Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Pohuski/CSM/Shutterstock (9780073cf) th, Class of 2018 Pro Football Hall of Famer Robert Brazile during the Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement, Canton, USA – 04 Aug 2018
John McClain: Brazile excited to share stage with Strahan, Cruz, Peterson, and Holmes during their induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Former Oilers linebacker Robert “Dr. Doom” Brazile has been inducted into a Hall of Fame so many times he has trouble keeping count. When he steps to the podium on Saturday night in Waco, he’ll be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, making his eighth acceptance speech.
Brazile, 70, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018 after playing his 10-year career in Houston. He grew up in Alabama, played at Jackson State, and came to Houston as the sixth overall pick in the 1975 draft. When you take into consideration Brazile was voted to the All-Pro Team six times, the Pro Bowl seven consecutive seasons, and is a member of the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s, it’s easy to see why he’s been honored with so many Hall of Fame inductions. He’s also a member of the Oilers-Titans Ring of Honor.
“It never gets old,” Brazile said about being inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. “It’s always so special to me. I’m honored to be voted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. It’s like a dream come true. I played my entire career in Texas. I have so much love for the state of Texas and Houston. I played for Bum Phillips, who was like a father to me. I played with Earl Campbell, a true Texas legend. I’ve always considered myself an honorary Texan and a Houstonian. I still spend so much time in Houston. It’s my second home.”
Brazile spends a lot of time in Houston participating in charity events. Dr. Doom is still popular with fans, including those who weren’t old enough to watch him play but have heard enough about his career to have enormous respect for him. Now he’s part of an illustrious, eight-member class that’ll be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night. This year’s class has a distinctive Houston flavor.
Coronated with Brazile will be Giants’ defensive end Michael Strahan, Astros outfielder Jose Cruz, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Olympic sprinter Carlette Guidry-Falkquay, and Olympic diver Cynthia Potter, all of whom have Houston ties. Also inducted will be Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew and Chiefs running back Priest Holmes.
Strahan was born in Houston, played at Westbury High School and Texas Southern University before being drafted by the Giants. He’s a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has become a network television personality. Cruz played 19 years, including 13 in Houston, where he became one of the most popular Astros in team history. Peterson, a Palestine native who starred at Oklahoma, played 15 years in the NFL, including the first 10 at Minnesota, resides in Houston, and should become a first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Guidry-Falkquay, who was born in Houston, won gold medals in two Olympics. Potter, also born in Houston, participated in three Olympics and won 28 national diving titles. Drew turned around the Baylor program, won the national championship in 2021, and just completed his 20th season. Holmes, who grew up in San Antonio and played for the Longhorns, had an 11-year NFL career – four with the Ravens and seven with the Chiefs.
“This is a great class, and it means so much to me to be part of it,” Brazile said. “What an honor! I can’t wait to make my acceptance speech and become part of Texas sports history.”
To get from Jackson State to Houston, Brazile was part of one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history. The Oilers traded defensive end John Matuszak to Kansas City for nose tackle Curley Culp and a first-round draft choice they used on Brazile. He played on a defense that included three players who would be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, including Culp and end Elvin Bethea.
Counting Campbell, four players from that Luv Ya Blue team made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1979, the Oilers reached a second consecutive AFC Championship Game – the last time a team from Houston finished one step shy of the Super Bowl – before losing at Pittsburgh again. Many of Brazile’s teammates will be in Waco to help him celebrate his induction.
“It’s amazing to get that kind of support,” Brazile said. “Those guys are part of my family. It makes me feel extra special knowing I’m loved by my teammates and that I have so many friends. I just wish everyone I love could be there, but my parents are 90, and they can’t travel like they used to.
“One thing I’m sure of is that I’m not going to cry during my speech. I’ve been practicing while I drive around the neighborhood in my golf cart listening to country music. When I look back over my career, I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t have regrets. I’m just proud to become a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. It’s going to be an exciting night to be part of such a great class.”
(John McClain writes four columns a week for GallerySports.com. He can be heard Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday on Sports Radio 610 and Thursday on Texans Radio. He does three weekly Houtopia podcasts for 610. He also can be read three times a week on SportsRadio610.com).