Bennie Blades was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame this past Saturday, joining Ted Hendricks and Don Bosseler as the only Hurricanes to receive such an honor.
Blades absolutely deserved it. He was a two-time All-American and a flat out menace in the secondary, leading the nation in interceptions in 1986 and helping Miami win the national title in 1987 in a year he was also given the Jim Thorpe Award. In a lot of ways, he was the guy who really started UM's run of sick talent in the secondary.
Here's to hoping Blades induction Saturday will start another run -- one of Canes getting invited into the Hall. How in the world does a program that has won five national championships and produced the level of talent UM has put into the NFL have just three guys in the Hall of Fame? Better yet, how is Blades the only Cane so far to receive an invite in the era since Miami first began winning national titles in 1983?
Like a good teammate and Cane at heart, Blades pointed that out Saturday in Jeff Shain's story. And then, perhaps, pointed out the reason: ``I want to get people to realize we're not bad people. We've been given a bad rap over all these years, but to know us is to love us.''
Great players, bad rap or not, should always be graded for what they did on the field. I've always been of the opinion Pete Rose deserves to be in the baseball Hall of Fame for what he did as a player and not the gambling he did as a manager. UM's football greats deserve to be honored too. But who deserves to get in next?
Blades mentioned Michael Irvin, Bernie Kosar, Jim Kelly and Chuck Foreman. My vote would go to Vinny Testaverde, the 1986 Heisman Trophy winner (first Cane to do it) and NFL veteran of more than 20 seasons. But there are plenty more deserving. Who do you think deserves the next call from the Hall?
How about Jerome Brown? Steve Walsh? Ottis Anderson? This ought to be a good debate. I'll be back Tuesday with something fresh. You guys need to give me a day now that I'm officially back on the job. But for now, hopefully, this will keep you chirping.