On this Hall of Fame weekend it is fun to look ahead to who is eligible to be enshrined. It’s also a time to look at some players that may have missed the cut for one reason or another. The Raiders have a few players on that list. With a storied history and some of the most colorful personalities, it’s easy to overlook a player or two. One player who has missed the cut over the years is former Raiders Guard Steve Wisniewski. It’s simple, Steve Wisniewski belongs in the Hall of Fame and here is why.
Wisniewski was an 8 time pro bowlers in his career. He also was all pro 8 times (2 first team and 6 second team). Just from a comparison standpoint G Steve Hutchinson has 7 of each award and is (rightfully so) already enshrined in Canton. Also, according to pro football reference Wisniewski was only called for 19 holding calls over a 112 game span which is incredible. Steve was also part of the 1990’s All Decade Team. To be awarded one the best of the decade should put you in immediate consideration for the Hall. The honor is voted on by Hall of Fame voters so it’s clear they already recognized Wisniewski as one of the best in his generation.
You always here the saying, “The best ability is availability. ” Wisniewski was available all but 2 games for his entire 13 year career. With 206 games played and just 2 missed Steve was always available for his team. Being available is one thing but being dominating is another. Wisniewski dominated the trenches without missing time at one of the most physically demanding positions in the game. With players at the same position being inducted it’s hard to see why Steve has not gotten the call. The only comparable guards are already inducted and now it’s time for Wisniewski.
Heart and Soul
Wisniewski was the exact image of what a Raider is during his days wearing the silver and black. Smart, tough and aggressive are everything Wisniewski embodied during his career. Playing to the whistle every single snap sets the tone for the rest of the team. A favorite of multiple coaching staffs and teammates Steve earned the respect of the league with his play on the field. He also took his job of protecting his QB seriously. If anyone decided to take a cheap shot or when anything extra was taking place Wisniewski was always there defending his teammates
The amount of great players waiting to get in increases each year. It’s no doubt a difficult process to select from a wide range of deserving candidates. The problem becomes when players set a standard and aren’t selected while some are. Rushing to select newly eligible candidates while ignoring equally or sometimes more deserving candidates from the past is the problem . This has created the logjam of players waiting sometimes years too long for enshrinement. No matter what way it’s decided or voted its clear that Steve Wisniewski belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Thank you for your time reading my article. For more Raiders Talk follow me on Twitter http://@BrianRobert85 and check out my previous article reviewing the HOF game. Also be sure to check back Saturday where I will preview what to look for in game 2 of the preseason vs Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.