No, this is not a joke. Raider legend Cliff Branch is among 20 names listed as finalists for the Pro Football Researchers Association 2011 class for enshrinement in the Hall of Very Good.
While not nearly the same honor as being immortalized in Canton at the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Very Good has opened its doors to some of the more overlooked names in the history of the game. Names such as Don Coryell, Alex Karras and Tobin Rote are among those that have been inducted since the Hall of Very Good’s first class in 2003.
Branch certainly has a resume worthy of enshrinement of some kind. While his 4 All-Pro selections and 3 Super Bowl rings might not be good enough for Canton, you’ve got to believe they’re enough for the Hall of Very Good. Among the others up for the dubious honor are former Bengals QB Ken Anderson and onetime Broncos’ coach Lou Saban.
The Hall of Very Good has a 25-year window for retired players that have seemingly no chance in making the cut at Canton. Since Ray Guy is not yet nominated for the Hall of Very Good you’ve got feel that means he still has a shot at the Hall of Fame, though I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.
While Branch will most likely never get the chance to sport one of those yellow blazers, he’s already in very elite company as one of the greatest Raiders of all-time. No disrespect to the Hall of Very Good but for Branch I’m sure that being a Raider great is slightly more prestigious than being acknowledged as very good. None the less JBB wishes Branch the best of luck in the upcoming vote for the 2011 class of the Hall of Very Good.