Why does Tony Boselli deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Well, what do you think of when you think “Hall of Fame player”? I think of someone who was at the top of his position group during his career. Someone who could dominate great opponents and make it look easy. Someone who was seen as the best week in and week out. Someone who shows commitment to his city and his fans. That is what a Hall of Fame player is, and that’s exactly who Tony Boselli is.
Boselli was never the biggest name in the league. He played for an incredibly young team in Jacksonville that had great success during his tenure, but players from that team were consistently underrated around the league. Jacksonville fans think of Boselli as the greatest player in the history of the franchise, but the nationwide perspective may not be that positive. Yet, he still made the 1990s All-Decade team, which features players like John Elway, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and numerous other Hall of Fame players. Clearly, not just anyone can make this list. You make it by being special. You make it by being the very best.
Boselli was arguably better than the other best tackles of his generation. Boselli was drafted within two years of Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace (all three are HOFers already) and competed with these guys to be the best tackle in the NFL. These names are much bigger than Boselli, most likely because their careers were much longer than his and they played in bigger markets, but Boselli was arguably better at times than all of them. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find statistical evidence that this is the case, but he was unarguably one of the best until injuries ruined his career.
Boselli has also made a commitment to the Jacksonville area. He’s lived in the area for over 10 years since his retirement and has been involved with the community ever since. From helping create Team Teal to helping establish Southpoint Community Church to coaching at Episcopal High School, this California kid has made a firm commitment to the city that brought him here over 20 years ago. This part of his Hall of Fame case will probably go unnoticed, but his commitment to Jacksonville should not be overlooked.
Did he make it this year? No. But I can assure you, Tony Boselli’s time in Canton will come. Soon, his bust will be in with the other legends of the NFL. And he’ll have earned it 10 times over.
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