Petiton wants to get Bacon in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Published 11:07 pm Saturday, July 3, 2010

Glenn Robinson isn’t asking for much, just a permanent spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Well, Robinson isn’t asking for himself and he’s only asking for something that he — an many others — believes to be the right thing to do. He wants former NFL defensive lineman Coy Bacon to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

“He deserves it,” said Robinson who not only considers himself a fan of Bacon the player but Bacon the person.

“Coy was a feared defensive lineman as a player, but he built quite a reputation for himself after football. He touched a lot of lives,” said Robinson.

Bacon was shot over drug issues while living in Washington, D.C., after retiring from the Washington Federals of the USFL. He nearly died and returned home where he turned to God and began ministering to the youth of Ironton about the proper values in life and to avoid drugs and alcohol.

“I went to listen to him speak four or five times. He had a great message for the kids and adults,” said Robinson.

Bacon died two years ago at the age of 66, but he left an indelible legacy.

Bill “Tiger” Johnson, who played nine seasons in the NFL and coached another 50 years, called Bacon “the second best pass rusher I ever saw” behind the Baltimore Colts star Gino Marchetti.

Bacon’s NFL numbers are impressive. He racked up 130 quarterback sacks during a 14-year career that spanned from 1968 to 1981. His numbers were even more impressive because he played in an era that was run-oriented instead of today’s pass first, run second philosophy that creates more opportunities to record a sack, and he played often on the inside at tackle where it is even more difficult.

“We hoping to get the NFL’s attention,” said Robinson. “Someone said it would be a good idea to get a petition going and I took it and ran.

“Now we’re challenging everyone, especially all Bengals’ fans, to sign the petition before the Hall of Fame game on August 8. We’re in the process of getting a hard copy of the petition out there in different places for people to sign. We’re hoping to get between 50,000 and 100,000 signatures.”

An outstanding high school player at Ironton, Bacon played a year at Jackson State and then spent a season with the semi-pro Charleston (W.Va.) Rockets where he was signed by a Dallas Cowboys’ scout.

He played on the Dallas taxi squad (practice team) in 1967 and was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 1968 where he became a starter two years later on the defensive line along side of future NFL Hall of Famers David “Deacon” Jones and Merlin Olsen.

The Rams’ front four quartet was so dominant that it became known as “The Fearsome Foursome.” Bacon was voted the Rams’ defensive Lineman of the Year in 1971-72.

The Chargers were in need of a pass rusher and the Rams wanted quarterback John Hadl. San Diego traded for Bacon in 1973 where he played the next three seasons.

Two years later the Bengals needed a pass rusher and the Chargers wanted a wide receiver, so Bacon was swapped for Charlie Joiner.

Bacon led the NFL with what was considered a record 26 quarterback sacks in 1976 and was the team’s Most Valuable Player. He earned All-Pro honors for the third time. The previous two times were 1971 and 1972 with the Rams.

Unfortunately for Bacon, the NFL later downgraded his sack total to 21.5 and the record has since been broken by the New York Jets Mark Gastineau and current record-holder Michael Strahan who was with the New York Giants.

The changing of the record doesn’t sit well with Robinson.

“We’re trying to at least get the NFL to recognize the (sacks) as the single-season all-time record,” said Robinson.

Bacon was traded one more time to Washington with defensive back Lamar Parrish for the Redskins’ No. 1 draft pick. All he did was set a team record with 15 sacks in 1979 and followed that with 11 more the next season.

The petition can be found online and signed by logging onto www.ipetitions.com/coybaconforthehall

“When you look at all the players in the Hall of Fame and their numbers, and then you look at Coy Bacon’s numbers, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be there, too. All we’re asking for is to give him what he deserves and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Robinson.