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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Martin Fennelly Columns

Fennelly: Hall snub would be unjust for ex-Buc Lynch

TAMPA — Enough with the snubs already.

Marty St. Louis being left off the Canadian Olympic team, with his own guy in charge, that was big.

We'll bypass Tuesday's Baseball Hall of Fame announcement (Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa way out, Palmeiro gone) because those aren't snubs. That's justice.

On to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bucs Territory.

Today is cutdown day, or night, seeing as NFL Network will not make the announcement until 9 p.m. They'd do it at 10, but “Eric Curry: A Football Life” premieres.

Today is when the 2014 Hall candidates are reduced from 25 to 15.

Derrick Brooks will make the cut. He'll get his gold jacket this summer.

Tony Dungy will make the cut. His road to Canton isn't assured, but he'll make it.

Which brings us to John Lynch.

No more snubs.

John Lynch belongs.

Lynch, one of the all-time bell ringers, needs to have his name called tonight.

A year ago, in his first year of eligibility, he didn't make the cut from 25 to 15.

He belongs. His name belongs in that room in New York the day before the Super Bowl, when electors hash it all out.

John Lynch for Canton.

I'll make the case all day and night.

So will Warren Sapp. No. 99 has his HOF bust, jacket and ring.

Now he wants a reunion.

“As far as me, Brooks and Lynch, the triplets, no doubt about it,” Sapp said. “John Lynch is the second-best strong safety to ever play this game, behind Ronnie Lott. They talk about the triplets all the time in Dallas — Emmitt, Aikman and Irvin. Well, these are my triplets, and we belong.”

Sapp, Brooks, Lynch.

No one argues over Brooks. But Lynch is a different case. Safeties have a hard time making the Hall. There are only nine in Canton.

I say they're under-appreciated.

Lynch's name needs to be in that room. People will argue he wasn't a ball hawk, fewer interceptions than other guys, or wasn't Ed Reed.

He was John Terrence Lynch — and he belongs.

I saw him play.

Fifteen seasons of all he had, which was better than anyone back there where he played.

Nine Pro Bowls, including four with Denver after the Bucs unceremoniously dumped him.

He came to the Bucs when they played out of a rat trap, and he helped make history. Quarterback smarts, hit like a linebacker. We know how many teeth he rattled and worlds he rocked. Sapp up front, Brooks funneling the play back inside, and No. 47 on the job — one of the great combos in defensive history.

Can we really quantify how many balls weren't caught because Lynch was out there, on patrol, and receivers didn't want to go near him? Don't give me this Tampa 2 stuff, that Lynch was a product of a system, because he did it in Denver, and those Pro Bowl trips weren't by reputation alone.

John Lynch belongs.

He should be on the list of 15. That the Hall limits it to five modern-day candidates, a ridiculous rule, works against Lynch and others. There are those, Sapp included, who think Lynch's year is 2017. Others point to a thinner candidate class down the road ...

Hold it right there.

John Terrence Lynch belongs, thick or thin.

Enough with the snubs already.

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