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Roger Craig - A Fan's Dilemma

by Eric Tellez at cmnpsportsnet@gmail.com

I'd like to start by declaring that Roger Craig was my favorite player growing-up. When you're young you hate to lose more than anything else and Roger Craig never lost. Three Super Bowl wins in 3 tries, 10 playoff appearances in 11 seasons, division title-after-division title. Even when he left the 49ers and went to the Raiders after negotiations fell threw he still seemed to be the one that came out on top.

So why was I not surprised when the Hall of Fame passed him over?

The numbers are there, he was first player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season, should of been a Super Bowl MVP, and was probably the reason why Marshall Faulk became Marshall Faulk and was not drafted as a defensive back. Pro Bowls, MVP, even led the league in receptions in 1985!

Jerry Rice is in, Joe Montana is in, Bill Walsh is in, Roger Craig is out. Oddly enough it makes sense in a way. Craig only had three 1,000 yard seasons and had some pretty mild years in the touchdown department. There was that fumble in the 1990 NFC Championship that ended the 3-peat. (Realistically, the Bills could of caused a lot of problems for the 49ers with Steve Young still being the run first quarterback he was in those days.) Was Roger Craig a good player on a great team that could of used any runningback to catch 3-yard passes? Ricky Watters thrived in the offense a couple of years later after the Dexter Carter project.

The best criteria for the Hall of Fame is this; if you were going to write a history of the league as a novel, could you exclude this player and still have a book? You'd have to have Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Bill Walsh. Roger Craig doesn't have to be in the book for it to make sense. But would any of them of had the success they did if Roger Craig was not as good at his job as he was?

It's a fan's dilemma that I hope will be solved when Craig gets into the Hall of Fame. But I don't see it happening and for some reason, even though it doesn't make sense, I'm not angry.

*thanks for staying with me after the pneumonia and wisdom teeth thing! I'll be back on the regular in a few days - email me at cmnpsportsnet@mail.com to talk 49ers, football, and Hall of Fame!*


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