Will Devin Hester be a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

The Jumbotrons installed as part of the Soldier Field makeover are becoming more than just visual aids for fans.

Credit stadium AV operators with having a sense of video “trash talking,” replaying the Devin Hester punt return for a touchdown during a late timeout, much to obvious irritation of Detroit Lions players waiting to resume play.

And Hester, by that time out of the game with some illness, may be the one benefiting most from the video screens situated at both ends of Soldier Field. While the poor Lions had to sit through a (for them) low-light moment, Hester not only enjoys the replays, but also makes use of the screens during his returns.

Check out Hester’s comments in an NFL Network interview, in which he says, "Once I get past the 50, my eyes go up to that Jumbotron. I'm watching to see who is chasing me and how far they are from me," Hester says.

And one more thing about Hester...

Bob Costas devoted his halftime essay on NBC’s broadcast of the Sunday night New England-NY Jets game to Hester, specifically adding his voice to those advocating Hester’s eventual inclusion into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bob notes that right now, kicker Jan Stenurud (Kansas City, Minnesota) is the only pure special-teamer in the Hall. Ray Guy has never had the support to become the first punter-only inducted.

When Hester’s eligibility occurs in the years after his retirement, the debate won’t involve his receiver skills or accomplishments (although those will help, just as being even a part-time position player will for the first designated hitter to make it from Major League Baseball.

“He'd make it for stuff like this,” Costas says over a video of a Hester kick return. “And when somebody's the best the game has ever seen at what they do, really, how can you keep him out?”

Answer: You can’t. One of the criteria for enshrinement is whether you were a dominant player in your era at your position or for the game. Hester dominant? Just ask any special-teams coach/coordinator who has schemed, usually unsuccessfully, to stop Hester.

Click here to order Devin Hester’s proCane Rookie Card.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus