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Old 10-08-2003, 06:59 PM   #1
MountaineerDave
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You've seen all or nearly all of the NFL Hall of Fame nominees play.

Below is a list of the nominees. Feel free to discuss. I'll opine when I get over this and the gray hair I found the other day...


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The complete list of nominees is below:

QUARTERBACKS: Ken Anderson, John Elway, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler.

RUNNING BACKS: Roger Craig, Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Cliff Branch, Henry Ellard, Art Monk, Drew Pearson, Sterling Sharpe, Wesley Walker.

TIGHT END: Todd Christensen.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Ray Donaldson, Kent Hull, Rich Saul, Jeff Van Note.

GUARDS: Russ Grimm, Chris Hinton, Bob Kuenchenberg.

TACKLES: Leon Gray, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Rayfield Wright, Gary Zimmerman.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Fred Dean, Richard Dent, Carl Eller, Mark Gastineau, L.C. Greenwood, Claude Humphrey, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Joe Klecko, Jim Marshall, Harvey Martin.

LINEBACKERS: Matt Blair, Harry Carson, Randy Gradishar, Rickey Jackson, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Chris Spielman, Darryl Talley, Andre Tippett.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Cliff Harris, Lester Hayes, Albert Lewis, Ken Riley, Donnie Shell, Mike Wagner, Roger Wehrli.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Elbert Shelley, Steve Tasker.

PUNTER/KICKER: Ray Guy, Nick Lowery.

COACHES: Don Coryell, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox.

CONTRIBUTORS: Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Art McNally, Art Modell, Paul Tagliabue, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Ron Wolf, George Young.
I did have one comment right away, come to think of it. I once heard someone suggest that the position of punter should be renamed Ray Guy. I have absolutely no problem with that, or that he would be the first punter admitted into the Hall of Fame. Let's have it happen sooner, rather than later.

Dave
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Old 10-08-2003, 11:10 PM   #2
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I think this is the first class of players that features people that I saw play regularly (like Elway and Sanders).

Go Too Tall. Go Harvey Martin. Go Herschel. Go Jimmy Johnson.

I see you notice a theme here...
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Old 10-08-2003, 11:53 PM   #3
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The Hall of Fame for football became a joke to me when Jim Kelly got in. They just let too many guys in there.
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Old 10-08-2003, 11:55 PM   #4
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Ray Guy is a total no-brainer.

He should have been inducted 5 yrs after retirement and the fact that he has not been voted in is a total joke.

Question:

Should/Will Brian Mitchell be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day?

Pardon me.....



I just noticed Paul Tagliascrew's name on the list.


Btw, I'd like to see Roger Craig get in. I always thought he was an absolutely CRITICAL piece to the 'niner dynasty that never was truly fully appreciated. His sheer NUMBERS might not stand out but his value to that team was enormous.
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:43 AM   #5
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I've been watching the NFL since the early 60's. I'm old lol:goof:
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:18 AM   #6
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Dave, I mostly liked your article, but I think you made a big mistake leaving Herschel Walker off your list. After a phenomenal college career, Walker played for three years in the USFL (remeber, his nomination is to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of Fame) and just dominated the league. When he joined the NFL, he immediately became one the league's elite backs, along with Eric Dickerson, and maybe Roger Craig if you're feeling generous. Walker's star faded after the Cowboys traded him, but he remained an effective offensive and special teams player until 1995. If Walker had gone straight to the NFL instead of the USFL, he'd probably have over 10,000 yards rushing, 20,000 all-purpose yards, and 100 TDs. The only other players with those totals are Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

Walker's actual NFL totals are 8,225 rushing yds, 18,168 all-purpose yards, and 84 TDs. Since he routinely dominated the USFL and averaged 1047 rushing yards, 1733 APY, AND 10 TDs in his first three NFL seasons (including the 1987 strike-shortened year), it seems safe to assume he would have easily reached ten thousand, twenty thousand, and 100 if he had gone straight to the NFL. That is very, very impressive. Walker was a very good running back for a very long time, and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

I made a list of my 15 as soon as the nominees were announced. My list has: John Elway, Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker, Art Monk, Todd Christensen, Bob Kuenchenberg, Joe Jacoby, Claude Humphrey, Harry Carson, Randy Gradishar, Cliff Harris, Lester Hayes, Ray Guy, Don Coryell, George Young.

I lean toward yes on Brian Mitchell, but it's close. I'd have to see who else is up for induction then. A lot of great players are becoming eligible in the next few years.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:21 AM   #7
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I have seen them all play since 1964-I am old brother lol
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:22 AM   #8
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Herschel Walker is nonsense.

His "domination" of the USFL league is hardly worth a piss squirt when you compare the level of the league to the level of the NFL.

C'mon, man.

Also Brad, your claim that he entered the NFL and immediately became one of the elite backs is stretch of the word ELITE, IMO.

His first two years in the NFL he gained 737 yds and 891 yards.

LOL

He DID score a number of TDs and he DID catch the ball VERY well out of the backfield, so I'll give him that.

He had one big year in 1988 with over 1500 yds rushing.

Besides that he had ONE other year over 1000 yds rushing.

He was a good to very good NFL back, and he had a lengthy career. Quite similar to Rickey Watters or Jerome Bettis......who also would NOT get in the Hall, if I had a vote.

If Herschel The Great thought he was a bad-ass runner then why did he choose to go play against second-fiddle competition straight out of college?????

Face it, he wimped out and went soft.

NO friggin' way this cat belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Next thing you know somebody will try to sell us that Dougie Flutie belongs in the Hall based on a Hail Mary fling on Turkey day vs. Miami.....and "domination" of the Frenchie League.

Last edited by poptart; 10-21-2003 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-2003, 01:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Doug Graham
The Hall of Fame for football became a joke to me when Jim Kelly got in. They just let too many guys in there.
You dont think a guy who led his team to 4 consecutive Super Bowls is worthy?

Where he ranks among the league's all-time top 50 in..
Pass attempts: 16th
Completions: 13th tied
Passing yards: 12th
Passing TDs: 15th

Not bad considering he wasted the first few years of his career in the USFL.
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Old 10-21-2003, 03:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by poptart
Also Brad, your claim that he entered the NFL and immediately became one of the elite backs is stretch of the word ELITE, IMO.

His first two years in the NFL he gained 737 yds and 891 yards.
Aargh. In 1986, Walker split carries with aging Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, but still finished 7th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, 9th in the NFL in receptions, and 4th in TDs. His 4.9 rushing average led the NFC. I'd say that's pretty elite.

His second season was strike-shortened, so those 891 rushing yards (3rd in the NFC) actually look pretty good. Walker was sixth in the NFL in receptions, top ten in TDs, and led the frickin' league in yards from scrimmage. That's not elite?

You basically ignore Walker's impressive returning contributions, downplay his consistency, and completely overlook the era in which he played.

From 1989-1994, he averaged over 800 rushing yards, nearly 1200 yards from scrimmage, over 1550 all-purpose yards, and 8 TDs. The only other guys in the league with that kind of production were Barry, Thurman, and Emmitt. And that's when Walker was past his prime, not in it.

CAREERS...rush avg...rec...rec yd..tot TD
H.Walker
....4.21........512...4859....84
T.Thomas
...4.20........472...4458....88

Surely you won't claim Thomas isn't a Hall of Famer? And he played in a dynamic system suited to his talents. Walker had to deal with Dorsett's legacy, Landry's last gasp, the mismanaged Vikings, and Rich Kotite.

Walker was a top-10 RB in the NFL for 9 years and the best player not in the NFL for three or four years before that. The USFL produced some awesome pros, including Walker, Reggie White, Jim Kelly, and Gary Zimmerman. It's disingenuous to pretend that Walker's dominance there (2,411 yards in 1985) was meaningless. Walker's immediate impact in the NFL further weakens the case that he wasn't a legitimate star throughout the 80's. And let's not forget that Walker won SEC Player of the Year every season of his college career, played in a national championship, and won the Heisman Trophy. The man had all the goods.

You claim that Walker wimped out by signing (for a bazillion $) with the USFL, but it was aiming to be legitimate competition for the NFL, not the 80s version of the XFL. Did Marion Motley wimp out by picking the AAFC? How about Daryle Lamonica by going to the AFL? Bobby Bell? Reggie White?

From 1986-90 was there a better running back in the NFL? MAYBE Eric Dickerson. From 87-91? Uh, no. Walker led the league in yards from scrimmage and all-purpose yards during that time, and he averaged almost 9 TDs per season. His 86-88 stretch was phenomenal. Mediocre RBs (like Bettis, and to a lesser extent, Watters) don't have runs like that.

* 9+ years of strong production
* 3 years as arguably the top at his position in the NFL
* stats comparable to Thurman Thomas
* top-20 career kick return average
* 7th all-time in net yardage
* pace for 10k rush yds, 20k all-purp yds, 100 TDs

That last one is the final nail in the coffin for me. If Walker had put his name on a different piece of paper, he would have played in the NFL from 1983-85. Even adding the three-year average from his DOWN YEARS (89-94) to Walker's career total puts him into a stratosphere shared only by Payton and Smith.

.............RUSH YD...APY.........TD
Smith
....17,162....20,174....164
Payton...16,726....21,803....125
Walker...10,652....22,890....110

Those figures are from the beginning of this season (I like to pretend Emmitt never left Dallas). And they would give Walker the most all-purpose yards in history. If we can discuss Brian Mitchell making the Hall, surely Walker deserves the same courtesy.
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Old 10-21-2003, 09:30 PM   #11
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Oh Brad.....where to begin with this...???


How about this.....

Thurman Thomas had 8 straight 1000 yd rushing seasons....in the NFL, not some minor league hack league.

I'll grant you the strike year was a year that Walker easily would have gone over 1000. Given that, he had 3 NFL years over 1000 yds rushing.

WOW....

Walker was a very valuable receiver and return man, sure, but let's look at the current Charlie Garner as a basis of comparison.

Walker had 4859 receiving yards in 13 seasons.
Garner has 3545 receiving yards in 10 seasons.


If Garner plays this and a couple/few more years he will have very close to the same numbers as Walker in that area.

Rushing the ball......

Walker had 8,245 NFL yards in 13 years and a 4.2 ypc avg.
Garner has 6,749 yds in 10 season......and a 4.6 ypc avg.


Again, with 3 more years of production up to what he has done to this point, Garner is in the same league as Walker.....but a BETTER ypc avg.

Garner will merit Hall consideration..???

No need for you to bring Walker's college accomplishments to this argument that you did.

About his choice to play in the USFL......

Here is a guy that is the HEISMAN TROPHY winner. A STUD RB, supposedly. A FRANCHISE type of guy....supposedly.

And what is his decision...??

To go play with the softies....and cash big checks.

Wimp.

If he had stones he would have gone to swim with the big fish. He did not, and I certainly hold that against him in Hall consideration.

Your "conjectured" stats at the end of your post are bogus and I laughed at them.
Smith and Payton were NFL guys entirely, to begin with.
They were also too damn good to ever be considered to be used as return men.

The Hall is supposed to be for the GREATEST, the ELITE.

Walker was not, IMO.

If they open a Hall of the Very Good, I'd vote him in.
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Old 10-22-2003, 05:12 AM   #12
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Oh poptart.....where to begin with this...???

1000-yard seasons aren't the only measure of a running back. You said you think Roger Craig should be in, and he had only three 1000-yard seasons. MARCUS ALLEN was a first-ballot HOFer on three 1000-yard seasons. This part of your argument doesn't hold water.

As for the Garner comparison, I repeat myself: "You ... completely overlook the era in which [Walker] played." Running backs are doing more now than they did in the 1980's. I suspect expansion has a lot to do with it, but whatever the reason, great running backs are putting up MUCH bigger numbers than they did when Walker was in his prime. Curtis Martin's career stats could compare favorably to Walter Payton's by the time he's done playing, but he's not even in the same ballpark as Sweetness.

Garner's an underrated back, but he hasn't been as good in his prime as Walker was in his and he hasn't displayed anything like the same kind of consistency. Walker was a top RB in the NFL for nine seasons. And if Garner's next three seasons are (miraculously) as good as his last three, sure, he deserves HOF consideration. Convenient how you left out TDs (84-50) and returning (5000-700) in your Walker-Garner comparison, though.

What seems to be the MOST important part of your argument -- that Walker is a wimp because he didn't go straight to the NFL from college -- strikes me as the weakest part fo your whole spiel. I'm also annoyed that you seem to have completely ignored the section of my last post in which I addressed this issue. Should AFL and AAFC stars like Otto Graham, Joe Perry, Lance Alworth, and Willie Brown be excluded from the Pro Football Hall of Fame because they didn't go straight to the NFL? The USFL attracted plenty of legitimate talent, and I'm betting you won't hold it against Reggie White when he comes up for his (shoo-in) induction.

Quote:
Your "conjectured" stats at the end of your post are bogus
How astute of you to notice. I presented those statistics to prove a point you apparently missed: if Walker had not made what (with 20/20 hindsight) was a stupid decision, he would have had three extra years in the NFL. Even the most modest guesses at his production would put him into a statistical category shared only by two of the greatest RBs ever to play. That is significant.
Quote:
Smith and Payton were NFL guys entirely, to begin with.
Man, you must hate Lamar Hunt. Where do guys get off trying to start a league to compete with the NFL? And players like Don Maynard and Jim Otto -- wimps.
Quote:
They were also too damn good to ever be considered to be used as return men.
Actually, Payton was used as a return man. So were -- oh! -- Rod Woodson and Tim Brown. And Brian Mitchell. Weren't you the one who brought up the idea that he deserves a shot at the Hall?

.............Rush Yd....Rec Yd....Tot Yd...Tot TD
Walker
.....8225......4859......18,168....84
Mitchell....1947......2298......22,001....28

Don't get me wrong, I like Mitchell. But between him and Walker, I wouldn't hesitate to choose Herschel.

13,000 yards from scrimmage and top-20 in career kick return yards and more than 80 TDs? I don't think you're giving Walker the credit he deserves.

Last edited by Brad O.; 10-22-2003 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 10-22-2003, 03:35 PM   #13
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Obviously 1000 yd rushing seasons is not the only criteria.

Marcus Allen's achievements need not be recited. He dwarfs Herschel in a big way. He belongs in the Hall and H. Walker does not.

Roger Craig had as many rushing yards as Herschel (essentially) and had more receptions......and was a vital cog in a multiple-Super Bowl-winning team.

You assertion that Herschel the great was a top NFL running back for nine years is bogus to the extreme.

The numbers don't back up your bluster at all.

Herschel was in the top 10 in yards from scrimmage three straight years.....'86-88 and was number 1 in that category in 1987.

He then managed to enter into the top 10 in that category only one more time.....in '93.

He was a "top" back for only 3 years....and one could reasonably argue that he was the BEST back in the league one year only.

He lit up the bush league for three years and if that sends shivers down your spine, so be it.

It doesn't make it for me.

The other players you cited who are Hall of Famers and spent some time in a "minor" league did enough in the NFL to merit Hall of Fame status.

Herschel did NOT.

Walter returned kicks, sure. But he did not make a career out of it, and there is a reason why H. Walker did.

Herschel is a notch below Hall of Fame level, IMO.

Some voters for the Hall may see it like you do and vote him in, it would just never be me.
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Old 10-22-2003, 03:58 PM   #14
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The Hall of Fame is also a joke to me. There are just way to many people in it. It doesnt come close to the prestige that Baseball gives. The only bigger joke is Basketball.
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Old 10-22-2003, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pimpbot
You dont think a guy who led his team to 4 consecutive Super Bowls is worthy?

Where he ranks among the league's all-time top 50 in..
Pass attempts: 16th
Completions: 13th tied
Passing yards: 12th
Passing TDs: 15th

Not bad considering he wasted the first few years of his career in the USFL.
By going strictly off those numbers, Kelly would be, at best, the 12th best QB of all time. Take that, put it with their VAUNTED K-Gun, Thurmun Thomas, and I don't think Kelly belongs in the Hall of Fame. The Super Bowls mean nothing to me. Are going to 4 Super Bowls better than winning 1? It's obviously debateable, but I'd say no and would anybody consider Brad Johnson a Hall of Fame quarterback right now?
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