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Pro Football HOF (and others) Does Have A Credibility Problem

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Image I watched about an hour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night and overall I agree with the choices.  Five out of the seven were around the majority of the 80’s-90’s, so they didn’t need any introduction to most of us. Two of them however would be a bit more obscure. David Robinson and Curley Culp.

I often feel as if I should have been born in an earlier time. It usually fluctuates between Colonial America/Revolutionary War period, a frontiersman, a variety of 19th archtypes, etc… In the 20th century, I would have loved to have been a cinematographer, movie/TV producer or what not.

The other thing I would have loved to have been was a football player and coach. I’m good with baseball too.  Given my physical size of 5’9″, 160 pounds or so, I would have would have played sometime around 1920’s-40’s, then gone into coaching. I would have absolutely loved to have been a head coach during the 60’s-80’s and have to go up against the caliber of Landry, Lombardi, Madden, Bum Phillips, Shula, you name it from week to week. I think a great fit would have been the Saints (or Falcons) and perhaps if Archie Manning had a better supporting cast around him, who knows what might have been. Of course, that was a different era.

One of my particular questions that doesn’t seem to be asked very much (at least in more mainstream circles) is for the merits of the coaches, executives and players who are voted into the Hall of Fame, who doesn’t get voted into the Hall of Fame who ought to? Being a Bengals fan, I wonder why doesn’t Ken Anderson or Ken Riley get in?  Is it because Anderson’s passing statistics aren’t the jaw-dropping figure that Dan Marino or Peyton Manning have?  Does Riley not get consideration because he played corner at a time when corner was considered something along the lines of a 2nd class citizen?  Is it because you can’t just pull up an interview of theirs on YouTube or read countless newspaper articles since they played in a city that isn’t exactly the media capital of the world. Now if they had been Dolphins, Steelers or Raiders, it would have been a different story.  Donovan McNabb and Boomer Esiason have more passing yards than Troy Aikman and Anderson has around the same number of passing yards plus his Yards PPA is the same as Marino’s 7.3. Yet what is the perception: Marino was the long ball thrower where Anderson was a short range passer. At least, his game against the 49ers was interesting when the Dolphins blew a big whopper in their SB because of a bad quarter. Hell, 95% of pass attempts are going to go within 10-15 yard range. But because those long touchdown passes (of which was a defensive back blowing the coverage or mis-tackle) make the highlights, that has too much sway with voters who are no different than the average person.

Highlight reels and big statistics are overblown especially when considering that in today’s football, it is a given that quarterbacks will attempt 40-50 passes a game. The set-up enables such a thing and big offenses sells tickets.  In another time, ball control and strong defenses were preferred.  If today’s quarterbacks and receivers had to play football the way it was played anytime from 100 years ago up until about the 20 years ago, obviously statistically speaking, they would be along the same lines.  Anybody notice that today you don’t have the great fullbacks and middle linebackers?  1,000 rushers are becoming a sideshow rather than the featured attraction.  That is because today’s football is passing friendly and so it is bound to happen.  Many of the HOF voters themselves grew up during the era of TV highlight reels and soundbites and are swayed unduly because of it.  The style has changed from running pretty much all the time, then it shifted to the 50/50 “balanced offenses” to today’s 40+ passing attempts per game.

So how does Curley or Robinson manage to get in now when if based on the merits of their careers, how come they didn’t get voted in 10 or 20 years ago? Did they uncover something that made them stand out to voters now that didn’t stand out way back then?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Until the people who sit on these committees explain their rationale a little better, we can come to our own conclusions as to why they vote the way they do.  Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose don’t get in because of gambling (and iffy as to whether they actually did), and we raise questions about whether Barry Bonds, McGwire or Clemens are HOF worthy because of connections to performance enhancing drugs.  But O.J. Simpson  remains even after being connected to two murders.  Beats the heck out of me.

Written by chrisforliberty

August 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Posted in General

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