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Old 03-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
I saw that but am confused why you didn't jump Brad for his view on Doleman being much more worthy while slamming Buck for disagreeing about Dent's induction even tho he based it on a football POV.
Well, that's where freedom of choice comes in.

Besides, it's really, really tough for me to understand why anyone would refer to Richard Dent as "the most deserving in that whole bunch" of HoF inductees when we also saw the following folks elected:

-a top-notch KR who was also one of the premiere cover corners in NFL history (so says Dr. Z on the latter).

-one of the best RBs to combine rushing and pass catching skills.

-the founder of NFL Films.

-one of the most prolific pass catching TEs in NFL history.

Which is why I responded to buckeyefan78 as I did. In fact, I'm still seriously wondering if he was trolling or not.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
IMO, the Pro Bowl was never a gauge whatsoever, whether by player choice or the inclusion of fan voting. The same likes/dislikes, favoritism, etc. affected the players as well as the fans. It's always been a popularity contest & in some cases by players, as a 'punishment' or retribution by excluding deserving but less than popular players.

The All Pro stat carries some weight as a tool in a debate but even then can be colored by surrounding players helping one be considered greater than he was & conversely by diminishing accomplishments by attributing more accolades to another when said player set the table for another to garner more of the 'sexy' press i.e. a player who draws double & at times, triple teams that allows the freedom to accumulate the stats to enhance his resume as an example. or how many other greats may have stolen the spotlight for that particular position.
I actually think that stats for skill position players (QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, kickers, punters, KRs) can be useful tools for evaluation. Of course, like all stats, one needs to know how to use them with care and thought. For example, folks who use them to say "Cris Carter should be a HoF-er -- just compare his lifetime stats to those of Ray Berry" are not using stats well. I can certainly see a good argument for Carter being in the HoF and think he belongs in, but doing such a comparison isn't the way to go.

Finding a respectable criterion for non-skill positions is tougher. Film study is a great way to go, if one has access to film and knows what to look for. Failing this, I'm hard-pressed to see a better way to make such decisions that by seeing what their postseason honors numbers look like -- 1st team all pro selections, all decade team selections, and pro bowl selections, roughly weighed in this order. None are perfect solutions, of course, but failing good film study, I don't know what's better. In the case of 1st team all pro and to a lesser extent pro bowl selections, this tells us what their contemporaries thought of their play. I find counting stats pretty useless for these folks.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
Notice that you're now devaluing the All Pro stat in this case by referencing who had to play behind mainstays like George & Schmidt.
Note well that I used the term "exception," which means this is extremely unusual. Nitschke is arguably the best example of this phenomenon, and unless you want to consider Sam Huff another possible example, perhaps the only major exception. That's about equivalent to a spoonful of dirt out of a large earthen dam -- undermining is minimal here at best. As best I can tell, an overwhelming majority of non-skill position HoF-ers have the best such numbers in this regard for their time period. And the players often griped about as "snubs" have the best such numbers among those omitted.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
I watched Nitschke thru-out his career & while I valued his grit/play, never had him that high on the HoF list. He was the face, as most MLBers were back in the day, of the Pack D but wasn't a game changing player IMO.
Interestingly enough, you're the only person I've run across with this opinion of Nitschke. He shows up on Brad Oremland's list of 30 best LBs of all time, with this quote:

"Here's something odd: Ray Nitschke only made one Pro Bowl, by far the fewest on this list. No other LB listed here earned fewer than five. And yet, no one questions that Nitschke was an all-time great. He started for five championship-winning teams, made the 1960s All-Decade Team, and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1978. He had all the qualities you want in a middle linebacker. He was tough, a ferocious hitter. He was quick to the ball, an instinctive tackler, and a superb pass defender. He was also a leader and a big-game player, the MVP of the 1962 NFL Championship Game. The man even looked like a linebacker."

And in 1969, Nitschke was named the NFL's all-time top linebacker. Not Bill George, Joe Schmidt, Sam Huff, or Chuck Bednarick, all of whom had completed their careers by this time. Who was on that committee? Tell me and we'll both know.

Tarkus, that of course doesn't mean you're wrong -- but it definitely doesn't appear to be a mainstream opinion, either.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
Dent's induction was about his talents but not some sort of whitewashing of his good but not great run support. He altered OC's schemes thru-out his career which is more of criteria to me than just stats.
The problem I have with Dent is that he comes up on the short end of some crucial (for me) issues. The arguments in his favor are the number of sacks he had (and we're apparently both in agreement that the meaningfulness of this stat can be legitimately questioned) and a terrific but short peak in a long career. Not in his favor are his meager postseason honors (and might I add that in addition to the modest lead in 1st team all pro selections and pro bowls Chris Doleman has over him, Doleman was named to an all decade team and Dent was not) and the reputation for taking plays off and not playing the run well. And the "not in his favor" stuff is a problem for me.

Re the Steve Greenberg article:
Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
Well, that's his opinion.
But here's why I'm more inclined to give this some weight.

Glowing comments in favor a player's HoF induction put forth by that player's teammates, fans, coaches, team websites, and local covering sportwriters bring out the skeptic in me, to put it kindly. Propaganda is rampant these days in HoF arguments.

Glowing comments by opponents or disinterested parties? I'm more inclined to take this seriously.

Greenberg's article in fact appears to be a piece containing negative evaluations put forth by someone who falls in the category of being among that player's teammates, fans, coaches, team websites, and local covering sportwriters. He could have just done a puff piece, but I find it really interesting, and perhaps quite significant, that he did not do so.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
& no offense, but I'm leery of a fan who already made a disjointed case based on innuendo & sound bites magnifying the run only as the criteria while discounting any supporting stats like sack totals, hyping hollow Pro Bowl awards yet omitting things like the SB XX MVP award, speaking of longevity of career to pad totals while ignoring the fact that it was essentially accomplished in 11 years due to injuries instead of when he retired in 15 years, etc.

To be honest, I've yet to understand where your basis on Dent's induction comes from except from what you've read/heard.
I've already answered this above in bits and pieces except for one issue. "Innuendo" and "what [I've] read/heard" aren't necessarily meaningless by any means. People lose court cases all the time via circumstantial evidence -- after all, even though no one actually saw O.J. Simpson kill his wife, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for him to lose the case brought against him in civil court.

If one isn't doing film study, what else is one going to use to make the argument? And if we're solely limited to film study as legit, we're going to have to limit comments here to Dr. Z., Ron Wolf, and a few other folks who are apparently knowledgeable in this regard. I'm at least trying to weigh what information I've got here and come to a thoughtful solution.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
& the comment of "hard core film study' makes this sound like you have to be in a room with a projector when it's more about either having football knowledge or not. This is not that complicated....
So then the question is -- what's the basis for making decisions like this? I'm doing my best to puzzle it out using something I can evaluate other than thin air.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
& that's the real outcry here. More about the 'If he's in, why aren't they?"
I found it especially galling to see Claude Humphrey come up as a Senior a couple years ago and get voted down, when Humphrey was essentially Dent or Fred Dean with better postseason honors numbers (1st team all pro/pro bowl/ all decade teams in the formula below) and a career spent mostly on terrible teams. Put Dent or Dean on the 70s Falcons and nobody would give them a second HoF thought. And L.C. Greenwood also has better such numbers and was the only one of these folks named to an all-decade team.

Dent: 2(1AP)/4/none.
Dean: 2(2AP)/4/none.
Humphrey: 5(2AP)/6/none.
Greenwood: 2(2AP)/6/70s.

Like I said, have all four of these folks in, and I've got less of a problem here.
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