Hayes Family Dispute Moves to Pro Bowl

If you are a football fan, you were going to pay attention to the Pro Bowl, anyway. But we've learned of another reason for Cowboys fans to pay attention: the saga of the Bob Hayes family dispute is about to move to Hawaii for the weekend -- for more drama certainly, and hopefully a resolution, too.

The battling factions of the late Hall-of-Fame inductee's supposed family members at will be meeting together at this weekend's Pro Bowl. This means Hayes' self-appointed family spokeswoman/sister Lucille Hester is about to face a confrontation ... from the NFL. And from an angry and dismayed Bob Hayes Jr.

Our understanding is that the NFL and the Hall of Fame will now (finally?) attempt to get to the bottom of the dispute between Hester (who has for the last decade or so served as Hayes' representative in football-related matters) and a large group of family and friends that include the Cowboys legend's only son, Bob Jr.

It should all come to a boil this weekend in Hawaii, site of the NFL's Pro Bowl, where Lucille Hester is planning to spend the weekend, along with her daughter, celebrating the seemingly fine work she's done in championing Hayes' HOF candidacy.

But she will have company.

The NFL is also inviting Bob Jr. and his mother Janice Hayes-Mohl, the football player's former wife of 11 years.

"Bob Jr. doesn't want to be in the same room with that woman,'' Ted McIntosh tells us. Ted says he is Bob's best friend, business manager and the godfather to Bob Jr. "But we told him he has to go. He's prepared to look her in the eye, and to look (HOF exec) Joe Horrigan in the eye and say, ‘This is not my father's sister. This is not my aunt. I do not know her as family.'''

Since Sunday, starting with McIntosh's interview on 105.3 The Fan and continuing with our in-depth stories following communication with an assortment of family members, Hester's claim that she is Hayes' sister has come into question. We've detailed in great length the holes in some of Lucille's rather fantastic stories and we've wondered how an issue like this could slip through the NFL cracks.

Part of the reason: The family gave up the fight years ago, when Hester so vigorously claimed Hayes had put her in charge of his legacy.

"He would've never done that,'' McIntosh tells us this morning. "Bob's daughter Westine (Lodge) is a doctor with a PhD. Westine's husband is a doctor. These are intelligent people, and I know for a fact that Bob – who I talked to on a daily basis – put Westine in charge of his estate.''

It still seems to us that a very basic paper trail (like the one we started following on Sunday, triggered by our amateur handwriting analysis) could establish some truth. The signed documents Bob gave to Lucille? Birth records? Old family photos? Anything?

So far, all we've got is a few local beat writers saying things like, "I heard the NFL authenticated her.''

To the Hayes family, that's simply not good enough.

Nor is it satisfactory to them (or to the common-sense ear) that Ms. Lucille's explanation of her blood relation to Bob Hayes continued to slip southward.

On Saturday, she was his "sister.''

By Monday on the Michael Irvin Show on ESPN 103.3 Radio she'd downgraded herself to being Hayes' "half-sister.''

By Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News quoted Ms. Lucille thusly:

"I loved Robert Lee Hayes. I loved him as my little brother.''


For whatever reason, that possibly telltale quote is buried at the bottom of the story.

However, tt's all about to come to the fire now. The fight is renewed. And it will take place in the bright and revealing sunshine of Hawaii.

And you were planning to watch the Pro Bowl, anyway, right?

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