Source – To commemorate the league’s 100th season, the NFL will be naming the top 100 players of all time, but not in any specific order. …
Via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the panel included the likes of Tony Dungy, John Madden, Art Shell, Dick Vermeil, Rick Gosselin, and others. The only active coach was Bill Belichick.
Belichick, according to [Gil] Brandt, argued passionately for Clark Hinkle, a two-way Packers player in the 1930s, who entered the Hall of Fame in 1964.
“He’s amazing as far as he can tell you about coaches and players back in the ’30s and ’40s without any problem at all,” Brandt told Volin, regarding Belichick. “And I mean, he can tell you Clarke Hinkle, what he did, how he was a fullback but when they were going to pass they moved him to tailback. This guy studied like it was for a math test. He was brilliant.”
Of all the Bill Belichicks there are, my favorite might be History Savant Belichick. Whether it’s Military History Belichick or Football History Belichick, take your pick. I just have a fascination for anyone with a serious, in-depth, encyclopedic knowledge of any topic. And zero respect for people who have no interest in what’s come before us. So show me someone who’s an expert on a particular aspect of history, and I’m all in.
“Brilliant?” Is that the word Gil Brandt used? That’s like calling James Holzhauer “OK at trivia.” I think I know a little bit about football history, and if I’ve every heard the name Clark Hinkle, it didn’t imprint on me. And yet Belichick comes into the meeting room spouting chapter and verse about the man. A guy who played his last career game exactly one week after the attack on Pearl Harbor. So about 11 years before Belichick was born. And yet The Hooded One is probably the world’s foremost authority on him.
And obviously the best part of the story is that his committee is a roomful of retirees with nothing else to do. John Madden? Art Shell? Dick Vermeil? This is basically the same demographic that goes to your Town Council meetings just to get out of the house and get to vote on stuff because nobody asks their opinions any more. I mean, Tony Dungy has a part time job to keep him busy. But at this point Dan Patrick and Rodney Harrison treat him like the uncle with Early Onset Dementia, pretty much finishing his sentences for him and changing the subject so he doesn’t keep rambling on about his glory days. And yet by far the most informed, prepared person in the room is the guy with the most responsibilities, in charge of every, single aspect of the most complex organization ever created by mankind. It’s astonishing. But not surprising.
For the record, here’s a little bit about Clarke Hinkle:
So an impressive player we should all know about. And now we do, thanks to the smartest man in the world. They might as well just disband the Top 100 committee or just send them out to a coffee shop someplace on the NFL’s dime and let Belichick finish the list on his own.