Speed Kills – A Flash of Light. A Puff of Smoke. Then Gone.
After that sweetheart Terrell Owens fisted the Canton Football Hall of Fame and the elder statesmen of the once wonderful All-American Football Conference and the American and National Football Leagues, what has been simmering for some two decades has busted out into a full, escalating, erupting boil: Why Isn’t Cliff Branch in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Got-dammit?!!!
The Great Cliff Branch Is Awesome Video | Watch and Weep at the Injustice
In the Catholic tradition of the sins of omission – The sinniest of sins, No? – that Cliff Branch isn’t in the Hall is a spiritual felony. Aggravated and in the first degree.
Moreover, that Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, and Terrell Owens have made it to Canton – (where, contrary to popular belief, they do not speak Cantonese) – the Great Clifford Branch, WHO HAS MORE RINGS THAN ALL THREE COMBINED!!! (as if three exclamations markers are enough) – is a blotch on a blight in a swarm of plague, a pestilence on the gridiron and its culture and shame on the Hall of Fame. (Don’t get me started on Jim Plunkett’s omission while one-big-win Joe Willy Namath?… – Ah, fuggetaboutit.) – Criminy, that Jerry Jones is in the “Pro Football Hall of Fame” ahead of Cliff Branch is pathetic enough. – But Terrell effing Owens?
With all due Namaste to Fred Biletnikoff, Dave Casper, and Ken Stabler – ALL OF WHOM ARE TO BE ADORED – none would be in the once-hallowed Hall were it not for the deep threat that was Clifford B, the first true deep threat in the NFL (with all due respect to Otis Taylor and Charlie Joiner) that allowed the floating Silver and Gold HOF ‘possession’ receivers to make seven-yard catches then six-yard runs because Speed himself – Cliff Branch, Speed Kills – was running deep-route decoy, taking a corner back and free safety tandem long while Freddy B and Ghost were doing button-hooks and slants.
And then, even still and nevertheless, while defensive schemes and secondaries often kept Cliff Branch covered , on numerous, various, and many occasions, Ken Stabler’s Crimson-Tide toned left arm could just as easily flick a forty-yarder to number 21 on the fly and possibly cum likely score for six.
What?! You gonna wait until Mr. Branch has left this plane, like you did Ken Stabler, before you honor the man’s greatness? – Shame on all y’all yellow-jackets.
Cliff Branch was money before money could run. And he didn’t even bother wearing knee pads.