Unbelievable. On Thursday night, the NFL announced its 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. However, there is a glaring name missing from the list. Why is Devin Hester, the greatest returner of all time, not a first-ballot Hall of Famer?
Yes, the list is incredible. But why would a player who helped change the return game entirely not be in the Hall of Fame from the jump? Sure, Hester still has a chance to make it next year, especially after being named a finalist in his first season. Still, the former Chicago Bears returner needs to be in Canton, Ohio.
It’s widely said that the best players, no matter what they do, should be in Canton. If that is the case, then why wouldn’t the single greatest returner to grace the game of football fall under that same consideration? There are plenty of deserving names, but the fact that Devin Hester didn’t make it on the first ballot is ludicrous.
Hester’s Hall of Fame Resume
Check out the numbers. Just look at any stat sheet from Hester’s career. He had four seasons of at least three total return touchdowns, he shattered every total return record out there, and he single-handedly became one of the most exciting players in professional football history. His blazing speed, incredible instincts, and flair for the dramatic made it must-watch television when opposing special teams units trotted onto the field.
In addition, the four aforementioned seasons apparently were the only seasons during which teams felt safe kicking the football to him. Hester even admitted it himself. Teams only kicked to the electrifying returner for about three years during his career.
Imagine if teams kicked to him his entire career? Imagine if football changed the rules to encourage freak athletes like Hester to return kicks? Kick returns are some of the most exciting plays in the game of football. When Hester took to the field, he immediately became the center of attention when rocking the famous No. 23 in the city of Chicago.
What’s On Tap Next?
For starters, some Bears fans might riot knowing Devin Hester’s name was left off the final ballot for the 2022 class. However, on a more serious note, now we wait. Hester certainly has a chance to make it on the list in 2023, but it’s still baffling that he didn’t make the cut in his first year considering his positional dominance.
Devin Hester, you are ridiculous, and you need to be in Canton, Ohio before your run of eligibility is over.
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