Joe D., Lofton deserving of Hall

We knew that the Hall of Fame would be opening its doors to a number of Bills over the next few years, but who would have expected the two who will be going in this year?

It's not that guard Joe DeLamielleure and wide receiver James Lofton aren't worthy candidates. It's just that neither was a vital cog among the players who were on Buffalo's four Super Bowl teams and now are becoming eligible for induction.

Oh, Lofton was on the first three Super teams, from 1990 to '92, but he was overshadowed by Andre Reed and even – in Super Bowl XXVII – by Don Beebe. Lofton caught just one pass in his first Super Bowl with the Bills. And though he led the team with seven catches for 92 yards the next year, he scored no touchdowns in a bad 37-24 loss to the Redskins. Lofton went without a catch in his final Super Bowl.

His best years were with the Packers. If he's associated with any one team when he's inducted, it will be Green Bay.

DeLamielleure came along before the Super Bowl run, and waited 13 years after he was elected for induction. Even though his NFL career almost ended before it began because of a heart condition, he went on to become the most impressive lineman on The Electric Company that turned on The Juice in the 1970s. Joe D went to five Pro Bowls as a Bill. Unfortunately, Buffalo fans' last memories of him were as an over-the-hill player with the 2-14 team of 1985.

Two people from the days of the Super Bowl run were nominated for this year's election. But Steve Tasker didn't make the list of 15 finalists, and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. was among the first from that list eliminated from consideration.

DeLamielleure and Lofton will join former Bills O.J. Simpson, Billy Shaw, Marv Levy and Jim Kelly in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, this summer.

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