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Pro Football Hall of Fame voters got it right — on a couple counts

By Pat McManamon

It’s so rare in life that the right thing happens that it almost causes one to take a moment, smell the coffee and wake up the echoes.

This is what happened Saturday.

Because Art Modell did not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Dave Robinson did.

Modell not making Canton will not prompt me to set off fireworks or celebrate. There are too many good people who believe he belongs, and their feelings should be respected. I don’t think Modell should make the Hall on his merits; it’s my belief it’s not the Hall of the Influential or the Very Good. It’s the Hall of the greatest. For several reasons, in my mind Modell does not qualify.

This does, though, save the good folks at the Hall from the possible embarrassment of Browns fans demonstrating at Modell’s induction, and possibly affecting the day for other inductees. Browns fans deserve to be angry at Modell, but that’s not a scene I’d care to witness.

On the flip side, Robinson’s inclusion as a senior nominee in the class of seven – Warren Sapp, Jonathan Ogden, Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Bill Parcells, Curly Culp were the others – is richly deserved.

He played outside linebacker for Vince Lombardi’s Packers, and played it exceedingly well.

He was smart, tough, hard-nosed and competitive. He played for an NFL Championship team in 1966 and Super Bowl winners in 1967 and ’68. He was on the All-Decade team in the ‘60s, and is in the Packers Hall of Fame. He wasn’t flamboyant or loud, but was a pro’s pro who played the Lombardi way, which was smart and hard.

After playing, Robinson eventually settled in Akron, where he still lives.

He’s a classy, polite, respectful man whose selection for the Hall is richly deserved.

Imagine that.

The right guy got in.

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