PFHOF Profile: Dick Stanfel

iThe Pro Football Hall of Fame will welcome another class to Canton as more players enter the Hall with the best to ever play the game.

As with every year, there is another section of the Hall of Fame that can bring the most debate among all voters and fans.

The Senior Committee gets together every year to decide the fate of players who have been out of the league for more than 25 years and have been passed over year after year.

The senior committee is made up of NFL veterans who take a look at these players who have been overlooked by the writers.

These veterans know what it takes to play and have a better idea of just how good players are as many have played against the players they consider for a trip to Canton.

The seniors committee provides an important service for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as they ensure that those who deserve to make the hall of fame get their chance.

They might not have the best stats or the biggest names but the senior committee nominees are quite often the type of players that the NFL wants in the Hall of Fame.

It will change but right now the senior committee looks back at a by-gone era of the NFL when the league wasn’t the biggest thing in North America.

Many of the players that are considered by the senior committee are from a time when the NFL was just an afterthought.

These players didn’t play for the massive amounts of money, they barely earned anything, as they instead played because it was a game they loved.

They played in a time when injured and hurt were two very different things and yet both meant little coaches.

They played in an era where football was 5 yards and a cloud of dust making it all the tougher for anyone involved.

That included Dick Stanfel who can count himself among the old group of lineman who played purely for the challenge.

Stanfel is a perfect example of those players of the past that had done everything when there was little reward.ernie-stautner-file-photos_pg_600

Stanfel played through plenty of pain and did so with little reward because he wanted the challenge and the competition.

Through that competition, Stanfel became a key component to the Lions throughout the first half of the 1950s.

His importance to the team really came through in only his second full season with the Lions when he was named the team’s most valuable player.

That is something for a lineman who have never been considered the biggest names or the most important players on a team to the outsiders.

Still, he earned that award with his teammates recognising his contributions to the team as they marched to the NFL Championship.

After earning five pro bowls and winning two NFL championships as a player Stanfel moved on to a coaching career where he took his success to the sidelines.

With the Chicago, Bears Stanfel was a part of the coaching staff that took Super Bowl XX.

In over 50-years this lineman was a major part of the NFL and yet he was always overlooked.

By today’s standards, he might not be the best lineman to play the game or even a part of the top 50 in the league.

The senior committee isn’t supposed to judge by today’s standards though as they have a job to look at these players for when they played.

Many players are judged on their performance based on today’s players but that doesn’t do many of them justice.

For the players that played in a different era, there needs to be a different group to judge them.

Those are the players that have been in the league and know what other players go through to get where they are.

That is the role of the senior committee and this year both of their selections were great choices.

Unfortunately for them though neither will be able to see their election as both have passed away before the class was announced.

Stanfel is deserving and although he won’t be in attendance his legacy will remain as he continues to be considered one of the greatest ever.

That legacy is solidified with his bust in Canton and that is all thanks to the senior committee that continues to do their job of ensuring the right people make it into the Hall of Fame even if they have been passed over time and time again.


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