Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!

Saying that, we felt it was worth our time to take a look at the 2016 Nominees and debate whether they should have gotten in (or not) and look to the future of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chairman:  This was the first time that Steve Atwater has made it to the Finalists, and if he gets inducted next year, it will mark the first time that a defensive player from the Denver Broncos would be inducted.  There are currently four Broncos in Canton (though Fred Little has no business being enshrined) and you would think that with the famed Orange Crush Defense of the 1970’s and the two Super Bowls that somebody from that side of the ball would have been included.

Atwater is known for most for leveling Christian Okoye on Monday Night, but for me this is the guy who stepped up big on the two Super Bowl wins for the Broncos, especially their first win where he had a stat line of six solo tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles; a great performance for a Safety. 

I wonder if Atwater could be inducted to represent all of the Bronco’s D?

Spheniscus: Those Broncos teams had very good, but not exactly legendary defenses. The best player on them by far was Steve Atwater. He is one of the two starting safeties on the NFL 1990s All Decade team. Which should mean something you would think.

Although Atwater would probably never be able to play in today’s NFL. He flat out crushed people, most notably Okoye. And he often led with his helmet.

But he was feared and respected and definitely a worthy nominee. I just think that John Lynch with his incredible reputation and media friendly personality is going to have to get in first before Atwater. Mainly because Atwater is a Bronco and we all know how the Hall feels about those guys.

Chairman: And you can’t exactly show a highlight video with a bunch of tackles leading with your helmet these days can you?  Not without a cautionary disclaimer and Will Smith’s shitty African accent.  By the way Will and Jada, The Fresh Prince didn’t deserve a nomination.

I like Atwater, I really do, but I think he was lucky to get this far, and that final step will probably always elude him.

Spheniscus: His demographics do make it hard. Safeties and Broncos aren’t exactly Hall favorites. Like I said, if John Lynch gets in he may have a chance. But that isn’t exactly a given.

This I will say, like Andersen if he wasn’t one of the first five eliminated, I will be very surprised. And it would probably be a very good sign for his future prospects.

Chairman: Here is my final thought on Steve Atwater.  He is one of those players where I really don’t care if he is inducted or not.  I think we both agree that there are other Safeties who should be considered for the Hall, but Atwater isn’t at the top of the list for me.  Johnny Robinson is and only for a short time as Brian Dawkins is eligible next year, and I would pit him over both of them.

We also have Ed Reed coming up as well as Troy Polamalu, both of which I put over Atwater.  The former Bronco made a huge leap becoming a finalist but if he didn’t get in this year, he won’t in the next five. 

Oh, and I didn’t even mention that John Lynch is still here!

Spheniscus: Yes, Reed, Polamalu and Dawkins are all going to jump him. And I think they are all going to get in. And Lynch is still there. So let’s say he doesn’t get in with the writers. Do they put him in as a senior candidate? Does he have to wait for Randy Gradishar? Is he ever going to Canton without a ticket?

Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, I know what I just said about Tony Boselli, but I feel so much different about Terrell Davis.  Yes he had a short career, but it was so explosive and with all due respect to John Elway and the rest of the Denver Broncos, they don’t win back-to-back Super Bowls without him. 
Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, we return to that powerful Buccaneers defense with John Lynch, who doesn’t hurt his case by remaining in the public eye as a broadcaster.  I know that shouldn’t matter, but do you think that helps to put him over the hump?   I think he already has the Hall resume but when you see him weekly and his broadcasting peers constantly state that opinion, it can only accelerate his cause.
         To get to the play in the Super Bowl you obviously have the necessary skill to first compete in the National Football League and the luck to be on a competitive team.  Former Tight End Orson Mobley not only played in the Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos, he was at the big dance three times.

         As a Professional Football player, Mobley caught 84 passes for 1,019 Yards with four Touchdowns and as a member of three AFC Championship Teams he had a pro career to be proud of, though it was he accomplished off of the field long after he retired from the gridiron that he is most proud of.

         Mobley would be suspended in 1989 for drug use and would be out of the league the year after and would for years deal with substance abuse issues; a topic he has been open about in interviews, but more importantly with young athletes so that they do not fall into the same pitfalls that befell him when he was young man.

         Rather than focus on what he has done wrong in his life, Orson Mobley has chosen to mentor others and has done work as a motivational speaker.  We had the opportunity to talk to Orson about his college career, his time with the Denver Broncos and how he has worked with youngsters to help them understand how choices in life can have ramifications in the future. 

         The first thing I would like to ask you is what drove you to try motivational speaking?  Clearly, you have a unique story to tell, but not everyone who does, elects to try their hand at that. 

         “Just the simple fact that back when I played and when I got to the NFL it was made clear that the organization and the coaches were going to make sure that I had everything I needed to be successful on the field and when it came to off the field stuff, I was left to my own devices. 

         Growing up without a father figure, and I don’t know if you would call it a curse, but being very good at athletics in high school I was pretty much allowed to do whatever it was that I wanted to, which was not always the best thing for me.

         When you’re a young kid, and you don’t know a whole lot and you don’t listen a whole lot, people allow you to do what you want to do and you grow up thinking that’s the proper way it is. 

         When I look back on life on the decisions I made and the things I did and how it is now affecting me today, I want to give young athletes the opportunity to see things really are and make better decisions.”

         You were a highly recruited athlete coming out of Miami.  You chose Florida State.  Was (the University of) Miami and Florida going after you too?

         “Yeah.  A lot of that too was because I played baseball and a lot of schools were interested in that.  I was recruited heavily by Florida, Florida State, Miami and some other schools, but those three were the main ones.”

         What made you choose Florida State?  

         “I had never been anywhere and I did not want to stay in Miami and the first thing is when I showed up (at Florida State) and I was a big fan of Ron Simmons and on my visit I pretty much hung out with him.[ii] 

         He had to keep his word on that but then I got injured and he (Bowden) kind of made me quit, so I really didn’t get the opportunity.  Some of it was my own doing with the academic stuff.”

         You then transferred to Salem.  How did that come about?

         “I wasn’t doing anything.  I was looking at getting back into baseball and I had a couple of calls from a couple of professional baseball teams to come and work out.  I got a call from Terry Bowden[iv]

         How was that living in Salem?  That was in West Virginia right?

         “Yeah it was…(laughs)…it was different.  It was a shock.  I can remember driving into town and I was watching this guy cutting his yard, and he had a big long string at the end of his mower so that he would let it go down the side of the mountain and then he would pull it back up again.  I was looking at that thinking ‘where am I?’”

         I remember driving through West Virginia thinking the same thing.  I have always said their state color must be camouflage.   There was certainly credence, to Terry Bowden’s pitch.  You weren’t the only person to come out of Salem to go the NFL.[vi]

         That’s got to be so different for a kid from Miami.

         “Yeah for sure”

         When you were drafted in the sixth round going to Denver, did you have a mindset of I don’t care who drafts me, or were there teams that you had a preference for or desire not to play for?

         “My thing was just to get to the NFL.  I screwed up my chances to be a first round draft pick when I flunked out of Florida State and they were talking about pushing me for an All American, but my main goal (at Florida State) was to make it to the NFL.  Class wasn’t important, school wasn’t important and that is what I talk to the kids today about.

         That was one of those decisions I made without really thinking about it and how it would affect me.  When I talk to young athletes about having character and discipline and how you produce discipline is doing the things you don’t like when you’re supposed to do them.”

         And you are doing that in schools in South Florida right?

         “Actually in Jacksonville.”

         Oh, in North Florida.  So to the schools there I presume.


         And the reception has been pretty good?

         “Yeah, I have a good friend who was a Running Back with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Anthony Johnson who I knew in my short little stint with the Colts.[viii]  We found an apartment complex close to the practice facilities so we both got apartments there.  We were pretty tight, as was (Wide Receiver) Vance Johnson and (Wide Receiver) Ricky Nattiel, but I mostly hung out with some of the Defensive Line.”

         I imagine you are asked about playing with John Elway on a regular basis.  How did you find working with him?

         “The one thing is that John liked throwing the ball down the field and the routes that we had for Tight Ends weren’t very great.  The Tight End is used much differently now, and are more featured now, just looking at Rob Gronkowski and a lot of times he doesn’t have to be open; he just swallows up defensive backs because he is so big, but back then John liked to throw downfield, but he could also scramble, so I knew that any time that there was a time when that happened there was an opportunity for me to catch the ball even though my name wasn’t called.”

         You are segueing into something that I really wanted to ask you.  The NFL has altered a lot of the rules, and in terms of concussions they have become more aware of the danger that can occur to players.  I would like to know what you think of the recent rule changes to protect receivers?

         “I like the changes.  The guys are so much bigger and faster now.  You got guys who are 260 pounds running a 4.4 or 4.5 or something like that.  I think it is good to try to protect these guys.  When it is all said and done it is still football and guys are flying around out there trying to stick your shoulder without putting your helmet in which I am pretty sure has been a hard change for many of these players to do.  I think overall it is what is best for the game.”

         In terms of the concussion lawsuit, was that something you joined in or is it even something you can talk about?

         “I can’t really go into any details other than I know that for a fact that back when I played a lot of my concussions weren’t on record.  You get hit, you go on the sidelines and they ask you how many fingers they are holding up and if you don’t get it right, they hold you out of the game for one minute and put you back in there. 

That was the concussion test back then.  Now it’s a lot different.  You go through a battery of tests and they can’t get back on the field until they pass it.  Concussions are a tricky thing, because once you have one you are susceptible to having another one.”

We certainly know a lot more about concussions than we did back then.  I was on your website ( and you told a great story about your former teammate, Tom Jackson.

“Oh yes! (laughs)  Tom was a great guy.  When I was a rookie, we had a coach who was all about practicing the way you played and every opportunity was a chance to get better.[x]

“He was fortunate, I mean he was a great Linebacker and was part of the Orange Crush, but he really didn’t have that superstar name.  Most of the guys they get now are Hall of Fame guys, you know really big names, guys like Ray Lewis, but some of those guys got in before that was a criteria.[xii]  I was seeing for the first time was the consequences of my actions and that I still had some growing to do. 

About seven or eight years ago I got an infection in my foot from being a diabetic in my blood stream.  It was really serious and I almost died from it.  It was then that I decided to give my life to Christ and view things differently and I haven’t looked back since.”

What is next for Orson Mobley?

“One of the things that I am looking to do but I haven’t set it up yet is with a Huntington College and they were looking to hire me as a scout/mentor so I’m really looking to God to open the door to mentor these rookies and help where I can.

[ii]Bobby Bowden is one of the most successful coaches in college football history with a record of 327 – 129 – 4 with 20 bowl wins and two National Championships.

[iv]By transferring to a non Division One School, he would be allowed to play and not sit out a year. 

[vi]I checked after our conversation.  The 2012 census had the population at 1,586 people. 

[viii]Denver had two 6th Round picks that year.  Mobley went 151st overall and Jackson went 161st overall.  Jackson would play nine seasons in the NFL, the first seven with Denver.

[x]Jackson joined ESPN in 1987, and has been with them ever since. 

[xii]This is the website for the church:  

It was announced today that Tom Jackson will be receiving the Pete Rozelle Radio Television Award, which is awarded annually to the broadcaster who exemplified “for longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football".

Tom Jackson was a fourteen year veteran in the National Football League, playing Linebacker for the Denver Broncos and is a member of their Ring of Fame.  Following his career as a player, he joined ESPN as an analyst and has been with the company ever since.

Jackson won the Sports Emmy in 2009 and will receive this honor from the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 8 in Canton along with the other members of this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Class.

The Pete Rozelle Radio Television Award has been awarded annually since 1989.    

We here at would like to congratulate Tom Jackson for receiving this honor. 

Today it was announced by Wide Receiver, Brandon Lloyd, who last played with the San Francisco 49ers last season will retire. 

The Kansas City native and product of the University of Illinois began his career with the 49ers who drafted him in the 4th Round of the 2003 Draft.  Lloyd would be productive but was traded to the Washington Redskins where he would wind up in the doghouse of Head Coach Joe Gibbs, who rarely played him, especially in the 2007 where he would catch two passes. 

Considered damaged goods by many, Lloyd would sign with the Bears and put up a good season to where he was signed the following year with the Denver Broncos in 2010 and it was at Mile High that he would have his best season in the NFL.  Lloyd would catch 77 passes for an NFL leading 1,448 Yards and earn Pro Bowl and Second Team All Pro Selections.  2011 and 2012 would see him close to 1,000 Yards with Denver/St. Louis and New England respectively but injuries would catch up and he would sit out the 2013 season before trying a comeback with the 49ers last season, though that campaign would not result in numbers that he had posted before.

Overall, Brandon Lloyd finishes his career with 5,989 Yards Receiving with 36 Touchdowns.  These may not be Canton numbers, but still indicative of an above average career in the NFL.

We here at wish Brandon Lloyd the best on his post career efforts. 

Another day, another major retirement in the National Football League.

On his Twitter page, DeMarcus Ware has announced his retirement citing that his “long-term health and quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had.”  Ware is retiring at 34 Years old.

Drafted 11th overall in 2005 by the Dallas Cowboys out of Troy, the former two time All Sun Belt Selection won the starting Linebacker job in training camp and would make the Pro Bowl the following year, the first of nine trips.  The following season, Ware would make the First Team All Pro honors, and would earn that accolade four of the next five years. 

Ware would lead the NFL in Quarterback Sacks twice over his career and had eight seasons where he would have double digits in that category.  He would later help the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

Ware retires from the NFL 8th overall in Sacks with 138.5.  He played 178 Games professionally.

While we are not certain whether or not Ware will get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot, he is likely to get in eventually and will certainly warrant a high rank when he is eligible in 2022.

We here at would like to congratulate DeMarcus Ware on a wonderful career and we wish him the best in his post-playing career.

12. Randy Gradishar

The Denver Broncos first became a team that was first feared when their defense became the “Orange Crush” in the late 70’s.  Many have credited linebacker, Randy Gradishar with being the heart and soul of that famed defense.

Gradishar was a tackling machine and won the 1978 Defensive Player of the Year.  He consistently went to the Pro Bowl and was the leader of Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense.  Gradishar was known for his exemplarity football instincts and his hallmark ability to block the goal line.  Had he been more attention grabbing, perhaps he would have made a bigger name for himself outside of Colorado.

17. Steve Atwater

At present only John Elway is in the only representative in the Football Hall of Fame from their late 90’s back to back Super Bowls.  It should not be forgotten that their defense had a lot to do with those wins and a big part of that Broncos “D’” was Steve Atwater.

Atwater played at Free Safety, but he was far from the traditional Safety.  He was often used as an eight man in the defensive front and as such he racked up a large amount of tackles for a Safety.  Atwater would become the captain of the Bronco’s defense and would help lead them to two Super Bowl wins.

34. John Lynch

Although Warren Sapp received most of the attention of the famed Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, Strong Safety, John Lynch anchored the secondary and leveled anyone who actually could get past their linemen.

46. Neil Smith

Very few players could be viewed as the total athletic package. Neil Smith may have been one of those rare exceptions as scouts felt with his skills there was little he couldn’t do on the football field.  Those scouts would be right.

Neil Smith was a multi faceted Defensive End who was equally adept at stuffing the run as defending against the pass.  His true gift may have been sacking the Quarterback as he led the NFL in that category in 1993.  Smith was a six time Pro Bowler and though his skills were slightly diminished in the second half of his career, he was able to aid the Denver Broncos in their two consecutive Super Bowl wins in the late 90’s.

59. Rod Smith

It is one thing to be highly touted out of college and rack up serious statistics in the National Football League.  It is quite another to do that when you go undrafted.  Rod Smith lit up the league when nobody saw it coming.

66. Karl Mecklenburg

We would love to make a case for Karl Mecklenburg just for his nickname of the “Albino Rhino” but we have always been a sucker for colorful (or in this case not so colorful) nicknames.