Longtime Boston Patriots defensive tackle, Houston Antwine, has been selected unanimously for entrance into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Houston Antwine was a member of the Patriots for 11 seasons, from 1961-1971.  He was dominant from his defensive tackle position, earning six consecutive trips to the AFL All-Star Game.  ‘Twine is a member of the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, and was chosen as one of two defensive tackles for the AFL’s All-Time Team in 1970 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I am please to hear that Houston Antwine is finally being recognized with this well-deserved honor.  However, I can’t help but ask, why not earlier?  Antwine was a finalist for the honor from 2009-2011.  What had he done since 2011 to make him more worthy of induction?  The answer, of course, is nothing.  In fact, Antwine died on December 26, 2011.

Our AFL legends are leaving us more and more frequently.  What is taking so long to give them the credit that they deserve?  Why not recognize a man for his efforts while he is still alive to enjoy the honor?  Of the 21 men  in the Tales from the AFL’s Hall of Fame Comparisons, seven are deceased and at least two are in such poor health that should they be honored tomorrow, they would likely not be able to attend the ceremonies.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and individual franchises are doing a great disservice to their eldest alumni, the men who helped build their franchises..  They are also cheating the public by not helping to educate younger football fans on the history of their own teams.