Earl Campbell, the former Houston Oiler running back who ranks as one of the game’s finest, swept into the Pro Football Hall of Fame here Saturday along with four other candidates.
Raider owner Al Davis was voted down again after reaching the six-man final round.
Although the majority of those on the committee--an estimated 23 of the 29--voted for Davis, he fell short of being elected.
The six candidates on the final round each needed 82% of the 29 votes for election. But Davis and Mackey each received 80%.
The committee members, sportswriters for the most part representing NFL cities, also voted down another finalist, John Mackey, the former Baltimore Colt tight end.
Mackey was an early union organizer for what is now the NFL Players Assn.
The old-timer candidate, former Chicago Bear guard Stan Jones, was elected along with a former kicker, Jan Stenerud of the Kansas City Chiefs; a former front-office executive, Tex Schramm of the Dallas Cowboys, and former New England Patriot offensive guard John Hannah.
According to Hall of Fame rules, the finalists could all have been voted in, enlarging the class of 1991 from five to seven. But each had to be voted on individually.
Davis and 14 others had survived the first round of balloting.
He and 11 others then survived the second round, when the Ram All-Pro, Jack Youngblood, was eliminated, along with a Raider quarterback, Ken Stabler, and a Pittsburgh wide receiver, Lynn Swann.
Next, Davis and five others survived the third round, which was the end of the line for cornerback Lem Barney of Detroit, tackle Bob Brown of the Rams, defensive ends Carl Eller of Minnesota and L.C. Greenwood of Pittsburgh, and running back John Riggins of Washington.
In the 1960s, Davis was the last commissioner of the old American Football League and the principal mover in the merger with the NFL.
Since he took over the Raiders in 1963, his teams have won a greater percentage of games than any other club in this or any other major league sport.
It could rain on Paul Tagliabue’s parade before it’s over tonight.
At the 3:18 p.m. PST kickoff, the prediction is for an overcast sky, light winds and a temperature in the high 60s.
The weather service said Saturday that there is a 25% chance of showers during the evening.
NFL people aren’t saying much about it, but they have put in a special trading period this week--in the final days before the Plan B draft begins Feb. 1.
During the Plan B interlude, each club will be allowed to protect 37 players while freeing the others on its roster, an average of 15 or 16 marginal players.
According to the NFL Players Assn., the purpose of the new trading period is to weaken the Plan B market.
The clubs can legally trade away the best of their marginal players before they would have had to be freed.
“This is just more evidence that the NFL abuses its monopoly power,” NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen said.
As the principal pillar in today’s strategy, the two opponents will both try to force the other team to play their game, New York Giant Coach Bill Parcells said.
The Giants embrace a slow-and-sure philosophy based on sound but unspectacular running plays. The Buffalo Bills are a no-huddle team.
After thinking it over all week, Parcells said: “I don’t think we can win a shootout game.”
The Giants held a 30-minute practice at Tampa Stadium. Parcells said his team has had a good week of workouts.
“I think our team is prepared to play, and I think we’ll play hard,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
Former Bill quarterback Jack Kemp, now U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Joe Ferguson, another former Bill quarterback, attended the team’s final workout Saturday.
Kemp, who led the Bills to American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965, played catch with the ballboys, then spoke briefly to the team, offering his congratulations.
The Bills, working at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice field, appeared loose during their 30-minute workout.
“They usually are the day before a game,” Coach Marv Levy said. “They’ve done their work and now they’re looking forward to the game they’ve waited to be in all year. They feel good. They’re in a good mental state.”
Tight end Butch Rolle, bothered by a sprained ankle, practiced for the second consecutive day and should be ready to play, Levy said.
The Bills returned linebacker Matt Monger to their 47-man roster. Monger, who had been on injured reserve because of a bad back, fills a vacancy created when linebacker Marvcus Patton suffered a broken leg against the Miami Dolphins in a second-round playoff game.
Revelers lined Tampa’s waterfront for a pre-Super Bowl parade Saturday as the military bowed out of festivities because of the Persian Gulf war and Miss USA yielded to the beauty queen from Hell.
Intermittent rain dampened the all-day Bamboleo event--a flotilla, parade and downtown block party--and held crowds well under the 700,000 predicted.
Only about 60 boats comprised the flotilla, and many of them carried police or law enforcement officers.
Brisk weather forced organizers to cancel plans to float a balloon replica of the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the waterlogged procession.
Last-minute guest cancellations included stars Chuck Norris, Chita Rivera and Miss USA, who was reported sick. Her stand-in for the parade was Miss Universe, Mona Grudt of Hell, Norway.
An honor guard from MacDill Air Force Base, the Navy Reserve and Coast Guard gave notice Friday they would not march because it would be inappropriate while troops are at war in the Persian Gulf.
But the U.S. Navy Band took part, belting out Anchors Away as the unit marched past a reviewing stand.
Most U.S. soldiers with access to television sets will be watching the Super Bowl late tonight (1 a.m. Saudi time) to get their minds briefly off the Persian Gulf war.
“It’s a little piece of home out here in Saudi Arabia,” said Air Force Lt. Kate Mangion of Foxborough, Mass.
Their one concern is that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will interrupt the game with a missile attack, forcing them to put on chemical protection suits and scramble for cover.
“At that point, it’ll be important that the (New York) Giants win--but it’ll be more important to live than to see them do it,” Capt. Diane Merritt said.
“Last night, we had Scud alerts three times in less than eight hours. You need something to take your mind off what the reality is around here,” Lt. Col. Frank Waddell said.
Most soldiers said they, like President Bush, oppose suggestions the event should be canceled.
“If we didn’t have the Super Bowl, it would be like Saddam Hussein won one. He’d be changing the American way of life,” said Capt. Steven Jacobson.
This notebook includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.