White a slam dunk for HOF

No doubt that former defensive end will enter Hall on first ballot

As sure as you can count on wide receivers one-upping each other with a touchdown celebration in the NFL, count on Reggie White to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

We'll know for sure on Saturday when the Hall's Board of Selectors narrows the field of 15 to six in Detroit, but can there be any doubt among the selectors on White? No way. It has been a foregone conclusion that White's illustrious National Football League career will be celebrated Aug. 4-5 in Canton, Ohio, since he retired from football for good in 2001.

Unfortunately, the late defensive end, who died Dec. 26, 2004, of a sleep disorder, will not be there. But his family and former teammates will, along with thousands of Packers fans, who will watch him go in as a Packer.

White certainly deserves enshrinement into the Hall. He was a player that all other players admired and respected. After signing with the Packers in 1993, Green Bay went from perennial doormat to a powerhouse that won Super Bowl XXXI with White as a centerpiece.

Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Thurman Thomas also are first-year eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame. It is very possible that Aikman, who starred at quarterback for the Cowboys, will be one of the final six. Moon, a longtime quarterback, and Thomas, Buffalo's star running back, have an outside chance of enshrinement this year, but not as much as White.

White became the first player in NFL history last year to have his number 92 retired by more than one team - Green Bay and Philadelphia. His alma mater, the University of Tennessee, also retired White's number, making White one of the few sports icons to have his number retired by three teams in one year. White is in the company of Wayne Gretzky and Jackie Robinson for that honor.

White is gone, but he will never be forgotten by the football world, especially in Green Bay. The Packers Hall of Fame announced this week that it will induct White in July in Green Bay. From there, Canton will, and should be, the next stop to honor the "Minister of Defense" on a national level.


Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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