A Hall of Fame Comparison – JIM TYRER

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There is a feeling among AFL fans that the American Football League players are consistently overlooked for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  In truth there are many players, the bulk of whose careers were spent in the AFL, that deserve serious consideration, if not outright induction.  In an effort to spark some discussion regarding their hall of fame worthiness, I will occasionally compare AFL players to their NFL (and Hall of Fame) counterparts. The short biographies on the NFL players have been taken directly from the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.

autographed 1965 topps jim tyrer

#110 – Jim Tyrer

Today’s comparison is between Jim Tyrer of the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs and two HoF tackles, Bob Brown and Jim Parker.

James Efflo “Jim” Tyrer – Drafted by the Texans in 1961, played through the 1974 season…  Eight consecutive seasons as first team All-AFL member…  Seven-time AFL All-Star, twice NFL Pro Bowl participant…  Three-time AFL champion, Super Bowl IV champion…  AFL All-Time First Team member.

Robert Stanford “Bob” BrownFirst-round draft pick (2nd overall), 1964 draft. . .Aggressive blocker who utilized great size and strength. . .Battled knee injury for much of career. . .Named first-team All-NFL seven times. . .Earned NFL/NFC offensive lineman of the year three times. . .Elected to six Pro Bowls – three with Eagles, two with Rams, and one with Raiders. . . Named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1960s.

James Thomas “Jim” ParkerFirst full-time offensive lineman named to Pro Football Hall of Fame. . .Exceptional blocker, specialized in protecting quarterback. . .All-NFL eight straight years, 1958-1965. . . Played half of 11-year career at tackle, half at guard. . . Played in eight Pro Bowl games. . . No. 1 draft choice in 1957. . . Two-time All-America, Outland Trophy winner at Ohio State.

Frankly, there have been few, if any, offensive tackles that were better than Jim Tyrer.  At 6’6″ and 280 lbs., he was a prototype tackle, and one of the few players from the 1960s who could probably still hold his own in the modern NFL.  How is it possible that Tyrer was not inducted long ago?  Well, it most likely has to do with the end of Tyrer’s life.  In 1980, after a series of setbacks in business, Jim Tyrer took his life and that of his wife, in a murder-suicide.  He left behind four children.  While I don’t believe that any official statement has been made regarding reasons for Tyrer’s exclusion from Canton, this must be the main reason.  He was just too good, his accomplishments too great, to be kept out for any other reason.  Then again, his equally-impressive teammate, Johnny Robinson, is still awaiting his call as well.  Thoughts?

Todd Tobias (781 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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11 Responses to A Hall of Fame Comparison – JIM TYRER

  1. 1967 says:

    I posted this a few blogs ago but will do so again because of the subject matter, Jim Tyrer.

    I once had the opportunity to ask a quite well known (now deceased) former sportswriter (and Hall of Fame voter) from back east why former Kansas City Chiefs player Jim Tyrer was not in the HOF. I expected reference how Tyrer’s demise came about as the rationale; instead, the reply was “I don’t think he was that good.”

    Personal bias? An axe to grind? That a long-time and respected writer – an AFL writer to wit – would state the aforementioned left me wondering how valid the process is. I will not mention the writer’s name but believe me when I say that you have heard of him, an aspect which makes the comments his all the more puzzling (and by extension makes one wonder how many like cases exist, even among AFL proponents.)

    I don’t like to elevate one player at the expense another, especially when both are/were Hall of Fame worthy, but here’s a comparison for whatever it’s worth.

    Former Los Angeles & San Diego Charger Ron Mix is in the Hall of Fame and is well deserving (note that I didn’t say “in my opinion”; no need the addendum as his merit speaks for itself: 9-time Pro Bowler and 8-time First-Team All-Pro.)

    Mix played RT on offense for the Chargers, and reportedly held his opponents about as often as comedian/satirist Pat Paulsen held the Presidency. The great #74 played 11 years, albeit just one in the NFL. Mix was a member of 5 teams that played for a Championship, winning once.

    Jim Tyrer played the (arguably) more revered LT/ blind side position on offense the Dallas Texans & Kansas City Chiefs. Like Mix…

    [ * Tho there is disparity as to accolades, according Pro Football Reference.com ]

    …Tyrer was a 9-time Pro Bowler and he also an 6-time First-Team All-Pro. Tyrer was a member of 3 teams that played for Championships, winning twice. Tyrer played 14 years, including 5 in the NFL, with two of his All Pro honors coming there. So whether the aforementioned is accurate or Todd’s “Eight consecutive seasons as first team All-AFL member… Seven-time AFL All-Star”, point is that Jim Tyrer was a great LT – in fact, as Todd alluded & I concur: ‘who was better’?

    Does Jim Tyrer have a case? Such is but one example among many that cry out for explanation… and enshrinement. To the player, a Hall of Fame honor must rank as the icing on the cake an career; as a fan I say the only Hall of Fame that really matters to me is the one resides in my heart & lingers in memory, forever.

    Long live the AFL!

  2. 1967 says:

    Btw, Jim Tyrer followed the Colts Jim Parker as a lineman at Ohio State: Tyrer ’57-’60, Parker ’53-’56 ~ GO BUCKEYES : )

    One other thing: bravado, ego & manhood goes with the territory pro football players. I prefaced with the aforementioned statement as a disclaimer of sorts to add: I recall reading comments over time about how this player dominated that one, or vice versa, etc. Often times (though not always), such claims came out of the mouths combatants the AFL vs NFL pre-season games 1967-1969 the ‘Little Superbowl’s etc.

    I believe it was the late DE Lyle Alzado who stated that his former Broncos teammate DE Rich Jackson had left HOF OT Bob Brown (by then a Raider) bloodied & beaten after they’d played one another. Likewise, an NFL type certain (wink) Los Angeles Rams DE Deacon Jones had destroyed his fellow HOF’r OT Ron Mix in those earliest SD vs LA contests, the period ’67-’69.

    Don’t ever recall reading about anyone doing anything of the sort to Jim Tyrer, unlike the claims made vs the aforementioned OTs Mix & Brown. Instead, from HOFr’s to similarly deserving/unenshrined types to include a Rich Jackson, Ben Davidson & Elvin Bethea among others, they simply said Tyrer was ‘the best’.

    You can read about what his aforementioned peers had to say about Tyrer at this link: http://crazycantoncuts.blogspot.com/2010/05/jim-tyrer.html

    Writers… what do they know; they only played the game instead of watching / writing about it from the comfort a scribe’s seat same shape as their backsides, this author included. I’ll demure to those who played the game, same.

    • Tom says:

      I don’t know if the films exist from inception of the AFL and if they do, one might think if the PF HOF has the capacity to review every play made by every player inducted or otherwise since the inception of the AFL they would. Hall of Famer Ron Mix and Jim Tyrer were AFL Tackles in the 1960’s, Mix played right and Tyrer the other.and is not possible to compare them by match ups. Hall Of Famer Art Shell played LT but a decade after Tyrer. When I witnessed Deacons destruction, I may well have witnessed his destruction of Tyrer, I didn’t, the lone time I saw Tyrer play in person was against the Rams in a 1967 pre season game, on the left side he was matched against Lamar Lundy. The Rams throughly dominated the game and I don’t recall how anyone played other than the play Rosey Grier suffered a career ending injury chasing the elusive Mike Garrett.

      Bob Brown was the most dominant player I saw play in person, he put on a show of violence, noise and physicality rarely scene. He would explode and grunt when he blocked, it was joked that his collisions and grunts were so loud that they disturbed the patrons sitting at the bar in Julies on Figueroa and 39th St, beyond the peristiel end of the LA Coliseum.

      When I commented on Keith Lincolns interview and mentioned local Southern Californians that made a mark on the original and early days of the AFL I excluded, Bobby and Pete Beathard Redondo Union, Don Coryell Whittier College, John Madden Hancock College and Joe Gibbs Santa Fe HS who were lured by Coryell to San Diego State. I also omitted another local who played in the mid fifities at Los Angeles Poly HS Brady Keys and LA Dorsey HS Frank Buncom.

      • 1967 says:


        We agree to disagree. All due respect, but I must tell you I was also at that ’67 game KC Chiefs vs @LA Rams; to say “The Rams thoroughly dominated the game” is just not accurate.

        I commented elsewhere on this in another blog TFTAFL, but reiterate: KC led the Rams 24-13 at the half. In fact, they did so despite playing without their HOF QB Len Dawson who had the flu (KC also wanted to shop backup QB Pete Beathard for trade & in fact they did trade him not long aft.) In the 2nd half, KC’s reserves beside the aforementioned Beathard played (& quite extensively.) Each team also left in some regulars, the Rams QB Gabriel and a host of others employed their starters much moreso than KC, throughout. The final score of 44-24 thus reflects the aforementioned, facts being facts.

        The previous two weeks, KC had beaten the NFL Bears 66-24, OAK Raiders 48-0 and then had their foot upon the Rams throat. That it was the Chiefs last exhibition game before the regular season began, whatever happened in the second half became essentially non sequitur moreso than prolouge.

        Although: that the Chiefs “stepped back to admire their work” as various scribes wrote (and some of their players agreed hindsight that ’67 season) too cannot be denied, just saying.

        • Tom says:

          1967 was a good football year for me, I was being recruited by USC.
          The Rams won 44 to 24. I agree with you, after all it was a preseason game, the game was called The Summer Super Bowl and fell short of the hype. Your recall of the game is much better than mine, I recall it being a ho hummer, of no importance only for the sad fact that Rosey Grier, left with a torn achilles tendon, then a career ending injury. A week earlier in a day game played in San Diego the Rams beat the Chargers 50-7.

          • 1967 says:

            Too, that one of the worst teams in the entire AFL Denver Broncos had just lost to the equally/moreso pathetic Miami Dolphins 19-2 and then followed it up by beating both the NFL’s Detroit Lions & Minnesota Vikings (just two years away from their first Superbowl appearance) gives pause for reflection – and much laughter.

            The old Chrysler/Dodge sponsored AFL tv telecasts come to mind… advertising tweaked, ‘Dodge Is Turning Up The Fever Now’ lyrics taken from the song ‘Do you know the way to San Jose’.

            This quote too:”if we lose, I’ll walk back to Detroit.” Were he alive today, Alex Karras might still wonder ‘do you know the way?’ his promised shoe leather sojourn curtailed by his embarrassment… only thing that exceeded his Motor City bluster. Slowly but surely, the beginning of a post-Superbowl I ‘new world’ order pro football.

            How fitting that a team born of the NFL in a city that sponsored the AFL would be forever linked as such: Summer of Love and the ‘Little Superbowls’ scoreboard thence – AFL 1, NFL 0; final tally end an era 1/11/70 – AFL 2, NFL 2 – former having surpassed latter in the end.

            Long live the AFL!

  3. Howard says:

    Tyrer and Robinson are no-brainers for the HOF. They had multiple All-Pro honors, including post-merger. Even the biggest AFL bashers would still have to acknowledge that they were Pro-Bowl players during the early 1970’s. They performed as well if not better than their contemporaries.

    While it’s impossible to know what went through his mind, I wonder if Tyrer was suffering from the type of post football concussion syndrome that Junior Seau and others seemed to be afflicted with?

  4. Robert Ewing says:

    it could be possible that tyrer did suffer from cte but we will never know

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