July 30, 2015
Pro Football Hall of Fame announces unique partnership with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to co-sponsor the Pro Football Hall of Fame Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon honoring John Madden and John Brodie; Chamber submits Brodie nomination to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor The Pro Football Hall of Fame Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon, held on Feb. 5, 2016, honoring Super Bowl-winning Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden, along with San Francisco 49ers legendary quarterback John Brodie.
The partnership announced today marks the first time the Pro Football Hall of Fame has joined with a local Super Bowl host city organization and the first time the event will showcase NFL Legends along with current “Gold Jacket” Hall of Fame inductees. Guests have the opportunity to mingle and take pictures with them at the luncheon and enjoy the company of the game’s greatest players.
George Veras, Executive Vice President of the Hall of Fame, made the announcement.
“We are pleased to be able to expand this terrific event that pays tribute to Hall of Fame coach John Madden. Thirty Hall of Famers will be joined by NFL Legends from the 49ers and the Raiders, thanks to our new partner the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce,” Veras said.
Today’s announcement came at the same time the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce demonstrated its pride and appreciation for one of its own, by presenting an official nomination of John Brodie to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Brodie, who has been nominated for the Hall multiple times, spent his entire 17-year career with the 49ers, earned the 1970 NFL MVP Award and retired in 1973 with the third most passing yards of any player in history at the time.
The Bay Area native and former Stanford University football star was joined by many of his friends, family, and former teammates at today’s news conference at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium announcing both the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber’s nomination of Brodie, now 79 years old, for enshrinement. Kezar Stadium served as the home field for many of Brodie’s greatest games as leader of the 49ers offense.
Bob Linscheid, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Chamber feels that John Brodie compares favorably to other quarterbacks already elected to the Hall of Fame and deserves the continued consideration of Hall of Fame Selectors. It’s our pleasure to formally present this nomination to the Hall of Fame as a demonstration our support.”
Supporting the Chamber’s nomination by speaking at the news conference were Dr. John York, Co-Chairman of the San Francisco 49ers, 49ers legends Gene Washington and Cedrick Hardman, and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
Dr. York said that, growing up in Little Rock, Ark., he had no local football team to root for so he chose the 49ers because of their exciting play. Brodie, selected third in the NFL draft by the 49ers in 1957, went on to lead the league in passing yards three times and led the 49ers to two NFC Championship games. “I want to see John Brodie in the Hall of Fame,” York said.
Many of Brodie’s former teammates were in the audience, including Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson. Also in attendance were former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, 49ers CEO Jed York, and Peter Gruebele, Chair of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Hardman said that when he told people he was on his way to a news conference to support Brodie’s induction to the Hall of Fame, “They all scratched their heads and said, ‘Isn’t he already in there?’ … Today we are here to right a wrong and let’s just get it done.”
“There is no reason in the world that John Brodie shouldn’t already be in the Hall of Fame,” Brown said.
Brodie, whose No. 12 has been retired by the 49ers in his honor, also took the microphone to a standing ovation and thanked everyone for their support.
Linscheid announced the Chamber has launched an online petition and social media campaign — #BRODIE4HOF – with more details on the Chamber’s website, www.sfchamber-com.sfchamber.com/brodie. You can also read the official nomination letter. Photos from the event can be viewed here.
According to the official requirements of the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
“Any fan may nominate any player, coach or contributor who has been connected with pro football simply by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only restriction is that a player and coach must have been retired at least five years before he can be considered. There is no mandatory retirement period for a contributor before he may be considered. Every nomination of an eligible candidate received will be processed and forwarded to the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. You can read more about the selection process on the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
John Brodie’s career ended more than 25 years ago and his nomination will be placed in front of the Senior Committee. Every year, one or two senior candidates are selected by the committee and those nominees become part of the final 17 finalists in January, from which 4-8 Hall of Famers are selected.
Marshall Wilson, Vice President Strategic Communications