career carries. Nicknamed "The Bus" for his bruising running style, he also scored 91 rushing touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game 61 times during the regular season and three more times in playoff games.

    In addition to his rushing totals, Bettis amassed 1,449 yards on 200 receptions and 3 TDs. His combined net yardage (15,113) was 19th best all-time at the time of his retirement. Bettis also completed three passes, all for touchdowns in his 13-season, 192-game career.
    MARSHALL FAULK:
    The Indianapolis Colts picked San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk as the second player overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. He was an instant star as he rushed for 143 yards and scored three touchdowns in his rookie debut against the Houston Oilers. He then eclipsed the 100-yard mark again the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those were two of four 100-yard rushing days to go with one 100-plus yard receiving game in his rookie season. He finished his first season with 1,282 rushing yards and an AFC-leading 11 TDs. He also caught 52 passes for 522 yards and one touchdown. He was named Rookie of the Year for his performance.

    Faulk rushed for 1,000 yards in four of his first five seasons while also amassing 2,804 yards on 297 receptions. He was then traded by the Colts to the St. Louis Rams in 1999 in exchange for a second- and fifth-round draft pick. He helped guide his new team to a Super Bowl title in his first season in St. Louis. That year he became the second player in NFL history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and receiving and set the then-record for yards from scrimmage with 2,429 yards. He was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year for the first of three straight seasons.

    The following year, Faulk earned NFL Most Valuable Player honors after he set the single-season record for touchdowns with 26 that included a career-high and league-leading 18 rushing touchdowns. It marked the first of two straight seasons in which he led the NFL in scoring and touchdowns.

    In all, Faulk earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 1994, 1995, and 1998. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls, named All-AFC twice and All-NFC three times in his career.

    Faulk, the first player in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four straight seasons (1998-2001), retired as the NFL's ninth-ranked rusher of all-time with 12,279 yards and 100 touchdowns. He also added 767 career receptions, which ranked 16th all-time, for 6,875 yards and 36 touchdowns. His 19,154 yards from scrimmage was sixth all-time. Faulk rushed for 100 or more yards in 38 games and had three games in which he went over the 200-yard mark. He also recorded eight 100-yard receiving games in his 12-year, 176-game career.


  2. #2
    thickandthin Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    I love Faulk, he was the reason I became a RAMFAN in the first place.

  3. #3
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    Personally, I think it is a shame that they wait until Les Richter passes away before considering him for the HOF. It should have been done while he was alive.

  4. #4
    sjacksonrules's Avatar
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    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    I read a article the other day that was pretty interesting it was about what if bettis stayed and we didn't get faulk would the GSOT exist?

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    Personally, I think it is a shame that they wait until Les Richter passes away before considering him for the HOF. It should have been done while he was alive.
    -- AlphaRam
    Totally agree amigo!
    We have great Rams here, of course, in Bettis, Faulk, and Richter, but Les' nomination is way over due!



    The gripping story of former L.A. Ram Les Richter
    Los Angeles Times. February 15, 2010
    JERRY CROWE / CROWE'S NEST

    Richter, 79, made eight Pro Bowls in nine seasons (1954-62) as a Ram, then made a major mark as a motor racing executive, earning a spot in Motorsports Hall of Fame. But why isn't he in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

    Spotted from a distance, Les Richter offers little hint that he once intimidated through mere physical presence.

    The former Los Angeles Rams linebacker is bent from the waist at about a 45-degree angle as he walks, hands clenched behind him for balance.

    He is nearly 80.

    Up close, however, Richter extends his right hand in greeting to a visitor and the years melt away.

    "Squeeze," he says.

    His mouth curls into a devilish grin as the visitor's hand disappears inside Richter's oversized and still-sturdy mitt, all but drained of blood and feeling as Richter tightens his grip.

    Only then are you reminded that the Rams in 1952 traded 11 players to acquire Richter, an All-American and class valedictorian at California before serving two years in Korea.

    Blessed with "legs like tree stumps and a torso like a freight car," according to Jim Murray, the 6-foot-3, 238-pound Richter played with the Rams from 1954 to 1962, making the Pro Bowl in all but the last of his nine NFL seasons.

    From there, the Fresno native turned his attention to an even more dangerous endeavor and forged a legacy as one of auto racing's most influential figures -- all without ever driving a race car, turning a wrench or owning a team.

    Richter, as an executive, guided Riverside Raceway to national prominence, was a guiding force in NASCAR's phenomenal success and helped oversee the development of California Speedway.

    Owing to his football past, everyone called him Coach.

    "Back in the good ol' days," Richter says during a lunchtime interview at an Italian restaurant near his Riverside home.

    He and wife Marilyn, married nearly 55 years, live adjacent to a golf course at Canyon Crest Country Club, where a full-time caregiver tends to their everyday needs. They have two grown children and three granddaughters.

    Richter, diagnosed with dementia 14 months ago, is dealing with mental as well as physical issues -- "the ravages of playing football for all those years," says his son, Jon.

    Jon, who lives nearby, says his father has walked hunched over since November 2005, when surgeons fused five vertebrae to alleviate numbness in Richter's thighs and feet.

    "With him, a lot of it's the mileage, I like to say, versus the age -- just years of playing before they had all the safety apparatus and protective gear they have now," Richter's son says. "The back, I'm sure, was the result of football.

    "He's had both knees operated on too -- on both sides."

    Richter never followed through on his post-operative physical therapy, his son says -- "so now he's suffering for that. It's a little frustrating, but what can you do?

    "He's done a lot in his life, and he did it without me to prod him along, so I figure, 'If he's not in pain, then it's OK.' "

    The former Pro Bowler says his back doesn't usually bother him, "but if I do some dumb things, it's pretty bad."

    Explains his son, "He likes to dabble in the yard as much as he can, and sometimes he dabbles a little too long."

    Last August, Richter stayed home rather than travel to Detroit for his induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He was enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

    Auto racing titan Roger Penske, introducing his longtime friend at last summer's ceremony, brought up a sore point when he referred to Richter as "the greatest football player . . . never named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

    Longtime Southland sports publicist Deke Houlgate, who worked briefly for the Rams and later for Richter, has lobbied Hall of Fame voters for 30 years on behalf of his former boss.

    Richter, Houlgate says, "set the stage" for defensive players to be seen as marquee players and, in an era before specialization, added to his value by kicking and playing on the offensive line.

    "He was such a star," Houlgate notes, "that he was used by management to sell tickets as if he were a quarterback, a receiver or a running back."

    Murray indicated as much in a 1961 column, noting that Richter had made 113 speeches the previous year.

    "He knows the words of 'Hail Kiwanis,' can roar like a Lion, slap backs like a Rotarian and has eaten more uncooked chicken than an old fox," Murray wrote. "His lovely wife Marilyn is afraid to rap a spoon on a glass at home for fear Les will lean up, clear his throat and go into his act."

    In Detroit last summer, Penske called Richter "the ultimate team player" and told the audience, "Everyone here has benefited from his endeavor as an ambassador for auto racing."

    These days, Richter says, he still follows football and auto racing, but only from a distance.

    Over lunch, he is cordial and alert but says little.

    "He's got some great stories to tell," his son says. "Unfortunately, he can't remember a lot of them now."

    Houlgate, meanwhile, is frustrated that voters have not seriously considered Richter for enshrinement at Canton.

    Richter, Houlgate notes, is appreciative of his efforts but not inclined to lobby on his own behalf.

    In that regard, he's not the kind to put the squeeze on.


    LES RICHTER - GUARD/LINEBACKER (1949-1951)
    How good was Les Richter? The Los Angeles Rams traded 11 players to Dallas in 1952 to acquire his services; Richter had yet to play his first professional game.
    -- Cal Golden Bears on Les Richter
    Last edited by RealRam; -02-04-2011 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Insert Alpha's quote

  6. #6
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    Faulk and Bettis are no-brainers. I'd be shocked if they didn't get in on the first ballot. With Les Richter, it is a matter of whether or not enough voters have an appreciation for his achievements of over 40 years ago.

    I really think there should be a rule where you are eliminated from consideration after a certain period of time- say 10-15 years. If you aren't appreciative of someone's statistics and accomplishments in that time frame, then they probably aren't worthy of consideration. This nonsense where guys don't get in for 20 years cheapens the process. Either they're good enough or they're not.

    With that said, I don't know why Richter's career wasn't appreciated a lot earlier. It certainly seems like he was one of the best players of his generation and was highly coveted- as evidenced by the eleven guys the Rams traded to get him. It's a shame the guy died before he was given his ultimate due.

  7. #7
    rbbrewer1 Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    It is interesting to note that Chuck Knox drafted both Jerome Bettis and Issac Bruce. At the time sports writers poo-pooed Knox for picking Bruce over other receivers available at that time in the draft. If only Gerogia had kept Knox as GM when they moved to St. Louis.

  8. #8
    rbbrewer1 Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    Faulk and Bettis are no-brainers. I'd be shocked if they didn't get in on the first ballot. With Les Richter, it is a matter of whether or not enough voters have an appreciation for his achievements of over 40 years ago.

    I really think there should be a rule where you are eliminated from consideration after a certain period of time- say 10-15 years. If you aren't appreciative of someone's statistics and accomplishments in that time frame, then they probably aren't worthy of consideration. This nonsense where guys don't get in for 20 years cheapens the process. Either they're good enough or they're not.

    With that said, I don't know why Richter's career wasn't appreciated a lot earlier. It certainly seems like he was one of the best players of his generation and was highly coveted- as evidenced by the eleven guys the Rams traded to get him. It's a shame the guy died before he was given his ultimate due.
    I don't know if Canton is like Cooperstown. In baseball, after you are picked over by today's ignorant sportswriters, they have a veteran's committee that can select you to the Hall of Fame.
    The stupid selection process is why some writers like the late, great LA sportscaster Jim Healy called it the Hall of Shame.

  9. #9
    rbbrewer1 Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    I agree. The other great Rams can make it next time. Les deserves it now and mustn't be overlookd again.

  10. #10
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    I especially do not like the exclusion of Richter when Floyd Little with the Broncos gets in. That would similar of putting Steven Jackson in at this point in time - neither Jackson nor Little have made winners out of their teams (though hopefully Jackson will).

  11. #11
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: Rams HOF Nominees

    I was a little surprised that Bettis did not get inducted today. Of course, I would have rather seen Dennis harrah, Rich Saul and Aeneas Williams go in before Bettis.

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