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Cusumano: It's past time to put Dick Vermeil in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Four members of the Greatest Show on Turf are now in the Hall of Fame. It's time for their head coach to join them

CANTON, Ohio — The NFL and Stan Kroenke may have taken away our football team, and they will pay dearly for that, but that is for another day. They can't take away our Hall of Famers. Four from the 1999-2000 Super Bowl team are in now with Isaac Bruce taking his rightful place in Canton this past weekend. Now it's time for No. 5, Dick Vermeil, to join the club. (With Torry Holt not far behind.)

If Jimmy Johnson is a Hall of Famer, so is Vermeil. Vermeil and Johnson both coached in two Super Bowls, but Vermeil won 40 more games in the NFL. Not 20, not 30 but 40 more games. That's a substantial margin.

Vermeil and Bill Parcells are the only coaches in history to take two different teams to Super Bowls and win a division title with three different teams.

Vermeil inherited horrible teams in Philadelphia and St. Louis and turned them around. Kansas City was under .500 when he took over as well.

Vermeil is 84 years old. Do you want to wait until after he dies to put him in? How is that right?

Our town's only Super Bowl-winning coach is too gracious to toot his own horn, but there has to be part of him thinking when he goes to Canton every year, "Why am I not in?"

"People talk to me about it more than I think about, which I appreciate. I would like it, it would be a real honor," Vermail said in a radio interview on Monday. "My attitude is that if you deserve to be in, you'll be in. If you don't, you won't be in. I know people that really agonize over the vote every year. And if they don't get in it ruins the whole season for them."

Vermeil has felt how close he's come and appreciates those who support his candidacy.

"I've felt it. So many people talk to me about it. When I walked in to sit in my bleachers, the president of the Hall of Fame said, 'You'll be next.' I said, 'I'm not going to hold my breath,'" Vermeil joked.

I did get a vibe from talking to a few voters in Canton that this wrong is about to be righted. They better do it soon.

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