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Milton councilman rallies for dad’s inclusion in football hall of fame
by James Swift
September 03, 2014 10:29 AM | 2640 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Milton councilman Matt Kunz shows off a jersey worn by his father.
Milton councilman Matt Kunz shows off a jersey worn by his father.
Matt Kunz lists many reasons why his father, former Atlanta Falcon George Kunz, should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Seventy-five of them, to be exact.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Dozens of accolades from sports publications. A former Baltimore Colts team captain.

Yet his dad still doesn’t have a bust in Canton, Ohio.

“He keeps getting passed over, because he wouldn’t say ‘hey, look at me,’” the Milton councilman said. “Dad’s not the kind of guy that’s going to promote himself … that goes against the values he was taught when he first started playing sports.”

He is not the only one wondering why the offensive lineman hasn’t been enshrined. Roswell native Chuck Pendleton recalled his father taking him to see George Kunz play for the Falcons. Pendleton met Matt Kunz at a Roswell Rotary Club meeting a few years ago.

“I remember telling him at the time, your dad deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Pendleton said. “Matt, myself and a few others got together and talked about what we can do … we really had no idea what the process was, but we started sending out e-mails.”

Eventually, their efforts would lead to the formation of the George Kunz to Hall of Fame Committee.

Matt Kunz said the campaign has drawn interest from Baltimore fans, the Indianapolis Colts organization and even several Pro Football Hall of Famers themselves. He has also reached out to Falcons owner Arthur Blank — so far, Matt Kunz said he has not received a response. Like Pendleton, Milton resident Van Kottis grew up watching George Kunz play. He said the former Falcon “slipped through the cracks” because he played for a small market team.

“Unless you’re out there, tooting your horn, working in the media,” he said, “your people don’t remember you.”

An advisor for the committee, Kottis said he’s helped connect Matt Kunz with several sportswriters who have ties to the Hall of Fame.

“I have a little idea of how it works. An acquaintance of mine does research for the hall,” Kottis said. “I’ve seen firsthand how they can miss them.”

George Kunz’s stats, he said, are certainly Hall of Fame-worthy.

“When you really look at his body of work, you’ve got to ask one question,” Kottis said. “Why not?”

George Kunz, 67, resides in Las Vegas. He is now proudly playing a different kind of offense — he graduated from law school in 2010, a 63-year-old rookie attorney.

“You’ve got to do things that benefit that particular person and you’ve got to do things that benefit your team when you’re playing,” he said. “So there are some similarities.”

While he’s flattered by his son’s campaign, the elder Kunz said getting in the hall wasn’t one of his top priorities.

“You don’t just stop being alive when you quit pro football,” he said. “Do I want to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Sure, but when you get right down to it, I’m very proud of other things in my life that I think take precedence over that.”

Matt said the committee will continue to push for George’s induction. He remains optimistic that his dad will eventually get recognized – he just doesn’t want him to join the Hall posthumously.

“It’s just a recognition of justice, of where he fits in the game,” Matt said. “He needs to be the one that gives the speech … I don’t want to be the one having to do that.”

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