they refused to give the Seniors Committee nominee the necessary votes to carry him into Canton.
Well, here he comes again, just five years later, the Seniors Committee feeling strongly enough about his credentials that it did not hesitate to bring him back so soon in hopes of the Pro Football Hall of Fame righting that egregious wrong.
So here I was Thursday night having dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, and by no means sports idiots. He played a little ball in college and even did some coaching. She, come on, knowing me and my dad, had no choice but to get with it when it came to sports, and even coached a little junior high basketball.
And they asked me an innocent question about Bob Hayes. Might as well have asked Oprah about Obama.
No kidding, for the next 20 minutes, and who knows, maybe I bored the tears out of them, but I began telling stories about Bob Hayes, from winning two gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to his football playing days at Florida A&M to his rookie year with the Cowboys to his unbridled speed he brought to the NFL and even to his 10-month stay in prison on a narcotics conviction back in 1979 Dallas that would have brought him no more than a misdemeanor probation today.
And I realized, you know what? They had not heard these stories, not the one about how he won the 100-meter gold in Tokyo wearing the borrowed - and wrong size shoe - on his left foot; how he creamed the French team in the 4 x 100-meter relay, coming from way behind on the final leg to smoke the field in a timed 8.6 with the running start; not how he really didn't play wide receiver at Florida A&M, but was part of a three-man backfield with Willie Galimore and Charlie Ward, the dad of the Heisman-winning Charlie Ward; not the one about his Cowboys' record 95-yard touchdown catch or his 246-yard receiving day or his four-touchdown game, all still club records; and really not how he embarrassed all those defensive backs in man coverage, to the point teams resorted to using an unheard of two guys to cover him, and sometimes even three if you counted the linebacker chipping him, too.
So I told them a few more. The one Pat Summerall relayed to me a few weeks back when I asked him who was the fasted player in the game when he played, from 1952 through 1961, and he surprisingly told me, "Jim Brown."
Jim Brown? Pat, I thought he was more of a bruiser.
"He was," Summerall said in his patented understated manner, "but he was fast, too."
Summerall told the story about how all the guys wanted to race Brown at the Pro Bowl, and he'd tell 'em they needed to put something down, to make it worth his while to race them. They did, "and no one could beat him," Summerall said.
So did anyone race Hayes at these Pro Bowls?
"Un-uh," Summerall said. "No one wanted to."
Then I found this one while doing my research in the Cowboys scrapbooks from 1965, a story by Steve Perkins in the Dallas Times Herald, a few days after the rookie pulled in eight catches (a Cowboys rookie record he now shares with Jason Witten) for 177 yards and two touchdowns - one an 82-yarder. Perkins was writing about how teams were going to have to rough him up at the line of scrimmage to contain his world-record speed:
They will "shoot the sherbet" to him. Wrack him up a little bit at the start of his pass patterns. It's a rare thing when a team is forced into double coverage on a receiver on the weak side - the opposite side from which the formation is aligned strong.
Shoot the sherbet?
He would go on to suggest how defenses might start bumping him with a linebacker or maybe blind-side him with a safety while all the time leaving a cornerback over the top, hence adopting zone coverages. And remember, back in those days, as long as the ball wasn't in the air, defensive players could have their way with a receiver, including head-slaps at the line of scrimmage.
Then I discovered this one told by Gaither, the man Brandt said convinced him Hayes was a football player more so than a trackman, and that his uncommon speed would