Talk of Fame Network
It’s fashionable to give the great defensive lines in football history nicknames. There was the Fearsome Foursome. The Sack Exchange. The Purple People Eaters.
It’s not often that an offensive line has been christened with a nickname. But if a blocking front is worthy of a nickname, it’s worthy of being declared the greatest offensive line in the history of the NFL.
That’s what our voters decided in this week’s poll, voting the Washington Redskins and their Hogs of the Joe Gibbs era the best set of blockers the game has ever seen -- and by a wide margin. The Redskins received 95 percent of the vote to trounce the 1960s Packers, 1970s Raiders and 1990s Cowboys at the ballot box just as easily as they trounced the 1982 Dolphins, 1987 Broncos and 1991 Bills on the field in Super Bowls.
The Hogs received a staggering 95 percent of the vote – the most lopsided victory of the 14 polls the Talk of Fame Network has posted to date. The Cowboys were next with three percent vote while the Packers and Raiders barely pushed the needle at one percent.
Gibbs won his Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks and three different running backs. But there was consistency up front where center Jeff Bostic and left tackle Joe Jacoby started every game. Raleigh McKenzie started two Super Bowls and Hall of Famer Russ Grimm the first one. Mark May, Mark Schlereth and George Starke were among the other blockers who plugged in as Hogs.
The Talk of Fame’s Clark Judge cast his vote for the Packers.
“They have two Hall of Famers (Forrest Gregg and Jim Ringo) and should have a third (Jerry Kramer),” Judge said. “You don't win six championships in eight years with sub-par lines, and the Packers had the best in the business.
“When people talk about those teams they start with the Power Sweep, and it was led by Kramer -- a member of the NFL's 75th anniversary team. I know the Raiders of the 1970s had the best left side in history, but they won one Super Bowl. The Packers won numerous championships because Lombardi understood what others did not -- It's what’s up front that counts.”
The Talk of Fame’s Ron Judge cast his vote for the Raiders.
“Who else had a Hall of Fame left side (Art Shell, Gene Upshaw) and Hall of Fame center (Jim Otto) side-by-side-by-side for five years (70-74),” Borges said, “plus a right side nearly as dominating that included a future gospel singer at right tackle in Henry Lawrence?”
Nonetheless, the people have spoken – and their voice was heard loud and clear.
It's the Hogs.