Saturday, February 1, 2014
Haley's, DeBartolo's HOF bids dashed again
By Bill Williamson
For the second straight year, two key figures of the San Francisco 49ers' dynasty years did not make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after becoming finalists.
Former team owner Eddie DeBartolo and former pass-rusher Charles Haley were among the finalists not to get elected into the Canton, Ohio, museum Saturday. Haley made the cut from 15 finalists to 10. DeBartolo did not.
In December, DeBartolo said he was focused on Haley getting in more than his own candidacy. DeBartolo said Haley had asked the former 49ers owner to present him. Haley will likely get in before DeBartolo.
Haley, who played for the 49ers from 1986-91 and finished his career there in 1999, is the only player to win five Super Bowl rings. He won them with the 49ers and with Dallas. He finished with 100.5 sacks and he had 4.5 sacks in his five Super Bowls, which is a record.
Still, Haley has had a long wait for enshrinement. He has been eligible for 10 years. Some league observers point to the fact he made just five Pro Bowls appearances in 12 NFL seasons and that he was known for being a difficult personality as reasons he didn't make it.
DeBartolo's issue is that it is simply difficult for non-players to work their way through the process. DeBartolo, who owned the 49ers from 1977-2000, has a résumé worthy of enshrinement.
The 49ers made 16 playoff appearances, 10 NFC title game appearances and won five Super Bowls while DeBartolo was their owner. DeBartolo was beloved by his players, coaches and by 49ers fans. There are 13 owners in the Hall of Fame.