For several years now I have been on the “George Young belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame” bandwagon. Apparently, I have company.
George Young is a name that even middle-aged NFL fans might not recognize. They might not even realize, in fact, that the New York Giants -- winners of four Super Bowls in the past 30 years -- were a joke in the 1970s before Young was hired as general manager in 1979. Young professionalized the Giants' operation, built a roster that included first-round draft choices Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor, and promoted Bill Parcells to coach in 1983. Young remained on the job until 1997, when longtime assistant Ernie Accorsi took over and continued Young's legacy. (He also hired current general manager Jerry Reese as a scout.) We don't always know what happens behind the scenes of football teams, nor where true credit should go. But if fellow general managers Ron Wolf and Bill Polian deserve their enshrinements for building franchises -- and they most certainly do -- then it's difficult to argue against Young.
I couldn’t agree more.
Young is the man responsible for turning around a Giants franchise that spent most of the 1960 and ‘70s wandering aimlessly in the NFL wilderness. His impact on the Giants is still felt today. Young helped train Accorsi and hired Reese. He was the GM when Tom Coughlin was an assistant coach with the Giants. His fingerprints remain all over the franchise.
Let’s take nothing away from Wolf and Polian, who deserve to be Hall of Famers. And, yes, I recognize the limits Hall of Fame voters work under. It remains, however, an egregious oversight that Young is not in the Hall.
Unfortunately, it’s possible that his time was so long ago now, and Hall of Fame voting so annually competitive, that this oversight may never be corrected.