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Can Jack Kemp make it into the football Hall of Fame? Roger Goodell is rooting for him

Jack Kemp in the Buffalo Bills' dressing room, Dec. 26, 1964. (AP/File)

Jack Kemp wore many hats: pro football player, congressman, Cabinet secretary, presidential and vice-presidential candidate. The charismatic Republican, who died last year, was celebrated at the Library of Congress on Wednesday with a chair established in his name and the donation of 400 boxes of speeches, personal papers and football memorabilia, reports our colleague Richard Leiby.

Among the guests: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was asked if Kemp -- a former Buffalo Bills quarterback with two AFL titles -- should be voted into the Hall of Fame. "I sure hope so," Goodell said.

So far, it looks like a long shot. When former commish Paul Tagliabue pushed the voting committee to include Kemp a few years ago, football purists pushed back arguing that the only criterion for inclusion is skill on the gridiron. But others think former players who served the country should be honored -- such as Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinals defensive back who gave up his football career for the Army and died in Afghanistan, or Kemp.

Goodell falls into that camp: "As time goes on, people will recognize even more the contributions he made both on and off the field."

By The Reliable Source  |  July 16, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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