On August 17th, ESPN announced they had finalized their selection for their coveted Monday Night Football booth. It would be longtime SportsCenter anchor and ESPN vet. Steve Levy, former NFL QB Brian Griese, and former NFL Player/Front Office Man/Current ESPN NFL Analyst Louis Riddick. Brian Griese was kind of an odd pick, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone say a bad word about the other two, so it seemed promising.
In his first broadcast, which he'd known was coming for several weeks, Steve Levy offered this bit of insight:
That immediately didn't sound right. I needed to see how many Kickers are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This list is about as small as you'd think. Four total Kickers. Ever. Two of them even played other positions.
Adam Vinatieri who has played 24 seasons and hit multiple Super Bowl game-winners is expected to be the 5th Kicker inducted into Canton. He's also the all-time leader in points scored. It's hard to tell the NFL story without mentioning those winners and mentioning your league's top point scorer. Which leads me to Stephen Gostkowski…
He was a great player in his career. 4x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, 5x seasons at 90.0% or higher, and 3x Super Bowl Champion. Those are awesome numbers and he should be proud of everything he accomplished. But Pro Football Hall of Fame?! I was getting a ton of Patriots fans telling me he was a lock because of his Super Bowls, so I decided to take a deeper dive into those Championship runs:
This is a HOF that only allows FIVE modern day former players every year. There is a constant bottleneck of guys who don't get in the year before that are going against new guys up for the first time. You're going to tell me Stephen Gostkowski was better than guys like Richard Seymour, Zach Thomas, Alan Faneca, Reggie Wayne, John Lynch, Torry Holt, or Ronde Barber? Those were guys that didn't make it this year. Next year we've got Peyton Manning eligible along with Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, and Jared Allen. To say STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI would get into the Hall of Fame is an absolutely insane take from a guy whose in Day 1 on the job. To make it worse, Levy doubled down on the take.
Gostkowski hit the game-winner in tonight's game, but he was 0/3 prior to that and 1/2 on extra points. Listen, I've been a Steve Levy fan for about 25 years, he's gotta do better. I don't really know what to say, but it's gotta be better than saying a Kicker is a future Hall of Famer…