Bud Adams misses finalist cut as Hall of Fame contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bud Adams, the founder of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans who was instrumental in the creation of the AFL and its merger with the NFL, did not make the cut from semifinalist to finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s coach/contributor category.

Bud Adams

© George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

I didn't think he was getting into the Hall this year, but I thought for sure he’d garner enough support to earn one of the 12 spots in the cutdown from 29, which was the semifinal total because of ties in the trim from 37.

The other 11 members of the coach/contributor committee clearly disagreed with me on Adams and on the franchise’s pioneering scout, C.O. Brocato, who also failed to make the cut.

The coach and contributor categories were merged this year the committee charged with sorting through the candidates as well as the seniors committee was increased from nine members to 12.

I am a member of the coach/contributor committee for the first time.

The full selection committee now includes 49 people, predominantly writers/broadcasters with some Hall of Famers.

One person from the coach/ contributor category will be selected in an August 23 meeting and then move forward to the full committee where an 80 percent vote will earn him a place in the class of 2023. Three seniors will advance in the same fashion.

Adams moved his franchise to Nashville in 1997 after bitter negotiations with the city of Houston over a new stadium were fruitless. That move and his eccentricities – he once flipped off Bills fans with both hands after a game in Nashville – have not been enough for his accomplishments to overcome and for him to gain traction with Hall voters.

Meanwhile, Art Modell, advanced.

The vilified late owner of the Cleveland Browns probably outrates anyone who relocated a team in terms of the vitriol his old fan base holds for him. As chairman of the league’s broadcast committee, Modell was instrumental in the increased fees the league won for television rights.

That TV work was a big deal for the NFL for sure. It's more recent, but I don’t see how it’s comparable to what Adams did for the AFL and the merger where Hall of Famer Lamar Hunt has received oversized credit.

Also in the final 12:

  • Roone Arledge
  • Don Coryell
  • Mike Holmgren
  • Frank “Bucko” Kilroy
  • Robert Kraft
  • Buddy Parker
  • Dan Reeves
  • Art Rooney, Jr.
  • Mike Shanahan
  • Clark Shaughnessy
  • John Wooten

Three senior candidates will be considered by the full committee. The Hall’s senior committee trimmed trimmed that list to 12, and former Oilers return man Billy “White Shoes” Johnson did not make the list.

  • Ken Anderson
  • Maxie Baughan
  • Randy Gradishar
  • Chuck Howley
  • Cecil Isbell
  • Joe Klecko
  • Bob Kuechenberg
  • Eddie Meador
  • Tommy Nobis
  • Ken Riley
  • Sterling Sharpe
  • Everson Walls
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