I created a MySpace page for Niners Nation and every so often I'll get an interesting friend request. Recently, a user made a friend request on behalf of a website advocating for John Brodie's enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For those that haven't seen the website, the issue may be a familiar thanks in no small part to Trent Dilfer. Dilfer is good friends with Brodie and when he joined the 49ers, Dilfer received Brodie's blessing to bring #12 out of retirement. A big reason for that was to bring attention to Brodie's bid for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
To be perfectly honest, as a 28 year old, I never saw John Brodie play. The extent of my knowledge comes from old footage and whatever I can find on the Internet. I've attached a petition at the end of this post, but first I want to go through my own reasons for supporting Brodie's bid, beyond just because he's a 49er. I've had to do some research to get a better idea of what Brodie contributed to the 49ers and to the game of football. One of my favorite sites is Pro Football Reference. They're not quite at the level of baseballreference.com, but they're certainly on their way. One feature of baseballreference.com is the Hall of Fame Monitor. We don't have the HOF monitor for football, so we'll just have to pick and choose what we want.
Most people realize John Brodie was not the greatest quarterback of all time or even in his own franchise's history. From the Brodie for Hall of Fame website, we get the following:
His statistics clearly show him to be worthy of the honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon a football player and John Brodie is more than worthy of such an honor. He was among the leading passers in the league throughout the 1960s. His best statistical year was 1965 when he led the League in passing average (3,112 yards) and 30 touchdowns. When John Brodie retired from the NFL, he ranked third in the NFL in career passing yards (behind Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton.
Before the 49ers became the team of the 1980s, Brodie was one of the faces of the franchise. While his numbers amongst quarterbacks aren't quite like Art Monk's were compared to wide receivers when he retired (leading many categories), he seems to be in that category of guys who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame but have just been overlooked. As time has gone on people seem to just forget about some of the greats that preceded us.
Anyways, for those of you who know more about Brodie, or even watched him play when you were younger, I'm sure everybody would love to hear more about this 49er great.
In the meantime, if you get a chance, head on over and sign the petition. And for those especially interested, the Brodie website offers up sample letters you can print out and send to the Hall of Fame nomination committee to help get Brodie nominated. Nominating letters must be received by March 1, 2008, the cutoff date for nominations for the Hall of Fame for 2009. I'll definitely be sending a letter off, and hopefully some of you might take up this cause.
EDITOR'S NOTE 9:00AM - After you submit the petition, it will ask for a donation if you want. You do NOT have to make a donation for your signing of the petition to count. You can just close the screen.