PFT: Proposed Ring of Honor Could Be Butt of Jokes

(DETROIT) The Detroit Lions are considering putting together a "Ring of Honor". Such an idea sounds good on the surface, perhaps like the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium in Dallas, but Detroit needs to think long and hard about who it's going to honor. Busts of Pat Swilling, Ray Crockett and Rodney Peete would generate snickers all over the NFL.

(DETROIT) The Detroit Lions are considering putting together a "Ring of Honor" that would circle the brick wall surrounding the playing surface at Ford Field.

Such an idea sounds good on the surface, perhaps like the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium in Dallas, but Detroit needs to think long and hard about who it's going to honor. Busts of Pat Swilling, Ray Crockett and Rodney Peete would generate snickers all over the NFL. And with good reason, none of these players are likely to ever achieve Hall of Fame status and having a few good years with a mediocre team should be reason enough to have a bust placed in the new downtown home of the Lions franchise.

If the Lions are serious about this, the first place to start would be with the fifteen Hall of Fame players that have been with this franchise. Even if many modern day Lions fans don't remember them that isn't reason to trot out a bunch of mediocre "johnnie-come-lately's" so the fans recognize their names.

The first group of inductees in a legitimate Detroit "Ring of Honor" -- which could be unveiled in connection with the first Monday Night contest ever at Ford Field -- should be Dutch Clark, B; Bill Dudley, RB; Bobby Layne, QB; Alex Wojciechowicz, C;, Jack Christiansen, DB; Hugh McElhenny, HB; Ollie Matson, FB; Joe Schmidt, LB; Night Train Lane, DB; Yale Lary, DB; Frank Gatski, C; Doak Walker, HB; John Henry Johnson, FB; Lem Barney, CB; Lou Creekmur, T; and of course, soon to be inducted Barry Sanders, RB.

After the first fifteen are in, the next criteria could be players who have been named to the pro bowl at least three times in their Detroit career. That would open the door for players like popular tackle Alex Karras, end Gail Cogdill, center Alex Flanagan, tight ends Charlie Sanders and David Hill, tackle Jerry Ball, super sack man Al "Bubba" Baker, kick returner Mel Gray and recent great linebackers Chris Spielman and Stephen Boyd along with popular recent stars like Herman Moore and Jason Hanson.

But the Lions should draw the line with players who were vagabonds and turncoats like former kicker Eddie Murray who after choking in the biggest game of his career, the 1983 NFC playoff contest that could have put the Lions in the NFC Championship game. Murray, who bounced around the NFL after retiring with Detroit was signed to a one day contract so that he could "retire as a Lion." Hhe quickly unretired when another pay check came calling. Then adding insult to injury he called owner William Clay Ford, Sr, a "buffoon" on a radio program.

A Detroit "Ring of Honor" would likely be extremely popular with Lions fans and be a big hit on radio talk shows all over town. Now that the Lions seem to be interested in public relations no word on if they are thinking of instituing what fans have asked for the most over the last twenty years....cheerleaders.

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