Hall of Famers hit campaign trail for teammates

CANTON, Ohio — Some of the biggest stars at the Hall of Fame this weekend, besides those players in the incoming class, are the players not in the Hall of Fame. Put a microphone in front of a player and he’ll instantly start campaigning for teammates who belong in the Hall of Fame.

Former Bills QB Jim Kelly is in Canton celebrating the induction of owner Ralph Wilson and DE Bruce Smith, but also smarting about the exclusion of WR Andre Reed. Cowboys QB Roger Staubach mentioned WR Drew Pearson, LB Lee Roy Jordan and LB Chuck Howley. Last year, Kellen Winslow and Joe Gibbs were stumping for Don Coryell.

One interesting name bandied about was former Rams DB Eddie Meador — or at least it was interesting to me. Meador’s name has picked up steam in recent months after his children started a website to promote their father for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Meador’s candidacy has since been publicized in the Los Angeles Times, Facebook and NFL.com’s Instant Debate.

I was a little disappointed when Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen were unable to attend, because I wanted to pick their brains about Meador. But former teammate Tommy McDonald was eager to talk about Meador. To compare him to a politician, McDonald is like Howard Dean on a Red Bull bender. And when I mentioned Meador’s name, McDonald grabbed my arm because he wanted me to hear what he had to say.

“He deserves to be here,” McDonald said. “If I was forming a team, I would want a team full of Eddie Meadors. I want him on my team. He was a great player and a great teammate. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”

I’m not sure if Meador will ever get his chance. The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will nominate its two finalists for the senior category for the Class of 2010 on August 25.

Whether Meador is on that list or not, I have learned more about one of the greats in NFL history and that seems like the point of this weekend.

Adam Rank

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