Delayed, but not denied. Those are the words Cliff Branch’s sister Elaine Anderson when she took the stage to enshrine her late brother into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Here she is along with Raiders owner Mark Davis to present Branch for the Hall of Fame.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 6, 2022
“Clifford was born with the will to win.” 🖤 pic.twitter.com/Jo6JhIoDYq
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) August 6, 2022
Delayed is a nice way of putting it. For the “delay” was so long that it robbed Cliff and the rest of us of allowing him to take the stage and accept enshrinement himself.
Branch was extremely deserving of being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And that was always the case. It should not have taken over 30 years for him to get the call. It was at year 28 of his eligibility in 2019 that Cliff passed away.
Branch’s induction was arguably the last in a previous Raiders legend logjam that included the likes of Ray Guy, Ken Stabler, and Tom Flores, all of whom required the Senior Committee to finally get their due. For Branch and Stabler, that due would come posthumously.
Now Branch joins his legendary teammates and coaches to be immortalized in the hallowed halls of Canton.