Richard Dent may be the last Bear with a legitimate shot at the Hall of Fame (present players excluded)

February 11, 2010

With the political news and the Super Bowl dominating the news headlines last weekend, we missed a very big story. Former Chicago Bears Defensive End Richard Dent was snubbed once again by the NFL Hall of Fame. But don't compare Richard Dent to Ron Santo. Dent has the goods. He is at the top of almost all applicable stat categories and he brings a Super Bowl XX MVP award to the table. Yet, he has been passed up this year, as the Hall went with Vikings' Defensive Tackle John Randle and Saints' Defensive End Ricky Jackson. So why is the 'Sackman' not getting in? Is it politics? Was Dent disliked by sportswriters? Or maybe, Dent didn't have big enough cheerleaders arguing for him. I talked with former NFL writer Don Pierson. Pierson covered the Bears for years for the Chicago Tribune and also served as the President of the Pro-Football Writers Association, which is the body that votes. I started the conversation by asking how the NFL Hall voting is different than other sports: pierson1 So why not Dent? Was he a jerk in the clubhouse? Did he have problems with the media? What is going against Richard Dent? pierson2 Another problem might be Dent's age. Many of the newer sports writers weren't around to watch him play. pierson3 But at the end of the day, are there Dent-haters out there? pierson4 It occurred to both of us at the end of the interview that this may very well be the last Chicago Bear to have a chance at the Hall of Fame. He mentioned Jay Hilgenberg and Jim Covert, but both of those players haven't come close to the final cut. After those names, the next two decades witnessed mediocre Chicago Bears' teams and players, none of which have a chance to make the NFL Hall of Fame (current players excluded).‚  Maybe Urlacher will turn a few more seasons into a Hall of Fame career, but did he have as big of an impact as Richard Dent? What do you think? Should Dent be in the Hall of Fame by now?