That letter from Eric Dickerson and other Pro Football Hall of Famers threatening a boycott of future Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies carries one potentially important flaw: Not all of the Hall of Famers listed on the letter knew about it before it was sent.
Jim Trotter of NFL Network reports that some of the players listed in the letter “did not see the letter beforehand, nor did they know of the threat to boycott” the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. If this is true, the Hall of Famers who didn’t authorize the letter should say so; indeed, they should want to say so. Otherwise, their names have been misappropriated by someone hoping to create the impression that there will be a mass boycott of Gold Jackets on the weekend when men wearing Gold Jackets are important aspects of the overall pomp and circumstance.
The letter has Eric Dickerson’s name under “sincerely,” identifying Dickerson as the “Chairman” of the “Hall of Fame Board.” Listed below Dickerson’s name are various “Board Members.”
MDS raised the possibility that the letter wasn’t expressly endorsed by each name on it due to the fact that Carl Eller’s name was misspelled. Also, the fact that Deion Sanders and Kurt Warner still collect sizable checks from the NFL for broadcasting services would tend to make them far less likely to undermine one of NFL Network’s most important broadcasting weekends. If anything, any employee of NFL Network has a clear bias in favor of propping up Hall of Fame weekend and, in turn, neutralizing any threats to it.
Dickerson, who clearly supports the effort, would seem to be the key to understanding the context and the procedures used to develop the letter. Maybe some of the “Board Members” simply didn’t attend the meeting at which the decision to send the letter was discussed.
Regardless, it appears that at least one Hall of Famer has realized the value of as many Hall of Famers showing up for Hall of Fame weekend as possible. It’s a point that may have been crystallized by the Hall of Fame’s unreasonable reaction to the decision of new Hall of Famer Terrell Owens to not attend this year’s ceremonies.