BUFFALO (N.Y.) — Bruce Smith has never had a problem talking to Tony Boselli and is eager for the left tackle in his ranks as a member of The Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Boselli's supporters have a different story, and they make various claims when arguing for the former.Induction of linemen in February was delayed by the NFL's career leader for sacks, who was unhappy about it.
Smith stated that Tony and he are cool to The Associated Press, adding that they had spoken by phone to clear any confusion.
“Tony is my best friend and I don't have any beef with him.” Smith said that he hoped and wished Tony would enjoy the process. “But, I needed to address several supporters of his campaign because it set bad precedents.”
Smith refers to the eyebrows that he raised, and the “Hall of Fame feud headlines” that he generated after posting an in-depth note on Tuesday to his Instagram account.
Smith wrote, “On the other hand, I'm quite honored to be considered as the gold standard by which an opponent's game can being measured to determine his qualification for the HOF.” Smith finished with 200 sacks in a 19-year career with the majority of that time spent with the. “But, on a deeper level, it is a terrible precedent for me and other HOFers to negatively zero in upon a standing member in the Hall's play to validate the candidacy.
Smith is displeased with the way Boselli's supporters focuses on one game. Jacksonville's victory over Buffalo in AFC wild-card round 1996 was the only game in which comparisons between the two players were made. Boselli was unable to score three tackles that season and put quarterback pressures on the NFL Defensive Player-of-the Year.
Smith considered the argument to be out of bounds or “underhanded” because it pits a Hall of Fame nominee against a Hall of Fame member. Smith said that a player's entire work should be considered, and not just one.
Smith stated, “Statements made to address, disparage, or attack a sitting member of Pro Football Hall of Fame in this fashion are unacceptable.” This must be stopped immediately to prevent it from happening again.
Smith feared that a precedent might be set, which could lead to Hall of Fame members having to speak out against induction candidates. Smith stated that he did not express his concerns until after the voting had ended.
Smith stated, “I didn't want to place my thumb on the scale during the voting process.” “Publicly, we don’t say anything negative or sexist about any candidate.”
Boselli was a HOF finalist many times before he received enough votes to be inducted. On Aug. 6, Boselli will be inducted in the Hall of Fame in Canton (Ohio), along with Cliff Branch and safety LeRoy Butler, official Art McNally, Sam Mills, linebacker Richard Seymour, coach Dick Vermeil, and Bryant Young.
Boselli went to five Pro Bowls, was selected as a first-team All-Pro three times, was a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and allowed 15½ sacks in 91 games.
Boselli stated that he has the utmost respect and admiration for Bruce Smith in a statement to The Associated Press. “He is one of the best players to ever play the sport and one of several men that I competed against throughout my career. All the games that I played are available on tape. Much has been written about how my shoulder injury led to the end of my career. That's all I have to say.
Boselli was an admirable figure to Smith who introduced Boselli at NFL Honors February 2022 as part of the 2022 Hof class.
Smith commented on his post and said that those who criticized him for it did not grasp what he meant.
“I won't comment on anyone who wants to make headlines by making a statement about his campaign to supporters. Smith stated that Smith's letter speaks for itself. “That's all I have to say on the subject. Tony and me are cool. I will be there for Tony's Class of 2022. That's all.