Re: The Gazette’s All-Lucky Team, March 23.
To the Editor:
By no means am I a Titans fan, but to say that Frank Wycheck’s career was “ho-hum” proves you don’t know much about football.
Wycheck retired with 505 career receptions, which ranks fourth all-time among tight ends. Marvin Harrison currently ranks fourth all-time in receptions by a wide receiver. Is his career “ho-hum?”
From 1993-2003, Wycheck put fear into opposing defensive backs and linebackers. During that time span, only Shannon Sharpe compiled more receptions among tight ends.
Wycheck was not only a three-time Pro Bowler, he was also integral to the successful NFL careers of Steve “Air” McNair and Eddie George (who have six Pro Bowls between them), and is the model for current young NFL stud tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Todd Heap.
Sincerely, a real football fan,
Editors’ note: We’ll admit that we were a little underwhelming when describing Wycheck’s career as “ho-hum.” But we’d like to take issue with a few other things, Vince.
First of all, just because Wycheck is fourth all-time in receptions and yardage among tight ends, and Harrison is fourth all-time in those categories among receivers, doesn’t mean the players become comparable. That’s just ridiculous.
Second of all, Marvin Harrison isn’t ranked fourth all-time in receptions and yardage. He’s ranked sixth and 10th, respectively.
Thirdly, Frank Wycheck is not ranked fourth all-time in receptions amongst tight ends. At least four players have more receptions (Shannon Sharpe, Ozzie Newsome, Kellen Winslow, Tony Gonzalez). Also, many players have more yardage (Sharpe, Newsome, Winslow, Gonzalez, Mike Ditka, Jackie Smith, Ben Coates, Brent Jones and Wesley Walls).
And Wycheck wasn’t the model for players like Shockey and Heap. Wycheck was actually more of an H-back who barely averaged over 10 yards a catch during his career, usually serving as McNair’s safety valve. Shockey and Heap, on the other hand, are capable of stretching the field deep and creating yardage after the catch, something Wycheck wasn’t adept at.
So we’ll be careful about throwing around the term “ho-hum” from now on — as long as you promise to be careful about throwing around the term “real football fan.”