Devin Hester’s professional football career started and ended in Chicago, but the question that remains … Will he end up in Canton, Ohio?
Indeed Hester’s retirement starts the clock on a debate and decision as to whether or not the greatest return specialist in the history of football should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it’s something we’d like to explore.
To be sure, we’ll have plenty of time to mull it over – and surely the conversation will pick up again in August when former teammate Brian Urlacher officially goes in – HOWEVER, there’s really no time like the present, especially after Matt Forte called for Hester to get first-ballot status: “He changed the game. I mean, literally, changed the game,” Forte said, via JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “If you can affect the game like that, he’s gotta be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The definition of a Hall of Famer is somebody who changed the game – like defenses and coaches had to carve out certain time to assess that particular guy. There’s not going to be another Devin Hester ever, I believe.”
Bears Chairman George McCaksey tacked on his own sentiments on an emotional day, in which he revealed Hester’s hope to retire as a Bear first came in 2014 when he and the team were parting ways. McCaskey expressed how much it meant to him to hear that from Hester. Now, McCaskey is on the front lines of the politicking that will (hopefully) get Hester to the Hall.
“Earlier this year, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee did the right thing and voted to induct Devin’s teammate Brian Urlacher in his first year of eligibility,” McCaskey said. “We’re confident that in time, the selection committee will do the right thing and have Devin take his place among the game’s immortals in Canton.”
So what does Hester have to say about all this?
“Sometimes you gotta put guys in the Hall of Fame for being the most dangerous person on the field,” Hester said. No argument here.