When you talk busts in association with Arizona sports you usually think of draft picks or players who falter in big moments and the cheerleaders who root them on. The last two weeks have been the exception to that rule for a few larger than life reasons.
The first was the election of Randy Johnson to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the subsequent announcement that he’d enter Cooperstown wearing the Arizona Diamondbacks ‘A’. It’s the most talked about hat since Pharrell Williams at the Grammys and yet somehow more controversial.
Many around the interwebs have argued that the Big Unit’s best years were spent in the Northwest rather than the Southwest (Sorry Montreal and Houston). The problem is, the stats and domination don’t back up the assertion. While his time as a Mariner was impressive, the fact remains that four of his five Cy Youngs came in Arizona. Not to mention a World Series win — including his legendary 9th inning in Game 7– a World Series MVP and a perfect game. Plus, he did all of that in Arizona in his mid-to-late 30s.
Fans, maybe even you, may fondly remember Johnson for he and Seattle’s improbable defeat of the New York Yankees in the 1995 playoffs. It was a great moment in his career but it was that, a moment. The dominant moments of his career came as a member of the Diamondbacks. Oh, and he also gave us one of the most searchable YouTube clip not involving a Kardashian ever.
The second reason the Valley should have a hall of fame mindset right now is the looming decision on whether or not Kurt Warner will be enshrined in Canton.
NFL Insider Peter King during his weekly visit on ‘The Brad Cesmat Show’ said there are two things standing in the way of Warner getting the call from the hall. One is the brevity of his greatness and the other is the field up for election.
It’s tough to argue the talent eligible in this year’s class. As King mentions, names like Charles Haley and Will Sheilds are on the list. But the brief nature of Warner’s success is where I take issue.
Warner’s career is the kind of story Hollywood executives would go all Frank Underwood and push their lover onto train tracks to get their hands on. His fairy-tale ascension from bag boy to Super Bowl champion is in and of itself worthy of being in the Hall. That’s before you consider that he fell from grace again on the way from the St. Louis to New York City — well, really the swamps of Jersey– and redeemed himself by taking the laughingstock of the NFL at the time, the Cardinals, to the Super Bowl.
If that isn’t a Hall of Fame resume, then shut down Canton — the entire city not just the hall — and open up a Super Wal-Mart because there is nothing sacred anymore.
For at least the next few months the Valley should stop associating the word bust with the likes of Garrison Hearst, Travis Lee, Kevin Kolb and the like and instead association it with Johnson and Warner because, with a little luck, both with have their busts in their respective hall of fames before the calendar turns to September.