Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Feb 2013

2013 Hall Of Fame Class Announced

Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, and Warren Sapp were just announced on NFL Network as your 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.

Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, and Aeneas Williams all made the cutdown from 15 to 10, but were not among the five modern-era finalists. Tim Brown, Eddie DeBartolo, Kevin Greene, Art Modell, and Will Shields were the five modern-era finalists eliminated in the first cutdown.

Congratulations to the new enshrinees.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 02 Feb 2013

58 comments, Last at 17 Feb 2013, 11:40pm by BigCheese


by Thok :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:06pm

Oh good. Now we can stop hearing about how Cris Carter will never make the Hall of Fame, and instead focus on the other 5-10 wide receivers that need enshrining (as well as the 50 or so non-wide receivers who need to get in as well.)

by Jerry :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:08pm

The logjam has been broken. Reed and Brown will most likely get in in the next couple years, and then the committee can start assessing the next batch of receivers.

by Thok :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:14pm

I think Carter is perfectly fine wide receiver who should have been inducted years ago. I also think that of roughly 5-10 other wide receivers, as well as similar numbers of every non-QB/RB position as well. There isn't a wide receiver logjam problem, there's a way too few people get inducted each year problem.

by theslothook :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:23pm

This isn't going to be just a wide receiver issue, this is going to be a defensive end issue as well. Think about all of the defensive linemen of this era that are going to be competing for hall of fame spots. Suggs, peppers, allen, ware, freeney, joey porter, james harrison. Then there's the 3-4/4-3 Dt guys - Halot Ngata, Justin Smith, Richard Seymore, Vince Wilfork, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, casey Hampton, Kris Jenkins(probably not going to get there). This is going to get really ugly.

by Thok :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:26pm

This isn't going to be just a wide receiver/defensive end issue. It's going to be an issue with every position not called quarter back (and maybe running back, but that depends on what you think of the Bettis/Terrell Davis/Roger Craig/Rickey Watters backlog, but Tomlinson will get in without any problems.)

by Joe123456789 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 6:11pm

Like TIM BROWN!!!!!!!!! 5th in all time receiving yards and he waster starter his first four session

by theslothook :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:17pm

Kind of amazed Strahan didn't make it first ballot. I was sure his story, career, and name recognition would push him ahead of Sapp. I think aeneas williams and will shields both deserve to get in as first ballot hall of famers.

If people think the logjam is lessened by carter's admission, they are gravely mistaken. The logjam is a logjam because too many qualified candidates don't make the first time and then get recycled year after year as new enshrinees come up.

by Jerry :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:39pm

If the five "semi-finalists" had gotten in instead of the five modern guys who did, it would still be a good class. Given the number of qualified candidates at the moment, "first ballot" is an unimportant distinction.

by jonnyblazin :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:32pm

I'm curious about how Curley Culp and Dave Robinson got into the HOF. I see there is a Senior Committee who nominates 2 people every year, but then I suppose the rest of the voters decide on whether to enshrine them. But how on earth can the voters compare Strahan to Curley Culp? I have no way of assessing how good these older guys were, but my guess is the rest of the committee doesn't either.

by Hurt Bones :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:34pm

Separate votes. They can only vote for a max of 5 modern candidates, and it's separate from voting for a max two veteran candidates

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:10pm

C. Culp one of best Raiders foes all tine. Up there with B. Buchanan, Wm Lanier, D. Fours, L. Tomlinson, J. Elway, Winslow, Seau. K. Easley gerat too but career cut short due to kidney problem.

Culp go to Houston after KC days end and then becodme thorn in Raiders side as nose guard in Bum Philkips's 3-4. Raiders get Oilers on schedule each year 1975-79. Culp played good in all of them. Goos gammes too

75- pilers won 27-26
76- Raiders won 14-13
77- Raiders won 34-29
78- Raiders won 21-17
79- Oilers won 31-17

Culp very strong player. Wrestler in college.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 11:21pm

Now that Curley Culp and Dave Robinson have received their deserved recognition, maybe some other tremendous players who were in their primes in the '60s, like Mick Tinglehoff, who Butkus described as the best center he ever battled with, will have a chance.

by Dean :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 5:40pm

I'm all for Tinglehoff, but before we get to him, we should consider the candicacy of Chris O'Brien.

by CoachDave :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:33pm

The logjam at WR has been made worse by the inclusion of a stat complier like Art Monk and a sports media/PR darling like Lynn Swann.

When you lower the bar this far with these two, you have to start talking about a bunch of Hall of Good players like Andre Reed and Tim Brown.

by Thok :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:42pm

I'm sort of wondering if the DC/Baltimore media will start pushing for Derrick Mason's inclusion into the Hall of Fame. He has roughly the same stats as Art Monk.

(To be fair, Monk is clearly a better player than Mason; he's a better blocker and he played with more restrictive passing rules. But without adjusting for context they look the same.)

by Hurt Bones :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:57pm

I doubt it very much. I think the Baltimore media view Derrick Mason as a very good receiver who had a long career. I don't think I ever heard any of the media suggest he was a Hall of Famer.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 12:56am

I think you have it backwards. Adjusting for context, Monk looks a lot different than Mason. They only look similar if you don't adjust for context. Monk held both the single season receiving record and the career receiving record. Mason never got close to either.

That's because Mason played in a league that was a lot friendlier to wide receivers than Monk did.

I don't think Baltimore cares very much about Derrick Mason. He didn't start playing in Baltimore until he was already 31. He was more of a standout for the Titans, though he really never was much of that.

by Nicholas Ray (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:52am

Agree with this. For all the latter-day insults that some players in the HOF now receive from the smart marks, the fact is Monk was a really good receiver in an era when running backs were still the focal points of many an offense. He was often amongst the league leaders in receptions on good Redskins teams.
Using the same argument that others do, than Calvin Johnson is really just a 'stat compiler' because all of his catches have led Detroit to resounding mediocrity.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:25pm

"Resounding mediocrity" is an accomplishment for Ford-era Lions teams.

by Go pats (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:23am

Reed was a great wr. That offense wasncentrednaround Thurman thomas, they made 4 straight Super Bowls. Rees played in an awful weather environment in buffalo. If he played in a nice warm dome like carter, his stats would be just as good if not better.

by anderson721 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 6:53pm

I dunno. When a guy retires as the all time career leader in receptions, it's hard to dismiss him as a "stat-compiler" I don't think they lowered the bar for him at all.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 12:08am

Monk is your example of a stat compiler? Ever hear of Charlie Joiner? No I didn't think so. Joiner was a lot like Monk except with fewer 1000 yard seasons, without ever leading the league in any stat (Monk led the league in catches and Y/G), while playing on teams that threw the ball a lot, which bumped up his stats (Monk played on run-first teams), and not doing any blocking (Monk was a great blocker). Oh and Joiner never won a SB and Monk won 3. But other than that, yes, Monk is a great example of a stat-compiler.

by theslothook :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 8:28pm

Interesting debate about which wr's and which de's of this era will deserve to make it:(btw, just counting people who would make it based on current body of work, not counting people like CJ or Andre who haven't yet played long enough)

Wr- TO, Steve Smith, Moss, Harrison.

De- Peppers, Allen, Ware - Freeney is really going to get a lot of debate. I'd like to see him in but I don't know if its going to happen.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:13pm

I think if Steve Smith and Andre Johnson retired tomorrow, Johnson would have the more compelling case. He's only a hair behind in the counting stats, with more pro bowls (6 vs. 3 as WR and 1 as a returner) and more 1st team All Pro selections (2 vs. 1 as a WR and 1 as a returner). I view Smith as a guy with Hall of Fame talent who through a combination of injuries and crappy team-mates will end up falling short of a Hall of Fame career. Johnson now looks almost certain to get there, on the other hand.

by theslothook :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:36pm

Thats true, although Johnson doesn't have the playoff cache that steve smith does(this is purely something the voters will take into account, not me). Thats why I think smith is ahead of Johnson. Plus, one thing that hurts receivers is there me first diva attitude. I think steve smith, while actually a well known showboater, definitely had the warrior grinder type reputation that will also warm the hearts of the hall voters.(again, not something I agree with or share).

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:46pm

Like Smith for Hall. Would vote for him. Think Haririson, Smitj, Brown dersve inducotoin. A. Johnson yes too. Ditto C. Johnson..

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 8:10am

Interesting, and fair points all. On the other hand, Smith does have the whole breaking a team-mate's jaw in practice thing, and Johnson has been a model citizen in every possible way (apart from that time he beat up Cortland Finnegan, but who doesn't want to beat up Cortland Finnegan?) and is also an excellent blocker.

I think I'd enshrine both, but Smith is a far more marginal candidate as far as I'm concerned, despite that amazing 2005 season.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:26pm

I think beating up Cortland Finnegan is a point in his favor.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 4:00pm

Am thinking it's a little too early to say about Steve Smith yet, but he's getting there. TO and Harrison are done and Moss nearly so, so am thinking it's easier to evaluate them -- and my guess is they all get elected eventually.

Re DEs, I think Peppers and Jared Allen will get in. Freeney's on the 00s All-decade team, and while I think he'll wait a good while, he'll probably get elected as well. Demarcus Ware's a LB, but should also make it in.

by DEW (not verified) :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 8:39pm

I'm just impressed to see two different offensive linemen make it in together. Carter was a ridiculously obvious choice, of course, and it's good to see him finally make it. But really, they need to start thinking about expanding the size of the induction classes. Leaving aside debates about how the game has changed, there are simply more teams now than there used to be, meaning more players in the league and more games played in which those players can excel. "The best guy at his position during his era" not only has to be adjusted for the changing nature of the game (for example, do we care at all about 2012 running backs not named Adrian Peterson, eminently fungible lot that they are?), but for the fact that the best guy has to beat out a lot more competitors for that title.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 8:41pm

At least the meatheads didn't screw up this year by failing to induct the maximum allowed. To give some sense of the quality of intellect on the selection committee, let me pass along what the hack from the AJC had to say, when I had the misfortune of hearing him on the radio, after the announcement. He said he had to be flipped to vote yes on Parcells this year, because he wasn't that impressed with the won-loss record, as if the moron couldn't grasp that Parcells took four jobs with franchises which were laughing stocks when he arrived. Fer' the love of Amos Alonzo Stagg, you couldn't get any more stupid if you tried.

If they ever put the gambling industry felon and salary cap cheat, Eddie DeBartolo, or the idiot who managed to become nearly insolvent, after buying an NFL team for a couple million dollars, Art Modell, into the Hall of Fame, I will never say or type a word about this joke of an institution.

by andrew :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:09pm

... and I heard someone on the radio lamenting on how ludicrous it was that they made DeBartolo wait another year... just googling turns up articles like this one. I'm with you though.

Even though I think they pretty much got it right this year, my thoughts on Carter being elected aren't quite what I thought they would be, given he'll be enshrined alongside Art Monk. And yeah, I remember all the articles from people outraged that Monk hadn't gotten in.

It is what it is. Not sure what else you could do at this point, you could try to establish your own hall, but you're not gonna set up something like the edifice in Canton that Alan Page helped construct.

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 10:27pm

I would rather have the HoF voting be conducted by 32 names drawn randomly from the FO message boards than by the beat writers.

by Mr. Punch (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:56am

While beat writers aren't perfect, I'd guess they still know a hell of a lot more than 90 percent of the people who post/write for this website. I would give Raider Joe a vote, and Will Allen. The rest? No thanks.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 7:19am

I'd have a look at the list of voters, quite a lot didn't even seem to watch much film.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:29pm

RJ is an automatic vote for a Raider. Sapp is lucky he got in this year. =)

On the other hand, he might be Gannon's only hope.

RickD would probably be a decent voter.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 7:23am

That article is pretty amazing. It's as if it was written by someone who had never heard of the pimping little crook until they wikied him.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:34pm

Imagine that. A website owned by NFL owners championing the HOF candidacy of two owners. Truly a model of journalistic integrity.

If Modell gets in, I hope his presenter wears a waterproof jacket.

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 8:03am

"He said he had to be flipped to vote yes on Parcells this year, because he wasn't that impressed with the won-loss record, as if the moron couldn't grasp that Parcells took four jobs with franchises which were laughing stocks when he arrived. Fer' the love of Amos Alonzo Stagg, you couldn't get any more stupid if you tried. "

Laughing stock franchises accumulate a ton of top end talent. Its not as dumb as you make it sound for someone to make that statement. Win loss record should be the most important factor in determining hall of fame coaches.

Personally, i think its atrocious that parcells made it over strahan.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:36am

"Laughing stock franchises accumulate a ton of top end talent."

They do? They accumulate a lot of early draft picks, I'll grant, but to say they accumlate a lot of talent is essentially assuming that the management of the team is not to blame for the laughingstock-ness. Look at the rosters of the 93 Patriots, 97 Jets, and 03 Cowboys. Do they really have "a ton of top end talent?" I'll see your Neil O'Donnell and raise you Quincy Carter.

It's true that at the end of the day W-L is the stat that matters most for coaches. But as with players, context matters.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 5:53pm

Yes, it is every bit as dumb, because laughingstock franchises become laughingstock franchises by wasting draft picks.

It is atrocious that players and coaches are in the same category, and are pitted against each other for selection.

by MC2 :: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 9:51am

It is atrocious that players and coaches are in the same category, and are pitted against each other for selection.

I agree 100%. While I've never been the biggest Parcells fan, I would have no problem with him getting in, except that it takes away one of the precious spots that should go to one of the many deserving players caught in the endless backlog.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 4:11pm

"At least the meatheads didn't screw up this year by failing to induct the maximum allowed."

Agreed, and given how many good candidates are coming up, they'd better continue doing so or things will get really clogged up. Notable first-time eligibles (most have good HoF arguments, too) for the next couple years include:

2014: Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, Zach Thomas.

2015: Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James, Walter Jones, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Orlando Pace, Junior Seau, Kurt Warner, Torry Holt.

2016: Brett Favre, Alan Faneca, Darren Sharper, Terrell Owens.

2017: LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Brian Dawkins, Hines Ward.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:16am

Good job by the committee. Though I'm still baffled at the people who were against Parcells. And yes, there are still several worthy candidates on the outside waiting to get in.

Was glad to see by Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden get in right away. Shows that the committee isn't as stupid as I thought they might be.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:49am

It's a good class, all deserving (at least the modern guys are, I know nothing about the seniors). Of the 10 guys who didn't get in, the only ones who definitely should go in are Strahan, Williams, and Shields.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 8:07am

Agree, all deserving. But I'd have taken Strahan before Carter, if forced to make that choice. And an emphatic yes to both Shields and Williams for the future (though neither deserved to make it ahead of the men actually chosen).

by Jimmy :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 9:40am

Bryant Young was a better player than Sapp and should have gotten in before him. Noise and self agrandisement over superior play against run and pass, stupid.

And Haley should be in. Yes he was an odd one (to say the least) but he was an incredible pass rusher.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 11:58am

Bryant Young was a very good player but his best shot to make the HOF is probably the Senior Committee. And he might have been better than Sapp against the run, but it's tough to argue that he was better against the pass.

by Jimmy :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 12:41pm

Given what we know about sacks vs pressures and hurries, I wouldn't overemphasise a difference of seven sacks over whole careers. That could very easily be noise. It could also be a result of playing alongside guys like Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks, Hardy Nickerson, John Lynch and Ronde Barber. Whereas for most of Young's career the Niners were a cap mess compounded by terrible drafting and coaching. Never complained or whined to the media, preferring to quietly lead the team by example (sprinting between drills in his last training camp like a rookie trying to make the team, just like he always had). And for my money a better player than Sapp. Not saying Sapp wasn't very good though.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 1:45pm

Sapp was the engine that made Tampa's defense go. That defense was predicated on getting a pass rush with just the front four, and, in particular, getting Warren Sapp into the backfield. Sapp's big sack seasons came several years before Simeon Rice joined in 2001, and guys like Marcus Jones and Chidi Ahanotu weren't exactly getting double-teams and taking pressure off the interior line. Sapp made those teams what they were. Saying Sapp got to play with excellent players so his accomplishments aren't quite as impressive is like knocking Jerry Rice for getting to play with Montana and Young. It's a team sport.

As for Young, the eternal knock on him is going to be that he was really pretty darn good for a long time, but he lacked having a peak where he was a simply dominant player. Sapp has a good four or five years where he was a simply dominant player, and that's what gets you into the Hall. Bryant Young was Hall of Very Good for a very long time, but he simply didn't have that "OMG this guy is unstoppably great" era like Sapp did.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 2:02pm

BY was dominant before he broke his leg, your description better fits the post-break player. I think Dr Z put it well when he said Young had two careers, the pre-break Young seemed to be constantly in the backfield and was the best interior lineman I've ever seen, the best run defender out of the guys who could rush and the best pass rusher out of the guys who could stuff the run. There was a reason the niners made him the highest paid defender in the league.

I think Sapp's a Hall of Famer but I think Bryant Young was a better player and should be put in. What really pisses me off is that the SF press are more interested in getting that short-arse, manipulative, fraudulent pimp Debartolo in.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:32pm

Funny, Z wanted no part of injury excuses when it came to evaluating Beattie Feathers.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 8:37pm

I think the HOF committee got it exactly right.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:44am

Congrats to all, and a good class. Surprised Sapp got in ahead of Strahan (and I’d guess it came down to these two for the final cut-down to five and was close), but Sapp strikes me as sufficiently deserving and Strahan probably gets in next year. Also not convinced Culp and Robinson were the worst Senior snubs out there, but both have some level of HoF case -- and they've elected worse Seniors before.

Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, and Zach Thomas are newly eligible in 2014. Early guess is that all are finalists next time and Brooks, Strahan, Andre Reed, Aeneas Williams, and Will Shields get elected.

Hope we get good Seniors next year.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:45am

Has there ever been a senior selection not get in? Not to dismiss the old guys, but it seems like the voters basically just rubber stamp whoever the senior committee nominates. I'll admit I know nothing about these particular seniors, but I knew before the voting even happened that they were going to get in.

This is really more a knock on the whole process than on Culp or Robinson. It just speaks to a flawed process when these guys are deemed unworthy for umpteen years, but now all of a sudden they're worthy. The entire existence of the senior committee is a tacit acknowledgement that the voting process is broken.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 12:23pm

There have been a few Seniors who didn't get elected -- a few rightly not such as Willie Galimore and Marshall Goldberg. But there have been other nominees I think were wrongly refused like Dick Stanfel, Mac Speedie, Jerry Kramer, and Claude Humphrey. And three were refused on their first try but voted in subsequently: Bob Hayes, Henry Jordan, and Lou Creekmur.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 5:59pm

Claude Humphrey was truly great, great, de, playing in a city that didn't get any national NFL media attention.

by BigCheese :: Sun, 02/17/2013 - 11:40pm

It is an absolute joke and an outrage that Jerome Bettis made the final 10 over Will Shields. That is all.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs