In 2014, The NFL network aired A Football Life: Jerry Smith. 87, in this special year designed to honor the forgotten past, it’s time for the blue-ribbon panel of senior selectors to bring the conversation about Jerry Smith into the room. Linked as the NFL's leading receiver and rusher, two of the greatest players football has seen entered the Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Many of his former teammates have talked publicly about that since, saying they knew about him. While Smith was known for his pass-catching, he could also block. He played in Super Bowl VII at the end of the 1972 season, and Sports Illustrated called him "an outstanding receiver among tight ends, with the ability to break open for a long gain." When Smith retired in 1977, he was also second all-time in career receptions by a tight end. For Hall Of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, Smith was everything you wanted in a tight end. 2020 is the year to correct that. 2020 is the year to correct that. “No question,” Smith said. Smith is on that ballot, along with a couple hundred players. Could Jerry Smith be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame if not for one fluky play? Yet a player is more than just his statistics. About 75% of inductees have been named to an all-decade team. By John Antonik Bob Smith, a standout member of West Virginia University's 1959 NCAA runner-up team, has died. Smith tops all of the current modern-era tight end nominees in touchdowns, and he did it playing 14-game seasons. Given the expanded 2020 class, and Smith being left out of the conversation for so long, I hope voters put him on their ballot, include him as a finalist, and finally have that conversation. He was the first professional athlete whose death was linked to the disease. But at least some voters in the 1980s — at the height of the AIDS crisis — very much did care. Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith took different routes to National Football League touchdown records. We take a closer look at Smith's legacy and learn about his personal life and how he kept it separate from football. Dave Kopay was briefly a teammate of Smith's. “All you had to do was watch him play.”. With Smith talking publicly in the mid-1980s about having AIDS (and many people knowing he was gay), you have to wonder what the voters were thinking at the time. Brig Owens was interviewed during commercial breaks. Jerry Rice was the 16th name called in the 1985 NFL draft. What makes Smith’s exclusion so egregious: One long-time Hall Of Fame voter told me recently that Smith, to the best of his knowledge, has never been a finalist. Head coach Vince Lombardi, who had a gay brother, demanded a homophobia-free locker room but "not even the legendary Lombardi could insulate him from the crippling societal homophobia of the era. The Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Association Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Automobile racing in Georgia. Altus High School. Smith is a member of the team's ring of honor and still shares Washington's record for most TD catches in a season (12). While he would be the first openly gay person in the Hall, its his on-field performance that demands voters’ attention. In 2014, The NFL network aired A Football Life: Jerry Smith. One reason offered for keeping Smith out of the Hall Of Fame is that he was never on an all-decade team. Coaching three different sports in his time at Judson, Jerry Smith made an impact on many lives while at Judson. He said Smith was afraid that people would take away something that he loved. Velma-Alma High School. ... Hall of Fame. He has been largely ignored by the Hall Of Fame. NFL record-setter. LaDanian Tomlinson was a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer. Yet his exclusion from the Hall Of Fame has yet to be remedied by those same voters. And many do deserve consideration. ft. of basketball history. When coach George Allen was tasked with compiling Washington’s All-Time team about a decade after Smith’s retirement, he said Smith was the most obvious pick of all. Barry Sanders was a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer. Again, thankfully, those times have past. Smith said that having two members of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in the same event gives him some Iowa pride. Brig Owens, a defensive back for Washington at the time who also roomed with Smith, said Smith lived in fear, because if people knew he was gay, he'd be done in football. The Hall of Fame has more than 400 inductees and 40,000 sq. Many of his former teammates and people in and around the NFL talked to the NFL Network about Smith, his legacy, and why he should be in the Hall Of Fame for A Football Life: Jerry Smith, which you can watch here: It’s important to address the pink elephant in the room: Smith was gay and died of complications associated with AIDS in 1986, at the height of the AIDS scare. Bob Wood. By Sam Smith | 9.10.2016 | 12:00 p.m. | read The year 1949 was a turning point in the life of 13-year-old Jerry Reinsdorf. This year there are six tight ends being considered as modern-era nominees. “No question,” Smith said. In the Jewish religion, a boy has his Bar Mitzvah at age 13. That career receptions total was, at the time, third in the history of Washington, behind receivers Art Monk and Charley Taylor. Tonight, Rice and Smith will be inducted together in the Canton, Ohio, shrine as the top receiver and top rusher in league history. . Smith’s quantifiable statistics speak for themselves. Jerry Smith: Pos: TE-SE-FL, Career: 168 G, 60 TD, All-Pro(1st), 2xProBowl, Redskins 1965-1977, born OR 1943, died 1986 Other Members of the Class of 2010: Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle, Jerry Rice. Hall Of Fame voters today would not take Smith’s sexual orientation or cause of death into consideration. What’s most disappointing is that Jerry Smith has never gotten his shot. Edmond North High School. CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith can stop the chase now. Both Monk and Taylor are in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Smith was named to the NFL’s All-Pro team twice and was not an all-decade choice. Brig Owens was interviewed during commercial breaks. Smith made his PGA TOUR Champions debut at the 2014 Principal Charity Classic, playing on a sponsor’s exemption. Smith had a stellar career for the Redskins under head coaches Bill McPeak, Otto Graham, Vince Lombardi, and George Allen. Stroud High School. The selectors are currently deciding their votes to winnow down the list of senior nominees. Jerry Smith, Class: Induction: 1999 Sport(s): Men's Basketball - MVP on 1962-63 team which went 20-8, Jerry Smith (1999) - Hall of Fame - Columbus State University Athletics Hall of Fame Our goal is to raise awareness for the great player and person he was and to have his legacy live on in the Football Hall of Fame. The Statesmen won the USILA College Division championship in 1972 and the NCAA College Division Championships in 1976 and 1977. He was at Judson for just five athletic years but set many firsts for the Judson programs. Jerry Smith Hall of Fame Debate Reignited Jul 20, 2016 at 03:52 AM. By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on October 27, 2020. Yet Smith’s absence from the Hall is particularly glaring not just because of what he did on the field, and not just how that matches with (and exceeds) the production of other players who are in the Hall. Smith flying under the radar during his career was a survival tactic as he hoped to hide the fact he was gay for fear of reprisal. During his career, Smith made several all-pro times.. The voters on the selection committee have never had the much-needed conversation about Smith, why he deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame, and analyzing the real reasons he’s not already there. By Sam Smith | 9.10.2016 | 12:00 p.m. | read The year 1949 was a turning point in the life of 13-year-old Jerry Reinsdorf. 2020 Hall of Fame Jerry Colangelo explains smaller than usual group Hall of Fame finalists. Jerry Smith: Pos: TE-SE-FL, Career: 168 G, 60 TD, All-Pro(1st), 2xProBowl, Redskins 1965-1977, born OR 1943, died 1986 Tom Snider. Smith caught 421 passes, including 60 touchdowns, a career record for tight ends at the time. The 1970s All-Decade tight end, Dave Casper, and the 1970s second-team tight end, Charlie Sanders, are also in the Hall. “He would want it to be because of his performance,” Owens told Fox Sports a couple years ago. Never a finalist. According to Fox Sports, Smith also had 421 catches for 5,496 yards – more receptions than three of the eight tight ends already in the Hall of Fame. He was inducted to the Fayetteville State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and to the SIAC Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. The Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. The players listed below are the top 250 HOFm-rated players who played TE starting in 1955 or later for at least 50 career games. HALL OF FAME 2009 JERRY SMITH - coach, athletic director . Jerry Smith. Archive. Gerald Thomas Smith (July 19, 1943 – October 15, 1986) was a professional American football tight end for the National Football League's Washington Redskins for 13 seasons, from 1965 through 1977. Owens was one of the players on the team that knew for sure Smith was gay. " Smith's sexuality was confirmed after his death by former teammate pro NFL football player David Kopay, who had come out of the closet years earlier. He had 60 receiving touchdowns, a record that stood for 27 years until Shannon Sharpe broke it in 2004. Jimmy Johnson elected to the Hall of Fame: Aikman, Irvin, and Smith get emotional; Jerry Jones reacts to news The Triplets got emotional at the news, and Jones himself had something to say Plus, game of the week, fantasy advice. Still, how does Smith stack up against these players who benefitted from robust passing games? Smith, regarded as a “clutch player,” made sure every reception counted. Jerry Schmidt.  Although he acknowledged that he had AIDS, he never publicly acknowledged he was gay. Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: February 6, 2010 Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 7, 2010 Presenter: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager. The increase in senior inductees next year is designed to catch some of the people who have fallen through the cracks. Smith should not be considered for the Hall Of Fame because he’s gay. Our goal is to raise awareness for the great player and person he was and to have his legacy live on in the Football Hall of Fame. Catoosa High School. No doubt there are people across football who believe “their guy” deserves another shot. ", "Ex-Redskin Jerry Smith Says He's Battling AIDS;'Maybe It Will Help People Understand", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jerry_Smith_(American_football)&oldid=987974442, Arizona State Sun Devils football players, Articles lacking in-text citations from July 2012, NFL player missing current team parameter, Infobox NFL biography articles with old NFL.com URL, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Career statistics and player information from, Lamar "Bubba" Tyer Head athletic trainer, 1971–2002, 2004–08, This page was last edited on 10 November 2020, at 09:51. Yet his courage — speaking publicly about having AIDS at the height of the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s — is certainly worthy of accolades. He coached both baseball and men's soccer for five seasons and was the men's basketball coach for one season in 1968-69. He was at Judson for just five athletic years but set many firsts for the Judson programs. Coaching three different sports in his time at Judson, Jerry Smith made an impact on many lives while at Judson. “The easiest position for me to pick of all 22 is tight end,” Allen said in selecting Smith as the franchise’s all-time tight end. Period. Jerry Smith. Jerry’s contribution wasn’t just on the field, according to Hill: “When I got to Washington, I could see there was an element of trust in that locker room, and he was a very important part of it.”. Among the more prominent “old timers” ignored by the selection committee for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, Smith has been inducted to the Redskins All Time 50 th Anniversary Team, the Washington Hall Of Stars, and The Washington Redskins Ring Of Fame. ", Selected in the ninth round (118th overall) of the 1965 NFL Draft out of Arizona State, Smith was also drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 18th round of the 1965 AFL Draft. Aug. When asked if Smith belongs in the hall of fame, Owens replied that Smith would be in the hall already if … Official Site of Kansas Wesleyan University Official Site of Kansas Wesleyan University Toggle navigation This video is about Hall Of Fame Jerry Smith. All of the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are listed here by position for easy discovery and information access. While Smith’s 13.1 yards per reception may not be top-of-class, it’s still better than various Hall Of Famer tight ends — including Kellen Winslow and Ozzie Newsome — as well as candidates on the radar screen — including Ben Coates, Dallas Clark, Jay Novacek and Todd Christiansen. 142 likes. On-field production exceeded many Hall Of Fame players. “From 1966 to 1970, Jerry Smith caught more passes for more yards than any tight end in football,” NFL Network’s commentator noted. Tim Palesano. For decades there have been players and coaches who have failed to get the attention of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame selection committee. In the 1980s, when Smith went public about having AIDS, some people were proposing laws that would mandate AIDS victims get tattoos on their hands, so that people could more easily avoid touching them (yes, this literally happened). Of the eight tight ends in the Hall of Fame, Smith has more career yards (5,496) than three of them, more catches (421) than three, and more touchdowns (60) than all but Shannon Sharpe. Rescheduled: Enshrinement Ceremony 07:00 PM . In the late 1980s, Jerry Smith founded a martial art training system called "The Five-Level Method", based on his decades of experience as a martial artist. He held the league record for 27 years, until Shannon Sharpe edged him out in 2002. “He was outstanding. He was an undersized tight end who could block.”. Jerry Smith, Class: Induction: 2019 Sport(s): Coach/Administrator, Track and Field - Jerry Smith is Jerry Smith (2019) - Hall of Fame - University of West Alabama Athletics Skip To Main Content Austin F. "Jerry" Schmidt, a member of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, compiled a 142-34 record while coaching the Hobart lacrosse team to three national titles in his 11 seasons from 1968-78. Choose a Hall Of Fame …  A 2014 documentary from the NFL Network's A Football Life series profiles his career, as well as his "double life as a closeted gay man and a star athlete. I was just reading something about Jerry Smith on here, so it got me to thinking since they have snubbed him from the Redskins, who else have they snumbbed? In 2014, The NFL network aired A Football Life: Jerry Smith. Pro Career: 15 seasons, 226 games FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida: Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, two record-setting offensive powerhouses, were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in their first year of eligibility.Also elected to the Class of 2010 on the eve of the Super Bowl were Russ Grimm, John Randle, Rickey Jackson, Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau.Rice, 47, owns virtually every significant “One of the most underrated players in NFL history”, The shame of it Hall: Ignoring the Washington Redskins’ Jerry Smith, Friend: Gay Redskins TE Jerry Smith coped with ‘horrendous existence’, It’s time for Jerry Smith to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Washington president Bruce Allen said of Smith, Calvin Hill, talking with Sports Illustrated, Jurgensen told the NFL Network a few years ago, died of complications associated with AIDS in 1986, Jack Danahy talked publicly about gay players being a threat to NFL security, please watch this NFL Network video as people around him talk about the world he lived in, speaking publicly about having AIDS at the height of the AIDS crisis. And as a bonus: He’s got more touchdowns than Ditka, Newsome and Winslow, too. 07. Jerry Smith is a tight end that played for the Redskins from 1965-1977 and retired as the all time touchdown leader for tight ends. Smith said that having two members of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in the same event gives him some Iowa pride. On one occasion, a player said a word Hauss did not like (most likely a gay slur) and Hauss confronted the player and said he'd better not hear that word in the locker room again. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Buy Tickets Learn More. Jerry Smith was an honorable man, a consummate professional and deserves his place in the Hall of Fame. Despite Smith trying to keep his being gay a secret, it seems it was very much an open secret. His career 60 TD’s as a Tight End was a record for 26 years, until Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe beat the record in his last season with 62 TD’s – played entirely in the post-1978 passing rule change NFL era. Sharpe ended his career with 62 scores — just two more than Smith — and he’s now in the Hall Of Fame. Walter "Jeep" Johnson. All-Pro running back Calvin Hill, talking with Sports Illustrated a few years ago, gushed about his time playing with Smith. From 1967 to 1970, Smith was a full time starter for the Redskins. Both admitted their destinies are fulfilled. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only one. In 2011, the Professional Football Researchers Association named Smith to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2011 . Now, over 30 years after his untimely death, and without a champion waving a flag for No. Couple his receiving numbers with his other statistics, and you come up with the most eligible tight end in consideration — senior-class or modern-era — on any ballot for 2020. If someone created an “All-Decade team” from 1966 to 1975, Smith would be selected as the tight end. Georgia State Tag. The Pro Football Reference Hall of Fame Monitor (HOFm) is a metric designed to estimate a player's chances of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame using AV, Pro Bowls, All-Pros, championships, and various stat milestones. What role his sexual orientation had in swaying voters during a fear-filled AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s we can only assume. The outright discrimination faced by gay men — and in particular gay men with AIDS — was very real and is well-documented. He also has more receiving yards than three Hall of Famers at that position.  He was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring. 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