Go to www.fanschoice.com to vote for the 2010 Hall of Fame class today!
[Ed. note: As I
bragged about informed you yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview three NFL Hall of Famers before Sunday's game at Lambeau Field. The interview group consisted of about 10-12 media members. Of course in my case, I use the term "media member" in the loosest sense possible--I'll be the first to admit that I was just a lucky blogger with a new digital voice recorder. We split up into smaller groups on stage before the public event and had a chance to rotate around to each Hall of Famer to ask some questions. Not all of the questions below were asked by me, but I did ask most of them listed for each interview. Here's the second interview with former Viking great Paul Krause:]
What do you think about the fans getting involved in the Hall of Fame vote?
Well first of all, they've never been involved. And I think Van Heusen is doing something that's very good for our sport of football. You have to keep the fans involved in this stuff because they're the ones that are paying the salaries, they're the ones that are supporting everything. So I think it's very important that the fan has a say in who goes into the Hall of Fame. I also think it's about time that the players who are in the Hall of Fame have a say about who's going to go in. It's a program that has just started but I think it's very important for the NFL.
Do you think including the fans in the voting will improve the accuracy of voting to reflect who truly deserves to get in?
That's hard to tell; I really don't know. I'm not saying that anybody in the Hall of Fame right now doesn't deserve to be in there, and I don't know how many should go in every year. In my case, I was out of football for twelve years before I got in. Being the all-time interceptions leader for a career and the record is not even close to being broken, what in the world does it take for some of those sports writers to vote somebody in? You never know what they're thinking.
This is obviously a big game on a lot of levels. With all the emotions on both sides of the ball, how do you see things playing out today?
Well it's definitely a big game for both teams. On one side, you have Aaron Rodgers, who I think is doing a great job at quarterback. I think a big factor will be how well his offensive line can protect against the big pass rush of the Vikings. On the other side of the ball, you have Brett Favre, and I mean, the guy is living the dream right now! He's still playing, and he's getting a lot of criticism for coming back, but he's doing something that every other 40 year old would love to do. So I don't criticize him, I think it's great.
What do you think will be going through Brett's mind as he comes out of the tunnel today?
I think he's going to have fun with it. Every 40 year old ex-football player wishes he was in Favre's position. If he can do it, why not do it? He can still play. He's a great quarterback. I was traded from the Redskins to the Vikings, and when I played the Redskins for the first time, it was fun. I had a great time. I think he's just gonna let it hang out and go with it. I don't think there are going to be any ill feelings one way or the other.
Do you think the debate going on here in the Lambeau parking lot about whether or not Favre's return was a good thing is healthy?
Sure it is! That's what football's all about. That's what sports are all about. You get the fans talking...this is a good thing. This is a great thing for the game of football today. You've got a great day out here, you've got two great football teams. Both of them can win today, and both of them can get beat. The team that probably plays with the least mistakes is gonna win. They both played a great game on Monday night [in Week 4], but I don't know if both teams can do that today. It could be a blowout either way.
Do you think the Green Bay fans will boo Brett? Do you think they should if they do?
I don't think they should boo him. I mean my goodness, he made Green Bay what they are today, along with Bart Starr and everybody else. Why boo a guy? It's not going to affect the guy's way of playing. He's going to come out and do his very best for the Vikings just like he did for the Packers. So what if he's here now for the Vikings. He spent a lot of time here. He won a lot of hearts, broke a lot of hearts, both with the Vikings and Packers fans. So I don't think they should boo him.
You spent a lot of years dominating the defensive backfield in the NFL. Is there anyone currently in the NFL that plays in the defensive backfield that catches your eye as Hall of Fame worthy?
Well, I don't know...I think Darren Sharper is probably the closest player that's playing today to my record, and I think he's about 20 [interceptions] behind me. I don't know if he's going to play long enough to break the record or anything, but I know Darren and I've talked to him several times. He's a good football player. So we'll just wait and see. Some of the younger guys are having good years, but you have to have good years 10, 12, 13, 14 years in a row to get in the Hall of Fame. It takes a while to get in the Hall of Fame.
Thank you very much Mr. Krause.