Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson
I wanted to write you to find out if it would be possible for me to try out for the football team this fall at Augustana. I talked to Jim Malner about it and he told me to write to you. I played with Jim in High School.
In High School I played quarterback and defensive halfback. I am 6'2" and weigh 185 pounds. I would like very much to go out for football this fall. I've been running every day and am starting to work out with weights. My coach was Mr. Bill Day if you would like to talk to him. I'll be waiting to hear from you.
Of course, Anderson was selected by the Bengals in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft. His career as a professional quarterback with the Bengals included some Hall of Fame worthy moments. For example, he was a four-time pro bowler. He was the NFL MVP in 1981 (the same year he led the team to the Super Bowl), he was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and he led the NFL in passing in 1974 and 1975.
Of course, as you all know, Anderson is not in the Hall of Fame. Many believe he should be, though. David Kubicki is one guy who's trying to do something about it.
Kubicki has been researching and then doing more research. He has an extremely good case to get Anderson in the Hall of Fame and he's pushing that case in the faces of people who could do something about it.
The bottom line is we sent a 13x19 inch mini-poster format 30 page photo/historical/statistical essay on Kenny Anderson including quotes from countless NFL player he played with and against. Then we sent a testimonial letters, some hand written, from Anthony Muñoz, Cris Collinsworth, Dave Laphanm, Bob Trumpy, Jim Breech, Chuck Studley, Archie Greiffin, Pete Johnson, Mike Brown, Lindy Infante, Tom Dinkel and many others including Ken's Augustana coaches and teammates. These were not just hum-drum letters. These were remarkable, heart-felt testimonials that took these former teammates a long time to write that backed up how great Kenny was as a player and a person who never took credit for anything and essentially made himself small so his teammates would be big -- the most unselfish type of leadership.
Kubicki partnered with somebody he found on You Tube that had an extensive collection of old Bengals game film to create a Ken Anderson Highlight film and then began pushing everything he had the way of people who could make a difference.
Some agree with him. Some don't.
Many believe that Anderson has too many holes in his career, including a stretch of seasons from 1977 to 1980 in which the Bengals were unsuccessful and the fact that he never won a Super Bowl. Kubicki has a response for that as well.
There is no question that Anderson and the Bengals had some "off" years in the middle of his career. I don't think anybody tries to "scaffold" over those years, though. Anderson's career numbers, even with those "lost years" are still staggering. When you elect Joe Namath into the Hall of Fame, you have to "scaffold" over the fact that he lost more games than he won, and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. John Elway had some marginal years. Terry Bradshaw fought for his starting job with John Gilliam. Bob Griese did not have a perfect season; Earl Morrall quarterbacked many of the 1972 Dolphin victories. Dan Fouts' career started poorly.
That is not to say that each one of the aforementioned quarterbacks does not belong in the hall of fame based on their outstanding accomplishments, it is just that every quarterback has merits to be in the hall of fame, and arguments against being in the hall of fame. I just think Anderson's body of work stands up as good as just about any other quarterback in the hall of fame when you look at all the factors.
Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson not only believes that Kubicki has done an outstanding job, but he also believes that his campaign will be a success and Anderson will eventually find himself in the NFL Hall of Fame.
"Well I think Kubicki has done a hell of a job," Hobson said during last week's podcast. "He's blanketed the national media and he's blanketed the voters with all sorts of great material. I think this is as good of a shot as Kenny's ever had probably including when he was a finalist twice in the '90s. That doesn't mean he's going to get in this trip, but I think at some point he will. I think the numbers are so overwhelming that I think he's going to get in. I think Dick LeBeau had to wait, I think 13 years, for the senior committee. I don't think Anderson will have to wait nearly as much as that. I think he's going to get a good run this trip and I think in the next couple of years he'll get it."
If that's the case, and we hope it is, Anderson will be given the gold jacket and he and Anthony Muñoz will be the only former Bengals in the hall of fame. When that happens, he'll stand up in front of an audience and thank his family, friends and fans. He'll also thank David Kubicki.