Jimbo Covert Displays Patience Over Hall of Fame Delay

Jimbo Covert Displays Patience Over Hall of Fame Delay

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Story Courtesy of Sports Illustrated


Jimbo Covert with Harold Carmichael, both Class of 2020 Enshrinees. (Sports Illustrated Photo)

Jimbo Covert waited more than two decades to hear he's going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame so what's another year if he knows he's going in anyway.

It's the reaction Covert had to news late last week that the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for 10 senior members members of the 2020 induction class would be postponed a year right along with the postponement for the regular induction ceremony.

"You know I think it's the right thing to do," Covert told AM-670's Zach Zaidman and Bears game analyst Tom Thayer on Sunday.

The regular induction was to be Aug. 8, 2020, with all 20 inductees of the expanded Centennial Class of 2020 present. The 10 Senior members also were to have a special ceremony for their actual induction Sept. 17 in honor of the actual 100th anniversary date of the NFL.

Now, the plan is for all 20 to be enshrined on Aug. 7, 2021 with the 2021 class to be enshrined on Aug. 8, 2021.

"I think a lot of guys were disappointed with the result but it's the right thing to do," Covert told Thayer and Zaidman. "Physically there's just a lot of thing that are out there when you think about it, people with underlying health conditions and the elderly. And the worst thing that could happen is to bring the family and friends in to celebrate with you.

"But I think it's the right thing to do. I look at it a different way. I just have another year to celebrate. So that will be a lot of fun."

Covert was to go in with Harold Carmichael, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie and the Bears' late Ed Sprinkle as part of the special senior class.

The other members to be enshrined as part of the regular induction class are Steve Atwater, Edgerrin James, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Troy Polamalu, Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.

There will still be a Pro Football Hall of fame ceremony related to 100 years of the NFL this year on Sept. 17 in Canton, in conjunction with the Cleveland Browns-Cincinnati Bengals regular-season game that night in Cleveland.

Covert also paid a compliment to his quarterback, Jim McMahon, while discussing the Bears' offense under Ed Hughes.

"I think they let Jim do some things that maybe they didn't agree with right away, with the audibling and things like that, because I think McMahon is the smartest guy I ever played with.

"I mean, he could do things. He wasn't the greatest physically but mentally I think football-smart, he was the smartest guy I ever played with."

Covert retired in 1990 after an eight-year career and 110 starts.

The sixth pick overall in the 1983 draft, the compliment was high praise considering Covert also played with Dan Marino in college at Pittsburgh.

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