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.
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” Brown – First-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” Parker – First 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?