We are just over a month since the 2015 Hall of Fame class was enshrined. A class that included former Raiders Tim Brown and Ron Wolff. And already we are on to the 2016 Hall of Fame nominees. A total of 108 of them. Among them are seven former Raiders. But with the good news for those among the nominees comes bad news for those who got passed over once again.
Last year Ken Stabler was among the snubs. He passed away earlier this year and miraculaously, he is now a senior committee nominee.
That leaves several other Raiders greats not among the nominees. Most notably WR Cliff Branch, TE Todd Christensen, C Dave Dalby, CB Lester Hayes, QB Jim Plunkett, S Jack Tatum, QB Rich Gannon, DE Greg Townsend, DT Ted Washington, and CB Terry McDaniel.
Cliff Branch at one time had the most career post season receptions. He was part of all three Raiders Super Bowl teams. His fellow receiver, Fred Biletnikoff is in the Hall of Fame. Yet Branch is not even getting nominations anymore.
Todd Christensen went for five Pro Bowls, was a two-time All Pro. The only tight end to ever lead the Raiders in receiving four-straight seasons. One of those seasons was the 1983 Super Bowl winning season in which he had 1247 yards. He was part of both Raiders Super Bowl wins in the 80s.
Dave Dalby spent 14 years in the NFL, all with the Raiders. He was the Raiders starting center for all three of their Super Bowl wins. He made one Pro Bowl.
Lester Hayes was one of the greatest cornerbacks of all time. He and Hall of Famer Michael Haynes made up a lethal tandem in the Raiders' secondary. A five-time Pro Bowler and one-time All Pro, he spent his entire career with the Raiders and was on both Super Bowls in the early 80s. He gets a bad rep for his generous use of Stick-em during games.
Jim Plunkett was the starting quarterback for both Raiders Super Bowls in the 80s. His career numbers aren't fantastic but he won when it counted. He is the only eligible two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback not to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Jack Tatum was one of the most feared defenders to ever roam the defensive secondary of any team. He embodied the knock-around style of the Raiders teams of the 70's. Hall of Fame safeties such as Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson have said they emulated Tatum in their style of play. And yet the man who set the standard is not even a nominee.
Rich Gannon, Greg Townsend, Ted Washington, and Terry McDaniel were all among the nominees last year who failed to make the list this year.
Gannon spent 18 years as an NFL quarterback and was a journeyman backup for most of it. He had a three-year stint as a starter in Minnesota, a stop in Washington, and four years as a part time starter in Kansas City. His career took off in 1998 when Jon Gruden brought him in to run his offense in Oakland and he rose to NFL prominence. He went to four Pro Bowls as a Raider and was twice named first team All Pro. In 2002 he was named league MVP and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl where they would lose to Gruden's Buccaneers.
Townsend spent the first 12 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Raiders. He had double digit sacks in seven different seasons, finishing with 109.5 sacks in his career. He made two Pro Bowls.
Washington spent 17 seasons in the NFL with seven different teams, making four Pro Bowls and one named All Pro once during that time. He played two seasons for the Raiders in 2004-05.
McDaniel was a former first round pick by the Raiders. He spent the first ten years of his 11-yard NFL career with the Raiders. He went to five-straight Pro Bowls from 1992-96. He finished with 35 career interceptions
So, which of these guys do you think is the biggest snub?