Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Feb 2010

HOF Class of 2010 Announced

This year's HOF class will include Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, and Russ Grimm. Appropriate for the first Saints player to make the HOF the same year the franchise makes its first Super Bowl. It looks like Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little, the two veterans committee nominees, also made it.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Feb 2010

104 comments, Last at 09 Feb 2010, 8:54pm by BroncosGuy

Comments

1
by Ben Stuplisberger :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:03pm

Wow, Russ Grimm and no Shannon Sharpe?

2
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:03pm

at least loins fans have something to be happy about even though probably 75% of loisn fans who watched lebeau are dead now or too old for going on internt. other way to put it- most cureent detroit fans never saw leabu play.

smith and rice -no brainers. Raiders get another gerat in hall.

Jackson excelelnt player, similar type player as Lawrebnce Taylor. a notch below taylor level but still a great player.

Grimm excellent lineman. desevres his spot in hall.

randle very good player.

Little good. maybe boncos fans stop whining for a little while.

4
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:13pm

I'll never stop whining, Joe.

And you're counting Rice as a Raider? Does that make Willie Brown a Bronco?

7
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:21pm

Willie Brown= true Raider

If any consoaltion I think gardishar deserving of HOf and Sharpe close.

Rice was great with raiders so does count as Raiders hallf of famer but of course known moreso as 49ers player. But this is NFl not baseball, so not like Rice wearing helmet on bronze bust like baseball players wera cap on basbeall hall of fame plaque

12
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:47pm

I'm just teasing ya, brother. Willie Brown is a Raider, Jerry Rice is Niner.

There are certain guys who wore a second (or third) uniform that just doesn't look right. Dorsett as a Bronco, Unitas as a Charger, Namath as a Ram, Simpson as a Niner (although the orange jumpsuit looks about right).

And, Joe, I appreciate your mentioning of Gradishar and Sharpe, and I point out that I have actually advocated for Ray Guy, who is not only a Raider but a freakin' punter. Just shows what an open-minded guy I am.

47
by Red5 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:25am

you can't have it both ways joe. Since the only the player gets inducted, theoretically no team can "claim" him. But then you wish to claim Rice as a raider great. I don't think you'll find any rational person who thinks Rice's contributions on the raiders were the highlight of his career. Just be happy he helped you get to your last super bowl, but he's next to Jesus for the people ACROSS the bay.

57
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:08am

not saying Rice is true Raider. He is true 49er but was solid contriburot for Raiders

88
by dsouten :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 6:37pm

In our hearts, I think we are all loins fans.

3
by andrew :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:10pm

While I'm happy for Randall, I can't understand Carter being shut out. not only did he not make it, he didn't even make the final 10 (non-senior) finalists, which he did last time.

About the only thing I can think of is they wanted to not send any receivers in with Rice as doing so might minimalize their accomplishments.

6
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:21pm

You may very well be correct that Carter (and Brown) were hurt by Rice's presence. This makes no sense, of course, but logic and the selection committee only intersect on rare occasions, due mostly to entropy.

I think Randall is a tough player to evaluate because he was really good at one thing (rushing the passer as a DT) and pretty awful at another (stopping the run). I'm not surprised he made it, though, as the selection committee loves them some counting stats, and Randall had a lot of sacks. I've said it before here, but if sheer entertainment value is a criterion, then Randall is at the top of the ballot.

10
by Vince Verhei :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:38pm

The only flaw here is that Andre Reed, though he wasn't elected, did make the list of ten finalists. Carter didn't even do that. I don't know how you rank Reed ahead of Carter, but apparently, they did.

13
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:58pm

Vince, if we're going to document all of the strange decisions of the selection committee, you're going to need about 37 new blade servers.

Pretending I'm a member of the selection committee, here are my arguments for Reed over Carter:

1. Superbowls: 4-0 (yes that's a team accomplishment, but that's how we think around here)

2. Reed was never released due to excessive partying.

3. Reed has more telegenic eyebrows.

Well, after review, none of that is terribly humorous, but I'll post it anyway. After all, trying and failing is completely in line with the HOF selection process.

45
by andrew :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:09am

1. Superbowls: 4-0 (yes that's a team accomplishment, but that's how we think around here)

Used to be that would hurt your for the Hall of Fame. Better to have never made it than made it and lost. At least that was the reasoning used to explain why Tarkenton had to wait three years while Dan Fouts got in his first try...

49
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:30am

I didn't know Tarkenton waited three years and Fouts went straight in.

Knowing that may have removed any respect I had left for the Hall of Fame.

62
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:38am

yes, tarkenton got in on 3rd ballot. A Shell on 2nd. Jim taylor (pakcers Fb) 4th bsallot.
charley taylor redskins greta 2nd.
F Biletnikoff 5th
Don Maynard 9th, alan page 2nd

joe perry 2nd
ballot. Perry retired as all time leadsing rushjer. guys to retire as leaidng rusher- cliff battles, clarke hinkle, steve van buren, joe perry, jim brown,wlater payton, e smith

5
by Marko :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:18pm

Richard Dent got hosed again. No way do Rickey Jackson and John Randle belong ahead of him. Grimm is very deserving. Rice and Emmitt obviously were no-brainers.

8
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:31pm

I agree, Marko, that Rice and Smith are no-brainers; anyone who doesn't see them as Hall-of-Famers should probably adjust his medication.

After that, though, I think there is room for a lot of difference of opinion. I, for instance, think Dent has an extremely limited player who, had he not played next to Hampton and McMichael, would be barely remembered. The extraordinary ability of his linemates (and linebackers) to play the run helped whitewash Dent as a liability in that phase and allowed him to do the only thing he was good at, run fast in a straight line. Of course, this is only opinion; many others hold him in much higher esteem than I do.

I do think he will get into the Hall in time, because the selection committee loves sacks and Dent had a bunch of them. He was also part of a high-profile, media-hyped defense, and that never hurts.

18
by Marko :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:28pm

A lot of people (probably some of the HOF voters) believe that Dent was a liability against the run. That's simply not true. I have seen a lot of defensive ends who just rushed the passer and completely ignored their responsibilities against the run (such as Simeon Rice and the Bears' Mark Anderson). Dent was nothing like that; he was a force against the run. (At least he was during his Bears career. I didn't see many of his games after he left the Bears.) If he was such a liability against the run, the Bears wouldn't have finished first against the run so many times during his career.

I have no idea how many Bears games you saw during Dent's era, but I saw nearly all of them. Did you see Dent's MVP performance in Super Bowl XX? He didn't just terrorize Tony Eason and Steve Grogan. He also stuffed running back Craig James, forcing a key fumble by James early in the game.

Dent also had eight interceptions in his career (which is tied for most by a modern-era defensive lineman) and he was great at deflecting passes (he broke up 60 passes in his career). In addition, he forced 38 fumbles. He made numerous big plays that helped win games.

Admittedly, I am biased as a Bears fan. And admittedly, he was surrounded by tremendous talent on defense. But that doesn't detract from what he did. Dent was an incredible force on that Bears defense, and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

21
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:15pm

I have no idea how many Bears games you saw during Dent's era, but I saw nearly all of them I can say, with certainty, that I saw every single one of them. And from a perspective entirely different from yours. Also, I got paid.

That you would compare him to Mark Anderson is a far greater indictment than anything I have ever written about him.

Look, as I said, it is a matter of opinion and they can diverge. I look at the tape, and I see a guy who was in the right place at the right time. If not surrounded by McMichael, Hampton, Singletary, Wilson, Marshal, et. al., I don't think he registers in our consciousness. But it is just an opinion. It can't be proven. (Note that I have not listed Mudslide among his assets).

The bottom line is we have different impressions of the guy. This is what separates Jerry Rice from the likes of Richard Dent.

23
by Marko :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:37pm

No, no, no. I am not comparing him to someone like Mark Anderson. I am just saying that Mark Anderson is an obvious example of a DE who doesn't play the run. At all. Based on my observations, Dent was nothing like that.

I'm intrigued by your comment in the first paragraph. Are you or were you an NFL scout/personnel guy?

I agree that this is a matter of opinion and that it can't be proven. And I also agree that Richard Dent is not on the level of Jerry Rice. I still think he belongs in the Hall.

By the way, I don't get the reference to "Mudslide." What does that mean?

103
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:40pm

Are you or were you an NFL scout/personnel guy? I wish.

William Perry's name in the media was "the Refrigerator" or "Fridge", but on the team it was "Mudslide". Just picture a 340-lb man taking off his t-shirt.

27
by Lance :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:53pm

Re "That you would compare him to Mark Anderson is a far greater indictment than anything I have ever written about him"

Re-read what he said. After using Anderson as an example of a DL with limited skills, he says "Dent was nothing like that." So he wasn't making a comparison at all.

And as for you argument about Dent being surrounded by talent-- is that really an argument? Most guys in the HoF played on teams loaded with talent. I mean, I think Jack Ham benefitted from having Jack Lambert, L.C. Greenwood, Mel Blount, et al. playing with him, no? This isn't to say that Dent is in Jack Ham's class (I have no idea). But to suggest that because a player had great teammates around him, his accomplishments are lessoned seems weak.

104
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:54pm

Well, Lance, when he says that "Dent was nothing like" Anderson, that is a comparison, is it not? I didn't accuse him of equating them, but of comparing them. My point was that elevating Dent above a cipher like Mark Anderson is to damn with extraordinarily faint praise.

And I don't mean to penalize Dent for being surrounded by great talent. My point was that his rather narrow style was only useful when surrounded by great talent. Had he been, say, a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, I think he would have been a guy who was very easy to game-plan against and out of the league in fairly short order. That's only an opinion, hopefully informed.

24
by bachslunch :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:41pm

Marko, the only places I've seen anything suggesting that Richard Dent was good against the run or went all-out on every play (two observations which seem much-mentioned on the 'net and clearly hurt his candidacy) are on sites that might be seen as being very Bears-friendly.

Here's another thought on the subject, by Steve Greenberg over at "Sporting News":

"The only knock I can put on Dent is he was -- and this is hard for a guy who has "1985 Bears" tattooed on his forehead to admit -- kind of lazy. By my recollection, he took lots of running plays off. He didn't exactly chase ballcarriers across the field; his approach was more to wave his giant right hand and say, "Good luck to you. Otis Wilson probably is about to kill you, but good luck to you."

And if this article is true, he seems to be a pro-Bears guy.

Source:

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2007-07-17/a-beef-nfl-networks-t...

Am wondering if the "Dent was great against the run" statements are in the same revisionist history league as "Shannon Sharpe blocked for 5 different 1000 yard rushers in Denver," when in fact he didn't much block (or block well) for anybody.

28
by Marko :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:56pm

All I know is that I saw him make lots of plays against the run. As for chasing ballcarriers across the field, I don't really recall him doing that. But I also don't recall lots of ballcarriers running across the field against that Bears defense. Before ballcarriers could do so, they were almost always on the ground, courtesy of Samurai Mike, Mama's Boy Otis, Wilber, Danimal, Mongo, Fridge, Duerson or Fencik. So I'm not sure what to make of the fact that he didn't make a lot of plays across the field.

Again, I'm admittedly biased. But I like to think that I can be objective about this.

52
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:36am

Here's a balanced argument about Dent that I really think ends up making him sound like a Hall of Famer: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=5523

76
by t.d. :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:47pm

Watching Dent as a kid I was sure he'd be a Hall of Famer. Man, those Bears front sevens were loaded, but still, the writer was right, they became a dominant team when Dent became a monster.

61
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:30am

As a Packers fan, I'll second that Dent was pretty darned good against the run. Not great. But not a liability like Freeney or many other great pass rushers. I missed his early years because I was overseas in the Navy. But what I saw starting in 1985 and the next couple years, Dent was a beast.

9
by Thok :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:31pm

I think more important than who was elected was that 5 of the 15 finalists were elected, and three nonskill players. My feeling is that 12 or so of the 15 finalists will eventually be elected, and it's more important to elect 5 of those 12 than the top 5 of those 12.

11
by DavidL :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 7:38pm

So we can finally stop referring to Rice as "future hall of famer Jerry Rice." That's good.

15
by Theo :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:12pm

I think no one will argue that Rice is/was the best receiver ever.

30
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 10:01pm

I think you mean dispute. I would definitely argue that Rice is the greatest receiver of all time.

43
by Kibbles :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:53am

I most certainly will dispute that Rice is/was the best receiver ever. So would 10-time first-team All NFL (in 11 seasons) and 2-time league MVP Don Hutson, the guy who invented pass routes and still owns the 9th best season in receiving yards per game and the 5th best season in receiving TDs in NFL history... more than 60 years after he retired.

To be honest, I also kind of have a soft spot for Lance Alworth, who couldn't come anywhere close to Rice's longevity (no one can), but who was a 6-time first team AP All Pro and league MVP who averaged 19 ypr for his career. Objectively, I know that Rice did more... but nobody ever looked better than Bambi while doing it. Plus, Bambi played when defensive backs were allowed to decapitate you 20 yards past the line of scrimmage.

48
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:28am

Football changed so much between Hutson's era and Rice's that sensible comparison really isn't possible. Hutson's offense was so ludicrously far ahead of anything else in the league at that time that it conferred a huge advantage. The league contained far fewer teams, and a huge proportion of the talent pool in the population as a whole never entered the league in the first place, due to either having better-paying things to do or being black. At the same time, I think it's reasonable to argue that Hutson was more dominant in his era than Rice in his.

The best analogy I can think of is WG Grace and Don Bradman in cricket. One of them more-or-less invented the way of playing that all future players would immitate; the other was the best ever at playing in that way.

50
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:34am

Or Morphy and Kasparov in chess

91
by Kibbles :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 1:59am

If sensible comparison isn't possible, then that cuts both ways. If Hutson cannot be compared to Rice, then Rice likewise cannot be compared to Hutson. I understand that such a comparison is ridiculously nuanced (although impossible seems far too harsh a descriptor), I was mostly just taking exception to the idea that no one on the face of the planet could rationally argue that anyone was better than Jerry Rice. I could, and I did.

Even if you ignore the Hutson comparison, I also mentioned Alworth, and I was being serious. I don't know if Alworth was better than Jerry Rice... but I also don't know if Rice was better than Alworth. I'd say Bambi was as good at his peak as Rice was at his. I know Rice's peak lasted longer, but Rice also had the benefit of modern medicine.

63
by Jim D (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:43am

Kibbles, what do you mean that Don Hutson invented pass routes? What did they do before, just run around the field aimlessly?

67
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:32pm

Mostly ends blocked or they did what kids do, run around and try to get open. Don Hutson and receiving compared to the rest of the league was almost like Babe Ruth and homers. Nobody was often close. When he retired after 1945, it was because he could no longer stand playing for Curly Lambeau and not because he could no longer play.
Receptions Hutson next
1935 18 26 came in sixth, but led yds/game with 46.7
1936 34 20
1937 41 36 next had 28
1938 32 41 came in second
1939 34 33
1940 45 58 came in second, next 29
1941 58 29
1942 74 27
1943 47 37
1944 58 39
1945 47 45
Receiving TDs first in 1935 (tied), 1936-1938, 1940-1944. Includes a whopping 17 TDs in 1942.

71
by David :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:13pm

Hutson's stats are inflated from 41-44 (not coincidentally his best years) through all the other good players fighting in WWII

Context is everything...

75
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:41pm

1942-44 yes. Pearl Harbor wasn't bombed until Dec 7, 1941. We didn't build up for the war until after that. Hutson was pretty dominant in 1941.

92
by Kibbles :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 2:00am

Beyond that... in the 7 seasons before the war broke out, Hutson led the league in receptions 4 times, receiving yards 4 times, receiving TDs 6 times, and earned 6 straight first-team All NFL honors (his rookie year he was "only" second-team All NFL). Hutson was the most dominant WR in NFL history in the 7 years before the war. He also finished 1st in receptions, 2nd in yards, and 2nd in TDs in 1945, earning first team All NFL honors yet again in the process. Don Hutson's dominance had absolutely nothing to do with the war.

For what it's worth... Hutson also led the league in INTs in 1940 (before the war), and he was one of the most accurate placekickers in the league, to boot.

74
by t.d. :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:40pm

Hutson's truly dominant seasons came during WWII against a diluted league. Not saying he wasn't great, but that's a huge disclaimer against his accomplishments.

ed.:looks like the guy before me in the thread beat me to this observation by a couple minutes

14
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:07pm

Floyd Little in the HOF is a joke. I used to think Art Monk was the poster child for dilution of the hall; now dilution has a new face. The Seniors process is a commendable idea, but needs some revision.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LittFl00.htm
One 1000-yard season, career 3.9 ypc. I know it was the 70s, but those aren't HOF numbers.

17
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:25pm

not biggest fan of defending brocnos but here is why Little get in-
led confernece in rushing 1970
led league in rushing 1971
tied with OJ simpson for rushing touchdowns 1973
helped turn around brocnso from crap team to good team
got all-pro votes in 5 differnet seasons, maybe not 1st team vut still recognizd
pro bowl 5 times

22
by Theo :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:16pm

How is that impressive?
What I read there is Tomlinson, but Tomlinson is better. Doubt though if he ever makes a super bowl or a HOF bid.

25
by Trogg Palin (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:46pm

Am I reading this as to your saying that Tomlinson doesn't eventually get into the HOF? If so, you're nuts.
Little has been a sentimental favorite in Denver for years ( I know, I live there), and there's been a fair amount of lobbying for him. He really was the first 'great' Bronco, and by all accounts a very good running back, although I can't vouch for it, as I never saw him play. The HOF is often about politics, and Denver media vets have been pushing for him for a long time.
That being said, the fact that Little is only the third Bronco to make it to the HOF ( and Zimmerman only somewhat counts ), is a farce; I believe the freakin' Seahawks have more members. Denver has been in six Super Bowls, and won two, and were one of the more consistent winners of the 80's & 90's. Gradishar is the obvious oversight, as is Sharpe ( for now ), but there are a few others that would merit discussion. I don't count Terrel Davis in that discussion.
If John Randle can make the Hall, and Richard Dent gets discussed seriously, then I can think of a few members of the Orange Crush who should be in already.

33
by alexbond :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 10:48pm

Pretty sure the only Seahawk in the Hall is Largent (not counting Rice or Randle who played like one season each for the Hawks). Cortez Kennedy certainly deserves it, though. I thought he was the biggest snub this year.

34
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 10:52pm

Moon, eller, franco harris other seahawks in hall of fame, but not true seahsawks.
so like you wrote largebnt only pure seashawk

36
by coltrane23 :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 11:32pm

Don't forget Jerry Rice.

Seriously, though, Largent may also be the only Seahawk deserving of the honor who is currently eligible. Maybe 'Tez, but my memories of him are fuzzy because it seems so long ago. I'd say great Seahawk, but probably not HOF. Probably not--I wouldn't consider it a travesty if he made it. Walter Jones ought to be a lock for HOF, but maybe not in his first year depending upon who else is eligible at the time. I can't think of anyone else from Seattle who ought to be elected. (sigh)

I'm surprised that Andre Reed fared better than Cris Carter, and I'm surprised that John Randle made it in before Shannon Sharpe. I saw a lot Sharpe during his heyday, and he was an important part of the Broncos' offense as a receiving TE. I know he wasn't a monster blocker, but he wasn't a liability, either. The Broncos kept blocking TEs on the roster at the time as well, so Sharpe's primary role was catching passes. He'll get in eventually, I'm just surprised that John Randle made it in before he did.

70
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:55pm

Trogg Palin said: "[Little] really was the first 'great' Bronco."

Geez, don't you Bronco HoF cheerleaders know anything about your franchise's history? Look up Lionel Taylor's stats and get back to us, please:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/T/TaylLi00.htm

I would much sooner have supported Taylor for the HoF than Little, who I thought was a bad choice. And Dick LeBeau makes two.

72
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:13pm

also Taylor was asisitant coach with first Steelers sb team back when teams only had staff of 5 or 6 coache.s
was first or one of first ever black coaches.
then was offnensive coridinator for 79 rams which play ed pretty good in Sb but lost to steelrs

pint is maybe Tyalor had enough contriubitons to pro fotoball to get in aahll someday kind of like Dick lebau but maybe not as good as Lebeau

26
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:48pm

not saying it is impreesive as far as most hall memnber concerned. Little dfeinitely one of weakest selections in hall. right up there with wayne millner, dick leabau, emmitt thomas, andre tuppett, and some others.

was just giving reasons why Hall of fame voters found for Little.

Seems like constant whning from broncs fans made some voters cave in and put a Demver player in. would rather they did that with Gardishar though.

44
by Kibbles :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 6:17am

Long-time Broncos fan. In my opinion, Floyd Little was probably the second most deserving Denver Bronco... runningback. I'd put Davis in way before Little. Ditto that for Sharpe (how was he not first ballot, again?) and Gradishar (how was he not first ballot, second ballot, third ballot, fourth ballot, fifth ballot, or ANY ballot? Biggest hall snub). In addition, while his short career is a definite negative, I'd rather see Rich Jackson in than Floyd Little (Tombstone was sort of the Gale Sayers of defense). I'd also take both Atwater and Mecklenberg, too. And while I definitely don't think Louis Wright was a HoFer, I think even he was probably more deserving than "The Franchise". Finally, if we're going to keep bringing up Tasker and Guy and pretending that special teamers are worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame, then Rick Upchurch should be the guy carrying the flag. Returners are more valuable than punters or gunners, and not only was Upchurch one of the top three returners of all time (his 4 pro bowls and 3 first team AP All Pros as a returner both tie Mel Gray for the record), but he also contributed 4000 yards and 24 TDs on offense, to boot. That'd be like if Ray Guy also served as Oakland's #2 RB.

People say that Floyd Little saved the Denver Broncos franchise. Floyd Little was a great runningback, but it was the introduction of the common draft that saved the Denver Broncos franchise. Before the common draft, Denver couldn't get any good players to sign. After the common draft, those good players didn't have any CHOICE but to sign. Floyd Little was actually the THIRD Hall of Famer that Denver drafted, it's just that Merlin Olsen and Bob Brown wanted nothing to do with that dusty old cow town. While Floyd Little was a very, very good runningback, he achieved a mythical status thanks to his status as Denver's first pick of the common draft- i.e. the first legit superstar who didn't have a chance to say no to the Broncos. If he'd been drafted a year earlier, then he would have said no to the Broncos, too. If the common draft had been instituted a decade earlier, we'd be calling Merlin Olsen or Bob Brown "The Franchise" right now. Floyd Little was a great player who did great things for Denver, but in my book, he wasn't a Hall of Famer.

46
by Lance :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:25am

Re "Ditto that for Sharpe (how was he not first ballot, again?)"

We have to stop with the "first ballot" thing. This isn't baseball. In baseball, anyone who gets 75% of the vote gets in, and voters can vote for up to 10 people. Moreover, there isn't a cap set on how many people get in in a given year. Here is a list of future candidates for the baseball HoF. For each of the next few years, the list contains only ca. 25 players. A voter so inclined could vote for almost half the list in a given year, and if enough people agreed, it's easy to see that over half of a given year's list could get in.

The football HoF is different. It's capped at effectively 5 players max per year. That's it. Just 5 guys. If you look at the list of the 17 finalists for this year, it's easy to make compelling cases for nine or 10 players. But no matter how many you might think are deserving, only five are going to make it. Under such a system, only the most obvious cases-- people like Rice and Smith-- are going to go in "first ballot". For the rest of the players-- guys like Chris Carter, Andre Reed, Tim Brown, etc., etc.-- they're going to have to wait for the logjam to clear.

There is a probem, however. I look at the list of people deserving to get in (or at least deserving serious consideration), and then I look at the guys who have retired who are deserving (e.g. Marhsall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Johnathon Ogden, Larry Allen, Brett Fav..., er, well, you get the idea), and it seems to me that logjam isn't going to clear anytime soon.

This is fine, of course-- the HoF should be hard to get into. But what it does mean is that for most players, they're going to have to wait in line, and all but a few get a pass to go to the head of that line. It doesn't mean that guys like Shannon Sharpe aren't great or deserving. It just means that fans need to stop thinking in terms of "first ballot" because the way the football HoF works makes that quite difficult.

93
by Kibbles :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 2:34am

That argument only holds water if the guys getting in at Sharpe's expense were more deserving than Sharpe... and I have a hard time believing that Derrick Thomas was more deserving than Shannon Sharpe. I also have a hard time swallowing the fact that Ralph Wilson Jr. got in at Sharpe's expense, too.

This year, I can't for the life of me comprehend electing Russ Grimm over Shannon Sharpe. Sure, Grimm was probably the best player on the Hogs, and that's one of the most famous offensive lines of all time. That doesn't make Grimm a Hall of Famer. Russ Grimm only started the equivalent of 7 seasons during his entire career. Seven seasons! As far as I can tell, Grimm joins Billy Shaw as the only modern era guards with fewer than 10 seasons worth of starts to make the Hall of Fame... but Shaw started 9 seasons worth of games to Grimm's 7, made 8 Pro Bowls to Grimm's 4, was a 5-time first team AP All Pro to Grimm's 3, and played back in the '60s before advancements in modern medicine extended the career lengths of football players.

Sharpe, in my mind, should be a slam dunk. I feel like there are 4 main categories that players get evaluated in when it comes HoF time- stats, awards, accomplishments/wins, and "fame". Shannon Sharpe retired with the best stats of any TE in NFL history. He retired with the most awards (pro bowls, all pros, all-decade teams) of any TE in NFL history. He retired possibly the most accomplished TE in NFL history, playing an integral part in 3 SB Champion offenses and winning an NFL record 12 consecutive playoff games. While "fame" is difficult to quantify, I'd say he also leads all NFL TEs in that category, too (the big mouth and media-friendly quotes, the sideline antics, the job as an NFL broadcaster), or at worst finishes second to Ditka (who a lot of younger fans don't even realize was actually a TE once upon a time). Sharpe is literally off the charts in all four "Hall of Fame" categories. He's since been passed by Gonzalez in two of the categories (stats and awards), but he still blows Gonzo out of the water in accomplishments and "fame", and when last I checked, getting passed by a sure-fire first-ballot HoFer wasn't necessarily an indictment of a player's accomplishments. Sharpe was essentially the Emmitt Smith of the TE position, but Smith is a slam dunk no-brainer "not even worth discussing" type lock, and Sharpe is a guy who has to wait several years? That doesn't make sense to me.

58
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:13am

{aul Krause, bob hayes, Dick Butkis other hofers drafted by broncs before comon draft started

69
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:47pm

Kibbles wrote: "Ditto that for Sharpe (how was he not first ballot, again?)"

Sharpe not being elected in his first year of eligibility was no surprise to me. No TE ever has been. In fact, no TE has been elected before their third eligible year (Kellen Winslow).

Sharpe will get voted in soon enough, and rightly so I think.

89
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:49am

I have to assume Tony Gonzalez will be the first to break that streak. I can't imagine anyone not voting for him on his first ballot.

59
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:22am

I think Raiderjoe may have hit the nail on the head with "Seems like constant whning from broncs fans made some voters cave in and put a Demver player in."

I posted over on the pfr blog on their profile of Little (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=5757) that I am always a bit mystified by fellow Bronco fans' insistence that he belongs in. In fact, I don't even think Sharpe belongs in. Gradishar and Atwater stand out as the Broncos who belong in but won't get in.

It's also sort of odd that a lot of groups of fans do this--campaign for seemingly the "wrong" player to go in. Raider fans always argue that Ken Stabler belongs in when Daryle Lamonica was probably better. Redskins fans always argue for Russ Grimm (obviously that will now change) when Chris Hanburger was probably better. It's sort of an odd phenomenon, but a lot of teams have someone like that.

And, just so I am not misconstrued, I think Grimm probably belongs in anyway. Hanburger just probably does more. I do actually think Lamonica belongs in and not Stabler.

60
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:29am

Stabler not in becuause after left the Raiders he layed crappy with oiler s and Saints. look uop his stats with Houston and Saints. extremeely crappy numbers. make you think he played drunk.

65
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:59am

He also didn't start in Oakland until he was 27 years old and his prime only lasted five years. And, after Houston, he went to the Saints and was even worse (though the team, surprisingly enough, had a .500 record with him starting). It also probably didn't help that he followed such a successful QB in Lamonica.

31
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 10:07pm

Art Monk was, if anything, the "poster child" for the neglected hero whose bid for the hall suffered because of the priorities of today's media. (Flashy plays, big on trash talk, flamboyancy, self-promotion, etc.) There's no need to retread the arguments, but of course Monk's entry also tends to disappoint stat-heads who minimize intangibles and other non-stat qualities.

Whatever. I'm just glad that justice was done.

(The four minute standing ovation he received upon his entry confirms this, of course. No other player has ever seen anything like it. That would never happen to a player who did not deserve entry.)

39
by Feagles - King ... :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:18am

Or his is the kind of candidacy that was trumpeted by those who overestimate intangibles and other non-stat qualities.

Look, I'm not saying the guy didn't work hard or that he wasn't respected by his teammates. That goes for a lot of guys though, and it doesn't make someone a Hall of Famer.

Also..how exactly was he a "neglected hero?" I was a kid during Monk's prime, but I remember a lot of people giving him praise for his play. It's not like he flew under the radar.

68
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:39pm

"Look, I'm not saying the guy didn't work hard or that he wasn't respected by his teammates. That goes for a lot of guys though, and it doesn't make someone a Hall of Famer."

If that was a sufficient way of summing up his career, then you might have a point here. However, it is not, and therefore I'm afraid that this doesn't add to the discussion. You can marginalize almost anyone's performance by putting it in terms such as those ("So what if he could throw the ball really far, rarely missed a game, and won a Super Bowl? I'm as big a Brett Favre fan as any, but I don't think he belongs" etc.)

As for "neglected hero," I'll let the many rants from the likes of Peter King and Dr. Z, among many others, speak for themselves. (I believe it was Peter King who said that he recommended voting Monk in just so they wouldn't have to keep having the conversation. Shameful on so many levels.)

73
by David :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:15pm

Recommending someone for the hall of fame because you're bored of talking about him is hardly a ringing endorsement...

102
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:38pm

Right . . . that's kind of my point.

54
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:42am

Yes, because obviously Paul Hornung was a great, deserving Hall of Famer if ever there was one: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=1640

Not to mention Lynn Swann.

I agree that Little didn't belong in, but don't try to say that the Hall is being "diluted" now as though all of the earlier selections deserved it.

16
by Packerpalooza (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:13pm

Congrats to all.

19
by Mr Shush :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 8:39pm

My view is that Jackson definitely belongs, Randle probably belongs, and Grimm probably doesn't but isn't a horrible choice. I absolutely don't think any of them should have got in ahead of Kennedy or Dawson.

Both seniors are horrible selections, but I suppose I'd rather have them in Canton than bed-blocking more deserving candidates for years to come.

20
by MC2 :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:04pm

Little and LeBeau played before my time, so I really can't comment much on whether they deserved to get in. From what I've heard from those who did see them play, it sounds like both of them were pretty dubious selections.

As for the others, I would have definitely voted for Smith, Rice and Jackson (who I always felt was somewhat overlooked during his days with the Saints).

I'm kind of on the fence about Grimm. I don't mind him getting in, but I felt others deserved it more.

I wouldn't vote for Randle, but I'm not surprised he made it.

29
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 9:59pm

So happy to see Grimm make it. It's nice to see some justice with one of the Hogs finally getting in.

Of course, I think Joe Jacoby should be in there as well (and I would have put him in ahead of Grimm, but that's another story).

32
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 10:26pm

re: Never Surrender

Big Corey Hart fan?

If Milwa Brewres don't play "sunglasses at night" when Corey Hart come to bat esepcially for night games then team need to get on ball with that and fire wheoever in charge of music over loudspeaker at Miller Park.

ART mONK truly gerat player and was very ahppy when he finally get in last year and not even a Redskins fan. Very good pass ctahcer, best hands of all time maybe right up there with Raiders greats F Biletnikoff and J Rice, Clots great R Berry and Vikings great C carter. Maybe top 5 pairs of NFl hands right there. L Fuitzgerald right there too and maybe some others,m but you get point- Monk had great hands maybe best ever. Also got screwed out of several Pro bowls beccuase voting ended in week 13 pr 14 every year which is stupid. had many great decemeber games Monk did.
Also excelelnt blocker who J Gibbs sometimes use as H-back and te type of player.

35
by Miller Field (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 11:13pm

The Brewers players pick their own music. Corey Hart's at-bat song is Craig Morgan's "International Harvester". And yes the Brewers should fire Corey Hart.

38
by sundown (not verified) :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 11:56pm

+100 for a hilarious Corey Hart reference. Wonder what that guy is doing now?

37
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 11:38pm

International Harvester" never heard of that.

is Hart from a farming family?

40
by Diogenes (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:19am

Post #25 stated it best: Hall Of Fame Voting is often about politics. That's why Joe Jackson is not in Cooperstown.
That's why the NFL Players' Union President, John Mackey, did
not get inducted into Canton until his fifteenth and final year of regular eligibility. After, I SUSPECT, some initial black-balling, they finally let him in. Also, they may have learned about the decline in his mental faculties.

And not to get too far off topic: the Rock and Roll hall of Fame is similarly political. They should call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Sales and Special Friends of Jann Wenner.
For example, Patti Smith got inducted. Al Kooper has not gotten in yet, despite the fact that his career achievements and impact are far, far greater than hers.

53
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:38am

You mean Alice Cooper? If not, who the heck is Al Kooper? Is he more deserving than Corey Hart?

55
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:48am

Al Kooper is a very important person to rock history whose name is not known by much of the public. Here is the first paragraph of his All Music Guide bio (http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:hifpxqe5ldde~T1):

"Al Kooper, by rights, should be regarded as one of the giants of '60s rock, not far behind the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in importance. In addition to co-writing one classic mid-'60s pop-rock song, "This Diamond Ring" (though it was written as an R&B number), he was a very audible sessionman on some of the most important records of mid-decade, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Kooper also joined and led, and then lost two major groups, the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He played on two classic blues-rock albums in conjunction with his friend Mike Bloomfield. As a producer at Columbia, he signed the British invasion act the Zombies just in time for them to complete the best LP in their entire history; and still later, Kooper discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd and produced their best work. Instead, in terms of public recognition, Kooper has been relegated to second-rank status, somewhere midway between John Mayall and Steve Winwood. Apart from the fact that he's made, and continues to make great music, it's the public's loss that he's not better respected outside the ranks of his fellow musicians."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is awful. Truly awful.

64
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:58am

Patti Smith and the Ramones were the two American R+R acts that practically invented punk rock as we know it, as important as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and Buzzcocks. I do know who Al Kooper is and while he was pretty important, I really can't say someone who was primarily a session musician deserves R+RHoF status. Maybe they deserve a special room and could include musicians like Nicky Hopkins, Jim Keltner, and Tom Scott.

66
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:09pm

I don't know that it's fair to say he was "primarily a session musician." I would say he was really primarily a producer. There actually is a "sidemen" category, though I really don't understand their criteria for whether someone fits there (and that may be the better place for Al Kooper, so I'll agree with you on that).

I have no problem with the Ramones. I have said that I think there are two tests that are good for who should go in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One is to ask "Would the history of music in the rock and roll era be different without them?" The other is if there is a major movement in music, be it punk, pop-metal, progressive rock, or space rock, the people who can go in are who did it first, did it best, and were most popular at it. (Sometimes that will be the same answer for all three, sometimes it could be three different answers.) The Ramones probably are a yes under the first test and, though I am not going to claim particular expertise in punk, they probably would be who did punk first. Patti Smith I don't really see, but she's not a horrible induction (see Madonna and Eric Clapton as a solo artist for examples of that).

83
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 4:59pm

Claims in regard to helping "invent punk rock" have been made for the New York Dolls, The Dictators, and The Stooges, all of whom predated Patti Smith and The Ramones. In fact, it appears challenging to definitively say "punk rock started here" as far as the US is concerned. And Smith and The Ramones were indeed a crucial part of that CBGB mid-70s punk scene, though so were Talking Heads, Blondie, Television, and other acts.

Though if what I've read is correct, it was a Ramones tour of the UK that inspired the British punk rock movement, with The Clash, Sex Pistols, and The Damned arguably the first such bands over there.

87
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:50pm

The idea that the Ramones touring the UK inspired the British punk movement is probably why I think of them as the originators of punk.

I think that's part of the problem with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame--music is often so much a product of outside forces that there are many stumbling onto the same ideas at the same time, and yet the Hall of Fame suggests that we can parse those people out and say which are "worthy" of enshrinement.

78
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 2:53pm

Diogenes, "politics" is not the reason Joe Jackson isn't in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jackson isn't in because he's on the banned list for throwing games in the 1919 World Series -- and I think rightly so, unless one wants baseball to have as much integrity as pro wrestling.

79
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 3:19pm

This is probably overly nitpicky, but I'm going to say it anyway. The banned list doesn't actually block him from the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame voted to create a rule that they would not allow anyone from the banned list in. They instituted this rule in 1991 (when Pete Rose would otherwise have been eligible). He could have been voted into the Hall of Fame.

To your larger point, I agree. I think it's fair to say that he's not in largely because of the Black Sox scandal (Though you can make at least a decent argument that he doesn't belong in anyway--not a great argument but a decent one.) and that it's not really right to characterize that as "political." I also agree that he should not be in, though now I don't think that it would actually hurt baseball's credibility. Between the hit its credibility has already taken from the "Steroid Era" and the fact that most of the public, while knowing little or nothing about it, thinks that Jackson did not in fact throw the series, I doubt there would be much, if indeed any, negative fallout were he inducted. In fact, with the writers deciding not to allow in people whom they have decided were cheaters, I really think there's a fair chance that baseball or the Hall of Fame will work to allow Rose's and Jackson's induction on the chance that it creates positive publicity.

82
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 4:42pm

The Guy wrote: "the fact that most of the public, while knowing little or nothing about it, thinks that Jackson did not in fact throw the series..."

True enough, and there are a few reasons for this:

--people like poster "Diogenes" who insist on posting revisionist history. There are even more of them supporting Pete Rose. Sadly, there are some ignorant and/or gullible folks one can reach and sway this way, and they know it.

--the film "Eight Men Out" plays very fast and loose with the facts on the 1919 Series, including portraying Jackson as an ignorant country bumpkin duped into something he didn't really participate in. That's not the case, from what I've read in reputable sources.

--the film "Field of Dreams" presents Jackson as a sympathetic character.

I think it's all revisionist history taken to a reprehensible level.

86
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:36pm

Totally agreed. The weird part about the "Eight Men Out" movie, to me, is that the book does not give the same impression about Jackson at all.

90
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:57am

I'd be very interested in hearing a "decent argument" for why, absent the Black Sox scandal, Joe Jackson doesn't belong in the HOF. His career Adjusted OPS+ is a whopping 170, which ranks in the All-Time Top 10, ahead of Ty Cobb (168), and well ahead of guys like Stan Musial (159), Willie Mays (156) and Hank Aaron (155). While that doesn't prove he's a better all-around player than those guys, it does show that he's one of the truly elite hitters to ever pick up a bat, and that alone should make him a lock for Cooperstown.

As for whether he "threw" the World Series (as opposed to simply refusing to rat out his teammates), take a look at his numbers from that World Series. He hit .375 with a HR, with an OPS of .956 (.394 OBP, .563 SLG). Does that sound like the performance of a guy who was trying to lose? Or maybe he was trying to make an out, when he "accidentally" hit one out of the park? Give me a break.

97
by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:55pm

The "Jackson hit well in the Series so he couldn't have been throwing games" argument neglects a really crucial aspect. Jackson hit really well in games the Sox won, but badly in ones they lost -- the plan was in fact not to throw all the games, just enough of them to affect the series outcome. Plus Jackson made some horrible fielding blunders in the games the Sox lost, ones he shouldn't have made given his glove capabilities, that affected their outcome.

Jackson indeed participated in throwing the series. He even signed a confession saying he did so. But the confession conveniently and mysteriously disappeared along with several other pieces of evidence before the trial, and there was no choice but to acquit there.

98
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 2:58pm

There may be some merit to your claims, but I don't really see any way that they can be proved or disproved, as they rest largely on speculation and hearsay. However, a few points are worth noting.

First, there have been many innocent people who were either tricked or coerced into signing confessions, which is why a confession alone, lacking any other evidence, is generally insufficient to convict someone of a crime. Jackson may not have been an ignorant rube, but he was not a lawyer, either.

Second, the fielding mistakes are not necessarily evidence of fixing, since shoddy equipment and poor field conditions in Jackson's era often led to even the best fielders committing seemingly egregious errors. For example, Tris Speaker, widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive outfielders of all time, averaged more than 10 errors per season for his career, a figure that would be unheard of for even the worst outfielders today.

Finally, if your thesis is correct, the fact that Jackson could put up the great numbers that he did, despite giving only a half-assed effort, is further proof of his greatness as a hitter, which is why he should be given every benefit of the doubt when it comes to the Hall of Fame, since it would be a grave injustice to leave such a deserving candidate out, unless there were irrefutable proof that he cheated. In fact, even if such proof did exist, I think you can still make an argument for letting him in, but that's not really relevant, since such irrefutable proof does not, in fact, exist.

99
by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 6:55pm

MC2 wrote: "There may be some merit to your claims, but I don't really see any way that they can be proved or disproved, as they rest largely on speculation and hearsay."

Below, please find a link to the Baseball Almanac website which in their words contains

"the grand jury of Cook County's inquiry into the "investigation of alleged baseball scandal." What follows is an EXACT word-for-word transcript of the official court record — including misspelled words, misspelled names, and other unusual items."

specifically containing Joe Jackson's testimony and dating from September 28, 1920:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/joejackson.shtml

Here's an excerpt. Anything following an "A" is Jackson's testimony:

Q Did anybody pay you any money to help throw that series in favor of Cincinnati?
A They did.
Q How much did they pay?
A They promised me $20,000 and paid me five.
Q Who promised you the twenty thousand?
A ?Chick? Gandil.
Q Who is Chick Gandil?
A He was their first baseman on the White Sox club.
Q Who paid you the $5,000?
A Lefty Williams brought it in my room and threw it down.
Q Who is Lefty Williams?
A The pitcher on the White Sox club.

By the way, I'm not disputing the notion that Jackson was a great hitter. His regular season stats alone, which is an important part of what baseball HoF cases are based on, suggest this very strongly.

100
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 7:23pm

That just says that he agreed to accept the money that was offered to him, not that he actually went through with the plan. In fact, if you read down further in the same transcript, Jackson is asked specifically whether he himself participated in the fix. He replied as follows:

Q: Did you make any intentional errors yourself that day?
A: No, sir, not during the whole series.
Q: Did you bay to win?
A: Yes.
Q: And run the bases to win?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: and fielded the balls at the outfield to win?
A: I did.

Of course, that doesn't mean he was completely innocent. He was still an accomplice to the fix, but there's obviously a big difference in passively allowing something to happen, as opposed to actively taking part in it. For example, many people believe that anyone who used steroids should not be allowed to be in the HOF, but I've never heard anyone suggest that merely being aware of a teammate's steroid use should disqualify a player from HOF consideration.

101
by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 7:57pm

MC2 wrote: "Of course, that doesn't mean he was completely innocent."

I would think not, especially given that he admitted accepting money from a teammate to throw baseball games. For me, at least, that's plenty enough reason for Jackson to be on baseball's banned list. Note that for good or ill, there is a "character" clause which the baseball HoF asks voters to consider:

"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played."

85
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:08pm

Diogenes, John Mackey apparently did not get into the HoF until his last eligible year because the Baltimore HoF voting rep at the time, John Steadman, thought Mackey's playing ability was lacking (the claim was that Mackey "dropped too many passes" and had bad hands) and repeatedly tanked his candidacy. Another Baltimore sportswriter, Mike Preston, apparently exposed Steadman's behavior which resulted in Steadman backing off and Mackey finally being voted in.

See this article by Preston:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/blog/2007/02/john_mackey.h...

Yes, that's an example of "politics," I'll grant you that.

41
by Dice :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 1:41am

Great for Grimm, now time to lobby for the Hangman.

42
by t.d. :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:20am

I'm stunned that Dent and Carter didn't get in. I thought Rickey Jackson belonged eventually, but he got in this year because the Saints are in the Super Bowl. Randle was a questionable selection.

51
by andrew :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:35am

Floyd Little vs Chuck Foreman

Seasons: Little 9, Foreman 7
Pro Bowls: Little 5, Foreman 5
First team All-Pro: Little 1, Foreman 1
Most yards (season): Little 1133, Foreman 1155
1000 yard seasons: Little 1, Foreman 3
Touchdowns: Little 52, Foreman 76
Most Touchdowns (season): Little 13, Foreman 22
Receptions: Little 215, Foreman 350
Receiving Yards: Little 2418, Foreman 3156

Little lead the league in rushing once and rushing tds once. Foreman lead the league in receptions once and combined touchdowns twice (though not his 22 td season, simpson had 23 that year).

56
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:50am

As a Bronco fan, I will say that Chuck Foreman is severely underrated and Little doesn't belong in the Hall. I don't think Foreman does, either, but I think you're right that he has a stronger case than Little.

77
by Lance :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 2:08pm

I just want to thank the smart readers of FO that as of this posting, no one has pulled the tired and ridiculous "Hall of Very Good" line yet. Which is better than half the personalities on ESPN Radio...

84
by Lance :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 5:08pm

And not two hours after I write this, we get a Hall of Very Good comment. Oh well.

80
by CoachDave :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 3:45pm

They need to take away the veteran's committee role because both selection suck balls.

Dick LeBeau was a good CB and a below-average coach until he "caretook" Dom Capers defense.

And Floyd Little? How the f- does Floyd Little get in the HOF?

And Rickey Jackson belongs in the HOVG, not the HOF. Zero All Pro awards. Zero. If you can't ONE All Pro award in 15 years, you don't belong.

And Russ Grimm does not belong. Yes, he and the Skins had a great run from 82-86, but that was a TEAM performance, not the dominated HOF career of a single player.

Nice job HOF voters...way to f- up Rice and Smith's year with some crappy inductees.

81
by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/07/2010 - 4:40pm

Agreed with the sentiments about Little and LeBeau, and I'll give you Emmitt Thomas and Marshall Goldberg as further evidence that the Seniors committee is composed of a bunch of bozos with no concept of the game's history or how to interpret stats properly.

But I'm not with you on Rickey Jackson being a bad HoF choice. It's true Jackson was never named to an AP 1st team all-pro squad, but he did appear on two NEA 1st team all-pro squads (1986 and 1987) and went to 6 pro bowls. Back a few years ago, Mike Singletary and Lawrence Taylor were the only LBs in the HoF from the 80s and 90s, which is too thin representation for this position. Jackson was essentially part of the upper crust of a huge logjam of LBs from the 80s and 90s not in, with Andre Tippett, Charles Haley, Kevin Greene, Harry Carson, and Derrick Thomas being the rest of that upper crust. Their postseason honor profiles (Tippett and Greene at 2/5 and Thomas at 2/9 with all being named to all decade teams; Haley at 2/5, Jackson at 0/6, and Carson at 0/9, none being on an all decade team) aren't far off from each other. What often happens in cases like this is that the logjam keeps them all out, but for a change, it looks like the voters are deciding that they belong in. I can't say I disagree.

Jackson, like Tippett, also had a reputation of playing decently in pass protection and very well against the run as well as being a great pass rusher. And that's something you can't say about Thomas (great pass rusher, not so great on the other stuff) and Carson (great against the run, less so otherwise). Having a complete game has historically seemed to make a difference to HoF voters when they consider LBs.

94
by Kibbles :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 2:45am

In fairness to Jackson...

1) while he never earned any 1st team AP All Pro awards, he was a 5-time 2nd team AP All Pro selection, and in a sixth season both the UPI and the Newspaper Ent. Association named him a first team All NFL player while the AP didn't even give him second team honors. So there were legitimately 6 seasons where Jackson was one of the 3-4 best OLBs in the entire game.

2) Jackson played for a TERRIBLE team, which no doubt impacted his recognition.

3) Jackson played in the same conference and at the same position as Lawrence Taylor, a guy many consider to be the best defensive player in the history of the NFL, regardless of position. This no doubt played a huge role in the lack of All NFL awards (and helps explain why he kept earning 2nd team status). It's not really fair to penalize Rickey Jackson just because he happened to play in the shadow of one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of cleats.

95
by Eddo :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:50am

Good arguments, Kibbles; your third point can be summed up as the "Tim Raines Problem".

96
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:32pm

Given that there is such a backlog of deserving guys who are not in, I will never again make an argument that any individual is not deserving, but these selectors know about as much about football as I do about neurosurgery. The comparison above regarding Little and Foreman is very good, and I saw Randle play every game as a Viking, and while his pass rushing was obviously great, he was so one-dimensional, sometimes to great detriment ot his team, I would have inducted many guys before getting to Randle.