Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Sep 2017

Steve Smith (No, the Other One) Nominated for the Hall of Fame

On Tuesday evening, the preliminary list for the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was released. Among the 108 names was wide receiver Steve Smith. No, not the Smith who just retired and isn't eligible until the class of 2022, but the Smith who played for the New York Giants (2007-2010), Eagles (2011), and Rams (2012).

Fake Steve Smith did at least have one Pro Bowl season (2009) with 1,220 receiving yards, but I best remember Smith for his underrated third-and-11 conversion in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots. Smith's 12-yard gain is arguably the most overlooked play in one of the NFL's greatest upsets. It was the key play in between David Tyree's helmet catch and Plaxico Burress' game-winning touchdown. Without Smith's conversion, the Giants would have faced a difficult fourth-and-11 that easily could have secured 19-0 for the Patriots.

With that said, if we were nominating players for Canton on one play, then David Tyree has been eligible even longer. This was clearly some type of clerical error that should have been noticed before the list was published. At the very least, the HOF should be able to correct this by removing Smith from the list. When so many of the 108 names are already long shots, going with a wideout who had 2,641 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns makes things look foolish.

At this rate, we can expect Fake Adrian Peterson (Chicago running back) to get his name onto a future list any day now. Maybe tight end David Johnson will have his day in the sun should the Arizona running back return and flourish.

Posted by: Scott Kacsmar on 13 Sep 2017

18 comments, Last at 15 Sep 2017, 10:52am by t.d.


by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:28pm

I remember the Bears Adrian Peterson literally being referred to as 'The Other Adrian Peterson' during games.

As for Smith, he had a really nice 2009 season. That and the 3rd and 11 you mention above is all I relaly remember about him.

by Travis :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 4:01pm

The most notable part of that 2009 season was that it was the first time a Giants wide receiver had made the Pro Bowl since 1968. (I'm not sure if there's a team/non-kicker-position grouping that had a larger gap; even a Bears quarterback made it once during that time.)

He wrecked his knee in 2010 and never recovered.

by andrew :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 1:43pm

I remember before the first Vikings-Bears matchup in 2007 there was a wikipedia battle over which Adrian Peterson would be Adrian Peterson, with the other relegated to Adrian (middle initial, L or N) Peterson. Bears fans even predicted their guy would have more yards and AD was actually the other Adrian Peterson.

Then he teed off for three highlight reel long touchdowns, 224 yards and a kickoff return with less than a minute left into FG range after the Bears came back to tie it on an 80 yard Hester pass.

Apparently players who are namesakes of great players are great for auction leagues.

by dmb :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:41pm

I believe players are ineligible for the Hall of Fame for five years after their retirement, so the "right" Steve Smith would be ineligible. According to pro-football-reference, the currently-nominated Steve Smith is the only other Steve Smith to play wide receiver in the NFL. So I suspect that Smith was nominated by someone who is ignorant of the eligibility requirements, and the nomination was simply given to the Steve Smith who is actually eligible. Not so much a clerical error, simply a reflection of the process that considers eligibility prior to qualifications.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 3:00pm

Yep good analysis.

I seem to recall reading many years ago that any member of Joe Public could nominate a player. I don't know how that doesn't result in a good 1,000 players or so being put in the first nomination.

Always assumed there would be some kind of initial cutdown process to get rid of someone select the obvious miscreant values e.g. nominating a guard who played one game.

by dmb :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 4:41pm

The Selection Process FAQ on the Hall of Fame website seems to indicate that Joe Public is, in fact, still able to nominate people: "Any fan may nominate any player, coach or contributor who has been connected with pro football simply by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

I agree, I'm astonished that there aren't a thousand player nominees each year, as well as Contributor nominations like James Quinn, Bud Selig, or Papa Murphy.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:56pm

This is amazing...

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 3:07pm

yes, amaxing , funny and colossal waste of tiem . not waste iof tuime for us to write about but for PFHOF and Hall voters to jhave to deal with this. so silly.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 5:05pm

He's not even clearly the best fake Steve Smith:

(He's not even clearly the second best fake Steve Smith -- the Raiders FB had a comparable career)

He is the best fake Steve Smith to be contemporaneous with the real Steve Smith:

It could be worse. There have been ten Mike Williams's.

by Richie :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 7:52pm

I would like to nominate the other Alex Smith.

by mathesond :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:05am

I remember taking part in a fantasy draft when an owner in a hurry drafted Indianapolis Colt RB Ricky Williams in the first round, rather than the one coming off a 2200 yard (from scrimmage) season. Much (online) laughter ensued.

Williams the Colt managed 155 rushing yards and 157 receiving yards that season, his last.


by Travis :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:27am

During this week's waiver period, owners in 3% of all NFL.com fantasy leagues picked up Chiefs practice-squad RB Akeem Hunt.

by Richie :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 7:06pm


by morganja :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 8:12pm

Better season than David Johnson is going to have.

by Independent George :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:50am

Don't forget Anthony Gonzalez and Curt Warner.

Isiaih Thomas is the one that gets me in basketball.

by Richie :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 7:07pm

Of course, Curt Warner was THE Curt Warner. Then Kurt Warner came along and was "the other" Kurt Warner for a couple weeks. Then they flipped positions.

by morganja :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 8:11pm

Steve Smith's mom is the best mom ever!

by t.d. :: Fri, 09/15/2017 - 10:52am

Jerry Kramer as a seniors finalist- not sure how I feel about it. Like L.C. Greenwood, being kept out probably has kept him more remembered than he otherwise would have been (and plenty of other teams need better representation than the '60s packers or '70s steelers), but generally, i feel that just about every senior nominee should be admitted