Chicago Cardinals back Marshall Goldberg and Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Emmitt Thomas have been selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2008.
Goldberg and Thomas will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2008 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on February 2, 2008, the day before Super Bowl XLII in Arizona. To be elected, Goldberg and Thomas must each receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Board of Selectors can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven during next February’s meeting.
Goldberg, a multi-purpose threat, was one of the premier players of his era. He starred as a two-way player for the Cardinals from 1939-1943 and following World War II from 1946 to 1948.
In 1947, Goldberg teamed with Hall of Famer Charley Trippi to anchor a Cardinals squad that captured the NFL title. That win marked the franchise’s last league championship.
Known for his versatility, Goldberg was equally adept at rushing and receiving on offense, played as an outstanding halfback on defense, and also returned kickoffs. He recorded perhaps his finest individual season in 1941 when he rushed for a career-best 427 yards, tied for the league lead with seven interceptions, averaged 19.6 yards on his 16 receptions, and also led the NFL in kickoff returns for the first of two straight seasons.
Goldberg was previously selected as a senior nominee in 1979.
Thomas starred for 13 seasons (1966-1978) for the Chiefs and recorded 58 career interceptions which he returned for 937 yards and 5 TDs. His career interception total ranked fifth at the time of his retirement and is still fourth best among true cornerbacks.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas intercepted a pass in every season he played except his rookie year. He led the American Football League in interceptions in 1969 with nine steals. Thomas added a second interception title in 1974 when he picked off a team record and a career-high 12 passes.
Thomas was a key component of the Chiefs defense that won AFL titles in 1966 and 1969. He intercepted a pass in each of the Chiefs’ playoff victories in the 1969 postseason that included a pair in the AFL title game against the Oakland Raiders and one in Kansas City’s 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
The Class of 2008 will be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the enshrinement ceremony in early August at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. Tickets for the enshrinement will go on sale in the near future. Sign up today for our free e-newsletter and be the first to know when the tickets go on sale to the public.
Senior Nominees, 1972-2008
All-Time Leading Interceptors
NFL.com – Historical Players: Marshall Goldberg | Emmitt Thomas
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