Tony Boselli, who anchored the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line for seven seasons, missed out on the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the fourth straight year as a finalist.
Once again, the city of Jacksonville is hurting for former Jaguars great Tony Boselli.
For the fourth time in as many tries as a finalist, the former All-Pro tackle was not elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year was considered Boselli’s greatest chance to make the hallowed fraternity given the 100-year anniversary of the NFL and the expanded roster of players who would be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.
Now, it may take a veteran’s committee to bring Boselli, who was part of the All-Decade team for the 1990s, into the brotherhood.
This one stings. Not just for Boselli and the city he helped put on the football map, but the fans who have wondered – some out loud – if there is an anti-Jacksonville bias when it comes to why the Jaguars first pick overall in the 1995 NFL Draft, has not been enshrined yet.
As a writer, it baffles me. As a fan, I am just plain ticked off.
“Finally, I am a lucky man. I have an amazing family and great friends. Really what else does a man need,” Boselli said via Twitter. “I hope one day I am included in the @ProFootballHOF but until then I am good with my amazing family and friends. Love you guys!”
It’s a hard pill for anyone to swallow knowing the other four offensive linemen from the same All-Decade Team of the 1990s has been inducted and there are others who have had a career that could be perceived less than successful. The Jaguars as an organization has not been the most exciting to watch over the last 25 seasons and have failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons, then once in the past decade before that.
Still, this is not about the team Boselli played for, which by the way made the AFC Title game in two of the franchise’s first five seasons of existence. The Hall of Fame is about individual honor, just like Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
While it has never been an issue of Boselli’s dominance on the field – ask Bruce Smith – rather it has been about the length of his career.
“He was one of the best tackles in football during his era but played in just 91 regular season games and six in the postseason. Boselli’s career essentially ended due to shoulder injuries in 2002 after being selected by the Texans in the expansion draft,” writes Justin Barney of news4jax.com.
“But the longevity knock doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, especially with recent inductees like running back Terrell Davis and safety Kenny Easley, both of whom had short careers. Davis played in 78 regular season games over seven years and Easley played in 89 over seven seasons.”
Boselli wasn’t the only Jaguars player who received recognition by the Hall of Fame panel this past season. Fred Taylor, the Jaguars all-time leader in rushing yards, was a semi-finalist. This was the first season Taylor, the team’s first round pick in 1998, made it as a semi-finalist. He spent 11 seasons in Jacksonville, playing the first part of his career with Boselli, who helped open holes for him and the running game.