Finally! Eddie DeBartolo, the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, and one of the most successful owners in NFL history, will be slipping on that gold jacket and going to Canton, Ohio to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mindi Bach reported it, and Fooch has heard the same thing.
DeBartolo was the sole candidate in the contributor category for 2016. The NFL made a change last year to create a special contributor category due to the glut of worthy players and contributors. DeBartolo faced a simple yes/no vote, and needed 80 percent of the vote to earn induction.
Mr. D, as he was affectionately called by his players and employees, has a resume including the hiring of Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh and presiding over five championship teams. As an owner, he was known for his extreme generosity to his players and employees, as well as his fiery temper and hatred of losing.
Over the last few days, several stories were posted regarding DeBartolo's heartwarming actions both as an owner and a person. It seems that the body of work far eclipsed his few blemishes including his river boat casino scandal with Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards. The scandal barred DeBartolo from running the 49ers, and he eventually turned the team over to his sister, Denise York.
Given his accomplishments and his warm, generous attitude to his players, some saying the first of its kind for the league, it's definitely a wonder as to why it took four years to happen.
But as they say, better late than never. Congrats Mr. D!!!