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RAVENS CENTRAL

The Kickoff

February 06, 2007|By MIKE PRESTON

John Steadman, the late Baltimore sports columnist, was definitely responsible for Colts tight end John Mackey having a hard time getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Steadman was on the board of selectors for years, and there was always speculation that he didn't vote for Mackey, which made it almost impossible for Mackey to get in. The year before Mackey was inducted in 1992, I wrote a story for The Sun about Mackey not getting enough votes. I interviewed Steadman, then a sports columnist for The Evening Sun. My story quoted Steadman as saying Mackey shouldn't be in because he dropped a lot of passes and didn't have good hands. The next day, Steadman was criticized strongly on talk radio, and the next year he voted in favor of Mackey.

During the voting process, the hometown media representative makes a presentation to the other members of the board of selectors. If he doesn't endorse the candidate strongly, it's almost impossible for that player to get in. Steadman was always the representative in the case of Mackey. I eventually replaced Steadman for five years, and the current Baltimore representative is Scott Garceau.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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