John Lynch Is A Hall Of Famer; Year 8 Ends The Wait

February 6th, 2021

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BY IRA KAUFMAN

The wait is over for John Lynch. For Rondé Barber, it’s just beginning.

Barber will have his day in the Hall of Fame selection room, but Lynch will be celebrating his big day this August, surrounded by family, friends, former teammates and legions of Buc fans who make their way to Canton.

For two weeks, Lynch has known that he is one of five modern-day candidates who will be enshrined, joining Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson and Alan Faneca.

New Hall of Famer John Lynch, Buccaneers Ring of Honor member and the 49ers’ general manager. ”

That’s quite a class, one of the best in the Hall’s 58-year history.

In his fourth year of eligibility, Barber finally advanced to the group of 15 finalists. It shouldn’t have taken that long, but Barber is likely to return as a candidate for the Class of 2022 and his day is coming because he just might be the most complete cornerback this league has ever seen.

Lynch has been in ecstasy since Hall of Fame President David Baker flew out to his California home and knocked on the front door on Jan. 24.

“I almost sank to my knees when I saw him,” Lynch told me. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Thirteen seasons have passed since Lynch took off his NFL uniform for the final time. Soon, he will be fitted for a gold jacket.

For two days, Linda Lynch knew her husband was getting a bust in Canton. She was sworn to secrecy, but the Hall called her because Baker wanted to make sure John Lynch was home on that fateful Sunday.

So for 48 agonizing hours, Lynch’s wife stayed mum. She didn’t want to spoil the surprise and when Baker showed up with his film crew, John Lynch found himself totally unprepared.

That never happened on a football field.

Within an hour, head coach Kyle Shanahan, CEO Jed York and other members of the organization began a steady procession to the home of the 49ers GM, touching off a raucous celebration.

Yes, it had been worth the wait.

For each of the past eight years, I presented Lynch as a Hall of Fame nominee. This time around, there was a different level of optimism as 48 selectors met virtually on a Jan. 19 Zoom call instead of congregating in person on the day before the Super Bowl.

Following my 5-minute presentation, Lynch received support from 10 additional voters, including new selectors Tony Dungy and Bill Polian. That level of widespread advocacy is rare in a Hall of Fame meeting, generating a positive vibe.

But you never know.

Now, it’s official — John Lynch finally broke through after years of disappointment.

I can’t wait to head up to Canton in August to witness Lynch’s induction speech. You can bet that Dungy, the Glazer family and many former teammates from Tampa Bay and Denver will be there to cheer on the 9-time Pro Bowl safety.

Some Bronco fans will undoubtedly make the trek, but they will be drowned out by Buc supporters who will never forget the key role Lynch played on the best defense of its era.

Lynch joins Warren Sapp (2013) and Derrick Brooks (2014) as modern-day Bucs in the Hall. If, as John Madden suggests, those busts talk to each other at night, you will soon hear Tampa Bay’s three amigos chanting in unison:

POUND THAT ROCK.

Next Up

Simeon Rice is still waiting for an opportunity to have his compelling case heard in the Hall of Fame room. The good news is Barber just made the big leap from one of 25 semifinalists to the final 15. I’d be surprised if he’s not back in the room where it happens next year, when the Super Bowl shifts to Los Angeles.

The more you look at Barber’s unique career, the more there is to marvel at. He should gain more traction in 2022, when the group of first-year eligibles is led by DeMarcus Ware, a 9-time Pro Bowl linebacker who averaged 11.5 sacks during a 12-year career.

Lynch will be in the stadium Sunday, introduced before the game along with his fellow inductees. The ovation should be long and loud for an iconic Buccaneer who will be the first to tell you it was worth the wait.

Next stop, Canton.

It’s Ira! Stop in and ask for Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, for a JoeBucsFan discount. He will help you personally in person or by phone and email.

35 Responses to “John Lynch Is A Hall Of Famer; Year 8 Ends The Wait”

  1. David Says:

    YES!!!!

    Watching it right now!

  2. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Fantastic!!!!

    Congratulations John!!!

  3. The Man Says:

    YESSSSSS!!!!!
    Respect for that Bucs Defense.
    The best defense EVER!

  4. The Man Says:

    Now it’s time for #20.

  5. David Says:

    Fantastic!!!
    He gets to be introduced at the Super Bowl, in his home stadium, with the Buccaneers playing!
    Unreal.

  6. Bucy Says:

    Way to go Ira!!! Your persistence has paid off 47 in the hall!

  7. David Says:

    Next up Barber then Rice!

    Then the last decade with no Buccaneers…
    But I imagine sometime in the 2030’s Michael Evans will be going in

  8. Just Sayin’ Says:

    Well deserved. Congratulations #47

  9. Ocala Says:

    Well deserved
    Ronde definitely deserves to be in too

  10. Ocala Says:

    Bucs QB will go in five years after he retires in 2035.

  11. DaBux Says:

    Finally. Now Ronde and Simeon. It’s time for that great team, that defensive era to be recognized.

    GO BUCS!

  12. Wesley Says:

    Then surely Barber gets in soon.

  13. Pirate [email protected] Says:

    Well deserved.

  14. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    John has always been an idol of mine. I played and always tried to crush people like him in football. Congrats #47 you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame! Go Bucs!!

  15. OHBucFan Says:

    No one i enjoyed watching play more.

  16. Bangkok Buc Says:

    Congrats #47
    Great work Ira!!

  17. TampaTown Says:

    I purposely didn’t watch this year because every time I do it doesn’t happen. Yes I’m a superstitious Cuban girl. This article brought a tear to my eye thinking about how emotional it’s going to be on the field tomorrow. My goodness this like a fairy tale ✨

  18. Drunkinybor Says:

    Man I’m so happy for him and us. I was pissed off when we let him walk into free agency. Bucs thought his neck was toast and couldn’t play anymore. That was a mistake. But he a Buc through and through and now our 4 hall of famer!! Were starting to catch up. So far 3 HOFs from our great defense. Think about how many are on our current team. The lights are bright!!

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    2002 Bucs defense is the best passing defense in the history of the NFL, and easily one of the best defenses in NFL history – and they played real competition, they didn’t pad their stats like the overhyped 2000 Ravens shutting out an expansion team twice a year.

  20. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard needs a reference for a job interview

  21. ModHairKen Says:

    Congratulations, Ira. You delivered!

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Hopefully Rondé doesn’t take you quite as long…

    I love Lynch, but Barber > Lynch. All day. Especially in today’s NFL

  23. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I hope it’s ok to share this story about Lynch. I do live event production and after John was cut from the Bucs and went to Denver, the next time he came back to Tampa, he did it to speak at a charity event. I was running camera. John got choked up saying he never wanted to leave Tampa, and that he was a Buc forever. Bruce Allen stupidly let him go, but I’m so happy for him today. Great player, great man and very deserved that he gets a gold jacket.

  24. TampaTown Says:

    I went to Canton for Sapp and Brooks inductions into the HOF. Cant wait to go for Lynch.

  25. FortMyersDave Says:

    Awesome! Great work Ira. You did a helluva job! Next year it will be Ronde’s turn!

  26. Buczilla Says:

    Great job Ira, Lynch was certainly deserving. Lynch got in 8 years too late, due to rampant cronyism, voters that don’t deserve their media credentials, and the “holier than thou” sentiment that sadly permeates through far too many folks that live in the Northeast. Better late than never.

    Barber and Rice got screwed again in favor of lesser playes, but that is what I have come to expect. Maybe Dungy and Polian can team with Ira, plus a few others to bring some credibility to the process. 😜

  27. Swampbuc Says:

    Way to go IRA!

    Ronde is next!

    Then Sim.

  28. Alan Collingwood Says:

    About f—ing time for #47!!! Congratulations, Mr John Lynch!!!

  29. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Congrats Mr Lynch! Great job Ira! You stayed the course, pounded the table so many times it began to buckle…mission accomplished. Mr Barber is next and he will make it very soon. His numbers are just too good to ignore. What a great start to Super Bowl Sunday! Let’s go Bucs!

  30. adam from ny Says:

    ira X lynch = hof

  31. adam from ny Says:

    ira i think john owes you one jumbo extra lean pastrami on rye with mustard, some half sour pickles and a dr. browns soda of your choice (just not celery)

    #LynchCertainlyDeservesTheNod #GoodJobIra

    #CongratsToBothOfYa #RondeIsNext

  32. geno711 Says:

    Lynch touched my family. My nephew received the one of his family legacy scholarships back in 2009 or 2010. He still runs the program in Tampa and Denver.

    I always will have great respect for him as a player and a community man.

  33. Court XXXVII Says:

    Ira, you did it — persistently and passionately. Knowing you were the presenter, none of us, John included, really ever gave up hope. Cheers to John!! And cheers to Ira!! Seeing #47 in his newly-donned gold jacket for the very first time in his old stadium seems fated. It’s moving. Let’s go get a Super Bowl win for him, you and all of us longtime Buc’s fans. This feels magical, too.

  34. gracelivin Says:

    Great to see my ALL-TIME FAVORITE #47 John Lynch get that well deserved call to the Hall. Now to complete the weekend sweep. can’t wait to hear…BUCS WIN, BUCS WIN…FIRE THOSE CANONS! GO BUCS

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    Sporting my John Lynch jersey to watch the game today…

    Thanks Ira for all that you do.