Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cortez Kennedy Bound for Canton

Cortez Kennedy belongs in the Hall of Fame, but I never thought he would make it there.

Although he was the most dominant defensive tackle of his era, he had the misfortune to play during the '90s, a long nadir in Seahawks history.

Often, great athletes who play for bad teams never get the recognition they deserve.

Tez won respect during his career: 8 Pro Bowl selections, thrice honored as an All-Pro, and one NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992, the season the Seahawks posted their worst-ever record at 2-14.

Hall of Fame voters, after passing over him for the last four years, finally rewarded Kennedy for a decade of thankless toil in the trenches..

The AP headline pretty much summed up the layman's attitude toward this year's Canton class: "Martin, 4 linemen make Hall of Fame." The Associated Press assumes that readers would only know Curtis Martin, because as a running back for the Jets and Patriots, he carried the ball and scored touchdowns. Honoring linemen, on the other hand, is boring. No one knows the name of the lumbering giants who never touch the ball.

But it's the linemen who make football a game of raw power. You need a hoss like Willie Roaf to protect passers and make daylight for ball carriers, and you need a badass like Cortez Kennedy to clog running lanes and flatten quarterbacks.