Bruce On HOF: "Disappointing" When You're Not Chosen

Isaac Bruce has come oh-so-close to Canton. He reflected on the Hall of Fame's selection process and whether this will be his year

The DA Show
July 24, 2019 - 11:38 am

When Isaac Bruce retired from the NFL, he was second all-time in receiving yards (15,208), fifth in catches (1,024), and ninth in touchdowns (91). At the time, only Jerry Rice had more receiving yards.

That’s good company to be in, obviously.

Nevertheless, Bruce isn’t in the Hall of Fame. Perhaps this year – his sixth of Canton eligibility – will be the charm?

“It starts off with real, real excitement just to be considered and then to become a finalist – one of the 15 finalists,” Bruce said of the process on The DA Show. “Then you find yourself in a room with 14 other great players and you can kind of remember their body of work and everything that they did on the field. Just to be so close, it’s humbling and it’s also initially kind of disappointing being an athlete and being a competitor when you’re not taken and you’re not chosen at that moment. It’s an array of emotions. They’re all felt. But I think I’ve come to a place where I can really control my emotions and really focus on what’s important.”

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens were inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. That has to help Bruce’s chances, no?

“The process for selection is something that not many of us know what it is,” Bruce said. “As far as having trust in the process, I kind of let that go out the window after my first year of eligibility. But with the addition of (Moss and Owens) going into the Hall, I think it opens up the door for not only guys like myself, (but also) some of those guys that came before my generation – the Henry Ellards, the Drew Pearsons. I think it really opens the door for a lot of guys.”

Former Giants linebacker Harry Carson became so frustrated by the selection process that he wrote a letter to the Hall in the mid-2000s requesting that his name be removed from the ballot. The Hall refused – and went on to induct him in 2006.

Would Bruce every get to that point of frustration? 

“For about two minutes, I’ve already been there,” he admitted. “I thought last year would be the year most definitely, and I was excited about it. My team was playing in the Super Bowl and there was a lot of talk about the Greatest Show on Turf and its 19-year anniversary, and I felt like last year was it. But as far as being frustrated long-term, I think it weighs a lot more for my teammates, the city of St. Louis, the city of Los Angeles, my coaches that I’ve played under – it’s big. They put in a lot of work, a lot of hours, with me to help develop me.”