It’s Lions Mt. Rushmore voting time

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On Friday, there will be no episode of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.  If there were, we’d be unveiling the Mt. Rushmores for the Vikings and the Lions.

Instead, we’re merely opening the official voting for the Lions’ Mt. Rushmore.

Make your selections below.  Narrowly missing the field of 12 finalists were Matt Millen, Marty Mornhinweg, Rod Marinelli, Wayne Fontes, Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington, Joe Cullen (clothed), and Joe Cullen (naked).

117 responses to “It’s Lions Mt. Rushmore voting time

  1. Even in the Mt. Rushmore voting PFT can’t help but take a shot at the Lions. Give it a rest, we ALL know how long the Lions have sucked for.

  2. My picks, as a bears fan:
    1) Barry Sanders
    2)Alex Karras
    3) Bobby layne
    4) Calvin Johnson

    Honorable mentions
    Lem Barney
    And where the heck is Billy Simms?

  3. Bravo to Mike Florio for adding some of the old-time players. As a Packers fan for 50+ years, I saw many of these folks in action.
    Joe Schmidt was the equal of Nitschke and Butkus. Lem Barney and Yale Lary won’t get many votes from the youngun’s, but they were great players. Dick “Night Train” Lane was at the end of a great career when he played with the Lions. Bobby Layne and Doak Walker won championships for the Lions in the 1950’s.
    The Lions have some high points in their history. Unfortunately, with the exception of Barry Sander’s time in Detroit, few have come in the last 50 years.

  4. Just put a big #20 up there to represent Lem Barney, Billy Sims, and Barry Sanders. Then throw in Joe Schmidt, Nigh Train Lane, and Mike Lucci. Done.

  5. Hey Florio, I’m calling party foul on you here.

    While I can appreciate the selection you have, where in the world is Jason Hanson? It would not be Mt. Rushmore without him on it, let alone at least in the voting.

    Spielman, Sanders, Moore and Hanson.

  6. Leaving Billy Sims off the list is a mistake. Not one of my top four, but definitely top 12.

  7. If you don’t vote for Night Train Lane, you have no idea what you are doing.

    Night Train Lane was voted the all-time starting CB for the entire history of the league along with Deion Sanders.

  8. Don’t get me wrong. Megatron is a hell of a football player. But its too early to put him up there with Night Train Lane, Yale Lary, Bobby Lane, Doak Walker and Barry Sanders (yeah, I know that’s 5).

    The first four I listed help make the NFL what it is today. They are some of the legends the league was built on.

  9. This one is easier than most teams – and that’s not a knock. There are four transcendent players on that list, and the rest are not.

    Barry Sanders
    Night Train Lane
    Calvin Johnson
    Doak Walker (maybe not transcendent in talent, but in legacy)

  10. Marinelli, only if you include the following quote:

    “We’ve got out shovels and picks and we’re digging. We see the light and we’re just going to keep working til’ we reach it.”

  11. Glad to see Dick “Night Train” Lane on the list; one of the NFL’s all-time great DBs, and high on the all-time INT list.

    While I agree that Billy Sims was a great RB, he just didn’t do it for a long enough period of time to warrant a spot in the final four. He ought to be an option on the list, at least.

    How ’bout them Lions that wore #20; Sims, Barry Sanders, Lem Barney….

  12. Why is Jason Hanson not a choice? I know he’s “just a kicker”, but come on. 21 years with them (nfl record for most games and seasons with one team), Lions all time leading scorer, #3 time in points and fgs made, tons of other nfl records. He has to be on there. Mine would be Barry Sanders, Jason Hanson, Bobby Layne, Calvin Johnson.

  13. Sanders
    Night Train

    Despite the Lions’ tough years they actually have a lot of great candidates for this list.

  14. Tough choices. I hated to leave Karras, Layne, Doak Walker, and especially Lem Barney out. I had to get Calvin Johnson in there, even though his career is young. Unfortunately, Billy Sims career was too short.

    1) Barry Sanders
    2) Night Train Lane,
    3) Joe Schmidt
    4) Calvin Johnson

  15. Barry Sanders is a quitter. I have no problem with a guy who does not want to play anymore. However, notify your team so they can plan accordingly, don’t announce it on your website. Don’t forget that he had to pay back part of his signing bonus for every year he didn’t play while his contract ran out. Also remember that he had so many runs for negative yards. A great player? Yes. Revered? Not as much.

  16. Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, Bobby Layne (who would be in the Commissioner’s office every other week if he played today) and Joe Schimdt…who barely nudges out Night Train Lane.

    Most here won’t know Schimdt as one of the greatest MLBs in league history AND the coach of the 1970 team which was Super Bowl caliber, losing to Dallas 5-0 in the playoffs. So that was the tie-breaker for me.

    Honorable mention Lem Barner and where the heck is Billy Sims?

  17. Billy Sims was a stud, but career was real short. I went with:

    Barry Sanders
    Lem Barney
    Calvin Johnson
    Night Train Lane

  18. Where is Tommy Hudspeth? He had a winning record as Lions coach and his coaching staff included the likes of Joe Bugel, Jerry Glanville, Floyd Reese, and Bill Belichick.

  19. Barry Sanders was my favorite player behind Joe Montana growing up. Just imagine what he could have accomplished had he had even an average offensive line. Though with a better line, the highlights wouldn’t have been as entertaining for us fans, and there wouldn’t have been as many broken ankles from defenders.

  20. Billy Sims? Jason Hanson?
    And while Night Train Lane had some great years with us, he really split his career with the Cards and started with the Rams.
    Calvin will be up there, just not yet. But do save him a space.

  21. Dick “Night Train” Lane.

    In 1969, Lane was named the best cornerback of the first fifty years of professional football, then enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

    In 1999, he was ranked number 19 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players of all time.

    In 1994, he was voted to the NFL’s 75 year team along with Mel Blount, Mike Haynes, and Rod Woodson.

    Cast a vote for Night Train Lane.

  22. Florio, I don’t know why your memory of 80’s RBs is so vague, but you missed Billy Sims here and William Andrews for the Falcons Mt. Rushmore ballots.

    With that said Billy Sims cannot make the final cut here (he’s not even the most famous Lion #20). The first three that should go in (and they should be locks) are Bobby Layne, Lem Barney, and Barry Sanders. That is like 30 Pro Bowl appearances between them, and oh yeah, three busts in the HOF.

    The fourth should be close between Joe Schmidt (look him up!) and Calvin Johnson. Schmidt’s in the HOF and one more monster season will make Megatron a lock for Canton.

    Don’t want to hear about Alex Karras just because he was on “Webster.” And Night Train Lane’s glory years were with the Cardinals, not the Lions.

  23. I get a feeling that Joe Schmidt is going to get screwed. HOF middle linebacker that was revered when he was playing. Lot of grumbling about Billy Sims and Jason hanson, but Schmidt was the man.

    Also Night Train might have been the greatest CB of all time, with an interception records that still stands. He’s got to make it.

  24. Barry Sanders—Let see the guy who walded out on his team.
    Bary Sanders the guy who had to be taken out in passing situations becuse he ould not or would not pass block, nor could he or would not run or learn pass routes.
    Barry Sanders who would nap on the bench because he was into the game.
    Barry Sanders who was taken out of the game inside the 10 yard line because they did not need him to lose 10 years trying to juke his way to gain.
    Barry Sanders who never lead his team to play off game —rather he slept on the bench when the defense was on the field.
    I think I could vote for everyone on list before Barry Sanders.

  25. Johnny Morton, Dre’ Bly, Kalimba Edwards, Mike Williams and Desmond “Heisman” Howard

  26. steelersteven says:
    Jun 7, 2013 10:16 AM
    Barry Sanders is a quitter. I have no problem with a guy who does not want to play anymore. However, notify your team so they can plan accordingly, don’t announce it on your website. Don’t forget that he had to pay back part of his signing bonus for every year he didn’t play while his contract ran out. Also remember that he had so many runs for negative yards. A great player? Yes. Revered? Not as much.

    Figures, you’re a Steelers fan. Never thought I’d people crap on Barry Sanders.

    He quit because he was tired of losing. He was tired of not having a lineman that could throw a block. He quit because his coach was Bobby Ross, and Ross didn’t like him because he lost yards on some carries, so Ross limited his touches.

    He didn’t say anything, never complained, did the best he could. He didn’t throw anyone under the bus, didn’t do endzone dances. He just balled, and you crapped on him.

  27. From a Packer fan Barry was the best rb in the history of the league. For me he was amazing to watch and retired to soon. I applaud him though he was a humble guy who went out on his own terms, healthy, happy, and didnt have the need to prove himself with records. This very few players can say.

  28. Barry Sanders was not a “quitter”. If you wanted to move on from your career would you base your choice on the opinions of some beer-drenched nitwits? He wasn’t obligated to play football until “the fans” decided he should stop, it’s his life and his decision.

    The Night Train was an all-time legend. Yes, football was just as physical and just as difficult back then as it is now, don’t be deluded by that Chris Berman-like thinking that states otherwise.

  29. WHERE IS TITUS YOUNG?!? He’s going to be a Hall of Famer!

    Night Train
    Lem Barney
    And it’s a tossup, so I’ll go with Calvin Johnson, because I think he’s definitely going to finish his career with his head included here.

  30. Wow who are coming up with these lists? How can you leave Mel Gray Jr, one of the best returners of all time and Bennie Blades off the list?

  31. I went with

    I want to put Megatron in there, but he’s still playing, he still has history to write. He’ll be in the Lions Mt. Rushmore the second after he retires, but I can’t justify giving him the spot since he is still making his history.

    No Night Train just because of the fact he ended his career with Detroit (which were said to be his best years). If he spent more time with Detroit I would have put him on there, but I think he’s more of a league legacy than a Lions legacy type of person. (I know it wasn’t with Detroit, but how do you get 14 INT’s in 12 games, when you ran more than you passed? INSANE!)

  32. As a Lions fan, this was a tough choice, but I went with Barry Sanders, Joe Schmidt, Yale Lary, and Bobby Layne. My reasons: Schmidt, Lary, and Layne are guys who played most (or all) of their best years in Detroit, going to pro bowls AND winning championships in the 50s. A lot of those other players were great, but where are their championships?? That’s what we’ve been missing all these years! By the way, Night Train Lane was one of the best ever, but he only spent a few years in Detroit.

  33. PFT should do a “Bizarro” version of the Mt. Rushmre, that way the Lions can finally be champions at something.

    My vote would be for CJ and a set of 3 Barrys. That’s how I’ll remember this mountain and that’s going to be the story I tell my descendants….

    We had these 2 great ones, and we wasted them in such a sick and horrifying way, and the lesson to be learned is do not ever be like those people. When you have something truly great and wonderful you need to embrace it and let it shine, but do not piss it away for the love of all that is good in this world.

  34. Dick LeBeau spent 14 seasons all with the Lions and had 62 INT for 7th all time and gets little to no love? That is just his playing career…not discounting Sanders or some of the other greats but priority should be on guys who spent their whole time with the org. (at least as a player). Night Train was one of the all time greats but spent time with other orgs. and that to me is a lesser place in the pantheon.

  35. Barry Sanders
    Calvin Johnson
    Bobby Layne
    Jason Hanson (ultimate Lion)

    Close 5th: Herman Moore

    Doak Walker (only 5 years played)
    Billy Sims (short career)

  36. Not a Lions fan, but no Robert Porcher? Dude was one of the best DE’s in football for a long time.

  37. Barry Sanders doesn’t belong anywhere near a Lions Mount Rushmore, the dude left us in training camp and we are still suffering for it. Everything bad that has happened to the Lions in the past 14 years is partially or all of his fault.

  38. Trading Bobby Layne began the curse of the Lions, not Barry Sanders. The Lions have suffered for over 50 years.

  39. @splash86mountain – What a horribly uneducated and misguided statement.

    Everything “bad” has to do with inept owners and management not hiring the right GMs, the right coaches/scouts/etc., the right free agents, and drafting the right rookies.

    Barry Sanders does not factor into that equation.

  40. ^^^Thats like me being mad at Bo Jackson and still blaming him for the for not signing with the Bucs. Get over it man!!

  41. Boy I butchered that last post.. That should’ve read “and still blaming him for the lean years that followed for not signing with the Bucs”.

  42. Billy Sims in Spielman out. Tough to leave off Jack Christiansen (HOF Safety 46 INT).

    Night Trane-Voted best DB first 50 yrs of NFL. He played 2 more games w/the Cardinals than with Detroit and had his best statistical seasons with the Cardinals, yet he was All-Pro more w Detroit. Still won’t get my vote because Lem Barney was also a all time top 10 CB, had 12 fewer picks (still had 56), still is a HOF and embodies Detroit more ( plus he ran 7 picks, 1 fumble and 3 kicks back for TD and even punted a year). Give Lane to the Cards. They need the help.

    Lem Barney- HOF CB, Deion Sanders who could tackle, see above, face of Detroit in 60s/70s.Rushmore

    Calvin Johnson- He will get Rushmore’d someday.

    Alex Karras- Underrated and should be in HOF since Nietscke is…totally jobbed on that.

    Yale Lary- HOF DB and kicker-50INT.

    Bobby Layne- Leader of 2 Championships, hard drinking old school get it done guy. Rushmore

    Dick LeBeau- HOF DB and great D-Coord, log career in NFL 40+ yrs.

    Herman Moore- Nice player, but not a long peak.

    Barry Sanders- Rushmore. Rushmore of NFL possible. No RB was better, ever. (Jim Brown equal but different style)

    Joe Schmidt- HOF MLB for 3 championships, then coached team to winning record from 67-72. Rushmore

    Chris Spielman- Gritty MLB, star player, not close to achievements of others here though.

    Doak Walker- Star RB in HOF, won 2 titles as a Lion, was huge threat catching passes out of backfield…ahead of his time, but not as talented as Billy Sims. His college record IMO influenced his Pro accolades.

  43. Grew up a Lions fan in 60s til they broke my heart too many times. That said, I voted for:
    Barry Sanders
    Lem Barney
    Joe Schmidt
    Bobby Layne
    Really tough to choose. Karras was my boyhood favorite Lion, but he is not greater than these four. Night Train played too many years with other teams for him to beat out the others. Could easily have included LeBeau and Yale Lary, although I contend that the reason LeBeau got so many INT’s was because he played opposite Barney for so long. Also shocked that Charlie Sanders – one of the best TE’s of his era – was not a finalist.

  44. This list is better than the Yikes, some actually noteworthy people.

    Barry Sanders is up there with Walter Payton and Eddie Lacy as my votes for best running backs of all time.

    Night Train was ridiculous.

    Doak Walker.

    I guess just those three.

    If you have to go 4, put a turducken getting stepped on, as they are best known for getting destroyed on thanksgiving.

  45. You just lost A LOT of credibility by not nominating Billy Sims. Inconceivable.
    Nice cheap shot too. You really can’t even resist for one day can you?

  46. Barry, Night Train, Lebeau (had something like 60 INTs) and Megatron (on his way to being a top 3 all-time WR).

  47. Btw, I’d vote for Lebeau over Night Train if I had to choose. Lebeau spent his entire career with the Lions, picking off 62 passes. Night Train only spent his last 6 years with the Lions and only picked off 21 passes. His best days were with the Rams and Cardinals.

  48. motownmatt says:
    Jun 7, 2013 11:44 PM
    Jerry Ball, Stephen Boyd, Robert Porcher, and Az Hakim

    Porcher was an outstanding player with 95 career sacks. Shows how much you know.

  49. From a Bears fan:

    Layne-QB’d two NFL champions
    Karras-Better known as an actor, but he a really ferocious and intimidating player at the time. When he died recently, I was surprised that he was not in the HOF.
    Sanders-best player in franchise history, of course
    Johnson-Only 27, but his talent is so extreme (and his competition not that strong) that I had to put him on.

    Night Train, Barney and Schmidt could all have been chosen, as well.

    Layne, Karras, Sander and Megatron.

  50. Barry sanders, Calvin then u gotta go back to night train and lebeau but I credit lebeau more for his def cord ability then him as a player. He truly one of the best def minds in the game in recent history.

  51. They should just have Barry lay across the four spots on the mountain. Although he never should have made the Madden cover. Anybody who “knows” the game will tell you Mel Grey was the truth in the game.

  52. Many Many greats! Here is a list of the Detroit Lions Hall-of-Famers!

    Lem Barney
    Jack Christiansen
    Earl (Dutch) Clark
    Lou Creekmur
    Bill Dudley
    Dick (Night Train) Lane
    Yale Lary
    Bobby Layne
    Dick LeBeau
    Barry Sanders
    Charlie Sanders
    Joe Schmidt
    Doak Walker
    Alex Wojciechowicz

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