Hall of Fame snubs in Canton
After this years Hall of Fame induction cerimonies have ended and the pre season is in full swing naturally everybody is talking snubs. And there are some obvious ones such as WRs Chris Carter, Andre Reed and Tim Brown. Chris Carter would have been the reciver of the 1990′s had Jerry Rice not had two hall of fame quarterbacks to play with.
While I hate using that as an argument for a players greatness but its overly glaring. The same can be said for Tim Brown of the Oakland Raiders. Carter had Jim McMahon, Jeff George, Sean Salisburry and some other hopeless guys. He had Dante Culpepper and an old Randall Cunnigham, who he had 1 good year with, and he made them pro bowlers and damn near MVPs. Tim Brown had no name guys until Rich Gannon fell into the fold. Andre Reed is product of the Buffalo Bills never winning the big game. Carter and Brown topped 1,000 career catches despite inept quarterback play through most of their careers. Carter’s case is even worse because his 1st years in the league he was a #3 receiver in Philadelphia and has substance abuse problems and rebounded to score touchdowns at ease durring the 90′s. Tim Brown unfortunately played for the Raiders when coaches rotated like tires at Les Schwab. Six different men held the raines as Head Coach during his time with the Raiders, no continuity and the man produced better than most great players could hope to do.
Andre Reed is the forgotten bills triplet member. Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas are both in the Hall of Fame yet Reed’s 951 career catches and huge playoff games are not enough to get him the hall? What goes through a voters mind when they think about a players Hall of Fame credentials? Apparently they slept through the 1990′s like baseball voters are going to ignore the steroid era in the MLB.
But honestly there are a few players I CAN NOT believe are not in the prestigious HOF. The forgotten guys list are Cliff Branch, Roger Craig, Charles Haley, Rod Smith and Sterling Sharpe. I know a lot of love for offensive players but lets analyze these guys for a minute.
He was also apart of multiple super bowl teams for the Raiders and was the number 1 threat. He streched the field dove across the middleCliff Branch had comparable numbers to his Hall of Fame wideout teammate, Fred Biletnikoff, without Stick EM. and always made impossible catches and out ran coverages. His stat line: career catches 501, yards 8685, and 67 touchdowns. Keep in mind the name of the in the 1970′s and early 80′s, before Montana and the 49ers, was to run the football, run it often and why not run some more. So for a guy that had better numbers than 1st ballot hall of famer Lynn Swann you have to ask WHATS THE DEAL? He won 3 super bowls and made plays in each one of his big games, and bailed out Ken Stabler on more than one occasion. This guy made a career with less targets, plays drawn for him, and oh yeah the guy was under 6′ tall. A fast guy.. yes but was much more of an all around threat 8/10 receivers during his time. The other two being John Stallworth and Biletnikoff both in the hall.
If fantasy football was around in the 1980′s Roger Craig would have been the 1st overall pick year in and year out, alla Marshall Faulk and Adrian Peterson. 1st player in NFL history with 1,000 yards receiving and rushing in a season. He was the most important weapon on the team short of Joe Montana for the 49ers in the 1980′s and was a guy you couldn’t game plan for because he re-invented the postion for future players and changed what goes into scouting an NFL running back. Over 15,000 total yards for his career and 73 total touchdowns, when the bulk of career was shared with the likes of Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Dwight Clarke, Brent Jones, and Tom Rathman. WIth all that offensive fire power on those 49er teams through his career its amazing he even got the ball in his hand.
Next is Charles Haley. He took what Randy White and Lawerence Taylor did and played in multiple spots and dominated on TWO championship dynasties, the 1980′s 49ers and 1990′s Dallas Cowboys. He was a major and dominate contributor on 5 Super Bowl winning teams. Over 100 career sacks and 26 forced fumbles. That means the man made PLAYS. Yes Taylor got the hype and was well worth it, but Haley was plugged into different systems. Bill Parcelles built a defense around his skills, Haley went out got it done. LT first ballot hall of famer for greatness and soundbites. Haley has been held because of a discontent amongst media member and playing for “stacked teams”. He’s punished for playing with great players and not kissing up to the media. If playing with great teams keeps you out then take out half of the players from the Packers, Cowboys and Steelers.
Rod Smith, from Southwest Missouri State, should be in the Hall of Fame based on the fact that he was undrafted and came for a school with two directions in its name. The fact that he also has over 800 catches and 80 career touchdowns is something that in and of itself defines defines being great. Forget the fact that hall of fame tight end Shannon Sharpe played with him for the majority of career. That took away plays from him, and the fact that a Mike Shanahan offense is predicated on running the football, even with John Elway. But John never had a playmaker on the outside like Smith before him or even heard of him. Coming in as an undrafted player means that guy wasn’t even supposed to last in league, let alone put up numbers better than Steve Largent and future Hall of Famer Marvin Harison who played in a wide open offense.
Injuries are not supposed to a cause for losing a job, but if your Sterling Sharpe its enough to keep you out the Hall of Fame. 7 years in the league, nearly 600 career catches and 65 touchdowns. He played with the Green Bay Packers before Bret Favre’s magic came to town. When the Don Majokwoski was his signal caller he set the league on fire and did things that Jerry Rice and Randy Moss would have killed for with less talent around him. A neck injury severally cut his career abruptly short. My favorite player Michael Irvin had only 436 catches in a seven year span and is in the Hall of fame. An older player like Gayle Sayers who played in a full 7 seasons at Running Back was a 1st ballot hall of famer.So evidently years played and injuries don’t affect Hall of Fame Status unless you played for a non Lombardi Packer team. With zero offensive help Sharpe was set re write the record books, just as he did in college at the University of South Carolina.
The truth hall of fame voting is far from perfect, but you have to wonder how much better it could be if people who played the game and are in the very hall of fame in question could vote for new members. I have selected a few players and Lord knows there a host of other players that should be in like offensive lineman such as Jerry Kramer, malcontents like Rickey Waters or even special teams guys like another Oakland Raider Ray Guy. But an adjustment needs to be made to the process where bias against or for player is curbed. Fact os the players I mentioned deserve and earned there moment in the sun and a place in the prestigious NFL Hall of Fame. There’s no telling if these guys will make it, but something is wrong with the Hall is they don’t. All I’m saying is put the guys in the hall because of how they played, not who they played with, games they did or did not, and the most important which sports writer they were nice to or angered. Get it NFL, if Rodger Godell can change NFL policy on or off the field and can absolute decisions with an iron fist he should be able to have a say the in the Leagues Hall of Fame voting process. SOOO officer Rodger step it up and do the right thing. C’mon son.
follow me on twitter @Justint_Djtre to continue the debate, agree disagree or sugget someone I even snubbed. The point is keep the discussion going.
And always listen kssu.com all day