By Tim Graham
NEW ORLEANS -- Mike Haynes wants Andre Reed to go into the Pro Football Hall Fame and get a prostate exam.
I'll explain the second part below.
But here's what Haynes, the Hall of Fame cornerback from the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, told me about Reed's candidacy for a gold jacket when the 2013 class is announced this weekend.
"I hope this is the year," Haynes said Thursday in the Super Bowl XLVII media center. "I'm a fan of his. I think he had a fantastic career and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
Reed was a pivotal player on the Buffalo Bills' four Super Bowl teams. He caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns in 16 seasons, including one with the Washington Redskins.
Reed is among the 15 modern finalists for the seventh straight time. The Hall of Fame's board of selectors, including Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan, will meet in New Orleans on Saturday to finalize the class.
"Will he get in this year? I don't know," Haynes said of Reed. "But I do know there will come a time when he will go in. He had a Hall of Fame career. He clearly deserves to get in."
The careers of Haynes and Reed overlapped by five seasons.
"There's certain players you like to watch play," Haynes said. "You actually realize when you go to a game that's why you're there. He was one of those guys. When he's running his route, for some reason, your eyes stayed locked on him, and then here comes the ball.
"He was like Jerry Rice in that regard, where everybody in the stadium knew the ball was going to go to him, and he still got open, made the catch and turned it into a big play."
Haynes was in the Super Bowl XLVII media center to talk about the "Know Your Stats" campaign for prostate-cancer awareness.
Haynes first learned he might have prostate cancer in 2008 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where free screenings were being conducted.
Haynes took a blood test, and an alarming result came back about 30 minutes later. The doctor who informed him was Dr. Willie Underwood from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.
"He's the one who began to educate me that one in six men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer," Haynes said. "One in six sounded like a lot of men. I said, 'How many women get breast cancer?' Dr. Underwood said, 'One in eight.'
"How come I'd never heard about prostate cancer? We hear so much about breast-cancer awareness."
The blood test and the fact that black men are more likely to get prostate cancer led Haynes to have a biopsy. Haynes said of the 12 core areas tested, cancer was found in nine of them.
"Now I go to Canton, welcoming in the new Hall of Famers and encourage them to go get their PSAs [prostate-specific antigens] tested and the digital-rectal exam and let them know we need to do this every year," Haynes said. "Every Hall of Famer is asked to get theirs checked, and one recently found out that his cancer had come back.
"It's been a blessing. Guys are getting educated about it. Every year, I feel we make a dent in getting past the uneasiness of this topic because it's important and it saves lives."
Haynes received Roswell Park's Gilda Radner Courage Award in 2009.
taggedAndre Reed | Mike Haynes | Super Bowl XLVII