On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will assemble to determine the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Each of this year’s 15 Hall of Fame Finalists will be represented by a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. That writer will give a speech/pitch as to why their candidate should elected into the Hall.
Mark Gaughan from the Buffalo News will be representing Andre Reed to the Committee this year. But, if I was entrusted to be the one to get Andre Reed into the Hall of Fame, it would be an honor and it would go like this:
I SMOKE all these fools, and yet they’re making the big sweet dollars. They’re making the kwan!”
This is a line spoken by Rod Tidwell–the spirited Wide Receiver played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire.
There is a reason Academy Award winning writer/director Cameron Crowe had Cuba Gooding’s Jr’s character include Andre Reed’s name alongside of Hall of Fame Receivers Jerry Rice and Chris Carter…
and that’s because Andre Reed deserves to be there.
When Andre Reed left the playing field after the 2000 season, he was the #6 NFL receiver OF ALL TIME in terms of Touchdown Receptions with 87. 13 seasons removed from the game, he still currently sits at #12 ALL TIME–ahead of current Hall of Famers such as: Paul Warfield, Charley Taylor, Fred Biletnikoff, and Bob Hayes.
When Andre Reed left the playing field after the 2000 season, he was the #4 NFL receiver OF ALL TIME in terms of Receiving Yards with 13,198. 13 seasons removed from the game, he still currently sits at #13 ALL TIME–ahead of current Hall of Famers such as: Steve Largent, Art Monk and Charlie Joiner.
And when Andre Reed left the playing field after the 2000 season, he was the #3 NFL receiver OF ALL TIME in Receptions with 951. 13 seasons removed from the game, he still currently sits at #11 ALL TIME–ahead of current Hall of Famers such as: James Lofton, Michael Irvin, Don Maynard, and John Stallworth.
Andre Reed was also an innovator. His ability to catch the ball and elude tacklers practically necessitated the invention of the Run After Catch statistic that is now commonly used today.
Andre Reed fearlessly went over the middle time and time again. At such a physically demanding position, his 234 NFL games played are a testament to his heart and tenacity. This games played statistic includes the fact that in 1995 during a win over the New York Jets, Andre Reed would catch a sideline pass, plant his foot, bend his body to the ground and tear his hamstring clean off of the bone. But he would persevere and prevail. He rehabbed and rebounded, and in 1996 would return to record his 4th 1,000 yard receiving season.
But these are individual stats and as we all know–Professional Football is a team game.
A game measured in inches but defined by incredible wins and number of championships.
Lets start with incredible wins….
21 years ago the Buffalo Bills orchestrated what IS STILL the Greatest Comeback in NFL history. Andre Reed took over that game–scoring THREE 4th Quarter touchdowns and giving the Buffalo Bills their first lead of the day.
His 85 playoff catches, 1,220 playoff receiving yards, 9 playoff touchdowns, and 10 playoff wins were a driving force behind the Buffalo Bills unprecedented 4 consecutive Conference Championships.
It has been almost 20 years since the Buffalo Bills accomplished this feat…a feat that has not been challenged since and likely will never be seen again.
Retired now for 13 years. Andre Reed has been a model within the community. His work with children and his Andre Reed Foundation have helped hundreds of kids in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania reach their full potential and build a better life.
Reed has not only given back to his community but he has also given back to the game. This past season Andre Reed was given a chance to inspire a new generation of NFL players when he was selected for a coveted Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship with the playoff bound Kansas City Chiefs.
Andre Reed has been exemplary in every facet of the game–on AND off of the field.
Now, I ask my fellow colleagues to give Andre Reed the opportunity he deserves…
The opportunity to be recognized and immortalized along side his peers, in Canton, Ohio.
Because there is NOWHERE else that Andre Reed would rather be, than right there… right now!