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Old 10-31-2007, 03:33 PM   #1
Brad O.
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Default 2008 HOF nominees

http://www.profootballhof.com/enshri...?story_id=2582
http://www.nfl.com/halloffame/story;...o&confirm=true

(x-last year's 17 finalists list) (y-first year of eligibility)

QUARTERBACKS - Ken Anderson, Randall Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler, Joe Theismann, Danny White, Doug Williams.

RUNNING BACKS - Ottis Anderson, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters, y-Eric Metcalf (also WR/KR/PR).

WIDE RECEIVERS - Cliff Branch, Harold Carmichael, Dwight Clark, Gary Clark, Isaac Curtis, Henry Ellard, Roy Green, x-Art Monk, Drew Pearson, x-Andre Reed, y-Cris Carter, y-Herman Moore.

TIGHT ENDS - Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Ben Coates, Russ Francis, Brent Jones, Jay Novacek.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN - Jim Covert (T), Dermontti Dawson (C), x-Russ Grimm (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Kent Hill (G/T), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), x-Bob Kuechenberg (G), Jim Lachey (T), Mark May (T/G/C), Randall McDaniel (G), Jeff Van Note (C), Steve Wisniewski (G), x-Gary Zimmerman (T), y-Tony Boselli (T), y-Lomas Brown (T), y-Richmond Webb (T).

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN - Ray Childress (DT/DE), x-Fred Dean (DE), x-Richard Dent (DE), Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Jacob Green (DE), Charles Haley (DE/LB), Jim Jeffcoat (DE), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Fred Smerlas (NT).

LINEBACKERS - Cornelius Bennett, Matt Blair, Robert Brazile, Randy Gradishar, Kevin Greene (LB/DE), Ken Harvey, Rickey Jackson, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Pat Swilling, Darryl Talley, x-Derrick Thomas, x-Andre Tippett, y-Levon Kirkland, y-Hardy Nickerson.

DEFENSIVE BACKS - Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Raymond Clayborn (CB), Nolan Cromwell (S), Kenny Easley (S), Lester Hayes (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), Ken Riley (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Louis Wright (CB), y-Darrell Green (CB).

KICKER/PUNTERS - x-Ray Guy (P), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P).

SPECIAL TEAMS - Elbert Shelley (S), Steve Tasker (WR).

COACHES - Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Clark Shaughnessy, Ernie Zampese.

CONTRIBUTORS - K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., Gil Brandt, C. O. Brocato, Leo Carlin, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Pat Haggerty, Bob Harlan, Jerry Jones, Bucko Kilroy, Art McNally, Art Modell, Art Rooney, Jr., Ed Sabol, Steve Sabol, x-Paul Tagliabue, Jim Tunney, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Ron Wolf, George Young.

=========

Not excited about most of this group, or the Seniors candidates. My 15 to advance from this pool (personal choices, not predictions):

Cris Carter, Art Monk, Dermontti Dawson, Russ Grimm, Chris Doleman, Randy Gradishar, Kevin Greene, Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler, Kenny Easley, Darrell Green, Lester Hayes, Don Coryell, Clark Shaughnessy, Paul Tagliabue
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
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First of all, there is no Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

Yes, there is a building in Canton that is called
the "Pro Football Hall-of-Fame", but it is still not
the true Hall-of-Fame until the greatest offensive
lineman to ever play the game is there: Jerry Kramer.

Two other obvious ones that have been overlooked
year-after-year are Alex Karras and Otis Taylor.

Of the ones here that I believe will (or should) go in are:
Ken Stabler, Art Monk, Andre Reed, Too Tall Jones,
Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas, Darrell Green, and
Ray Guy. Maybe Terrell Davis (longevity aside).

The one that I consider as an absolute lock is Paul Tagliabue.

The ones on this list that have me scratching my head and
saying "that guy sucked" are:
Herschel Walker (???), Mark May (???), Ray Childress (???),
Jim Jeffcoat (???), Raymond Clayborn (???), and Elbert
Shelley (in this case, I've been a hardcore NFL fan for over
30 years, and if there's somebody I HAVEN'T EVEN HEARD OF,
he absolutely does not belong on the HOF nominees list).

As for the seniors, again Jerry Kramer is snubbed.
Emmitt Thomas was a great corner, they might take him
(the same way they just went ahead and took Gene Hickerson
and Charlie Sanders last year). As for the other guy, I've
never heard of him. But, then again, who the hell was
Fritz Pollard???
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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Hopefully Hardy Nickerson will get in one day. Not on his first ballot but soon. He helped make the Bucs a winner.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
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Two Bengals QBs... I hope they both get in.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philabramoff View Post
First of all, there is no Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

Yes, there is a building in Canton that is called the "Pro Football Hall-of-Fame", but it is still not the true Hall-of-Fame until the greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game is there: Jerry Kramer.
What? I'm sympathetic to the argument that Kramer should be in, but "greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game"?? Kramer wasn't even the greatest offensive lineman on his own team. Forrest Gregg, who is in the Hall of Fame (and who Vince Lombardi called the greatest player he ever coached), was certainly better than Kramer, and he has a legitimate claim as possibly the greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game. Kramer does not.

Agreed with you on "that guy sucked" head-scratchers, except for Herschel Walker. Guy dominated the USFL, then came to the NFL and dominated it for three years, establishing himself as the greatest RB of the late 1980s, with only the possible exceptions of Eric Dickerson and Roger Craig. He continued to be a productive back for six years after that, posting over 1000 yards from scrimmage every season, plus establishing himself as one of the league's best return men. Should he be in? Maybe, maybe not, but his nomination makes a lot more sense than those of people like Mark May and Elbert Shelley.

Also, I don't know who Marshall Goldberg was, either, but Pollard was already pretty well-known and very highly-regarded.

I don't think Nickerson, Boomer, or Kenny Anderson have much shot, though I think Anderson is probably the best eligible QB not in the Hall.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:57 PM   #6
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I am not sure what the NFL's procedure is but if it is anything like MLB's then anyone who played 'X' number of years is eligible for induction and those who do not garner a minimal number of votes they are removed from consideration the next time around.

How did Randall McDaniel not get voted in yet? It seemed like he was always on the All Pro team.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by doublee View Post
How did Randall McDaniel not get voted in yet?
Last season was his first year of eligibility, and he was sharing the ballot with Bruce Matthews and Gene Hickerson. Other than QBs, it's unusual for more than one player at a given position (including a grouped-together offensive line) to be inducted in a single year. I was a little surprised, though, that he wasn't even a finalist last season. I think once another o-lineman gets in -- Grimm, Kuechenberg, and McDaniel probably have the best chances right now -- that will open things up for others. It's kind of stupid, but in practice it's the way the system seems to work.

I think it's actually conceivable that something like this could hurt Cris Carter. If I had to bet, I'd say he gets in, but so many people -- including a few of the selectors -- feel so strongly about Art Monk that they won't vote for any WR (except probably Jerry Rice) until Monk is in.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:57 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, selection to the Hall-of-Fame is so subjective,
that LOTS of players (like Randall McDaniel, or for that matter,
Guy McIntyre) may not get in. Who the hell knows what will
happen, except for some of the obvious ones, and even some
"obvious ones" don't get in (Jerry Kramer, Alex Karras, Otis Taylor).

(On my Jerry Kramer issue, I can't TELL you how many times
people have said to me "I thought he was already in".)

A few examples....Dave Wilcox (SF Linebacker 1970's) is in.
On that front, several LB's of his time, just as good, if not
better, should also be in: Isiah Robertson, Chris Hanburger,
Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, Bill Bergey, Andy Russell,
Phil Villapiano. How come Dave Wilcox gets the nod?

Jim Langer (Miami center 1970's) is in. Other consistent Pro-Bowl
centers of his time: Jeff Van Note, Mick Tingelhoff, Forrest Blue,
Len Hauss. Again, why Langer?

Jackie Smith (Cardinals TE of late 60's-70's). How about other great
tight ends of his era that were actual pro-bowlers: Bob Tucker,
Ted Kwalick, Charley Young, Riley Odoms, Jerry Smith. Yet again,
why was Jackie Smith the one chosen from this bunch?

Offensive linemen, especially, is SO subjective (no stats, except for
"number of Pro Bowl appearences"). Again, if Ron Yary,
Rayfield Wright, Art Shell, and Dan Dierdorf are in the Hall, then
Winston Hill and George Kunz should be there. Those two were
consistently on the Pro Bowl teams right alongside them year
after year.

I personally believe Kramer is not in the Hall because there already
are ten HOF'ers from that Lombardi squad...and how many more
can you take (unless you also want to make the case for Max McGee
(RIP), Fuzzy Thurston, and Dave Robinson)?

In short...most of you will see some true greats from your own
favorite teams getting snubbed. The HOF is SO subjective, and
the pool to choose from is SO saturated.
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
I think it's actually conceivable that something like this could hurt Cris Carter. If I had to bet, I'd say he gets in, but so many people -- including a few of the selectors -- feel so strongly about Art Monk that they won't vote for any WR (except probably Jerry Rice) until Monk is in.
I don't know though. The thing Carter has going in his favor that Monk does not is that he is a much more likable personality. I think one thing that has hurt Monk a bit is he was never exactly known as one of those 'media friendly' types of guys.
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Old 11-10-2007, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philabramoff View Post
First of all, there is no Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

Yes, there is a building in Canton that is called
the "Pro Football Hall-of-Fame", but it is still not
the true Hall-of-Fame until the greatest offensive
lineman to ever play the game is there: Jerry Kramer.

Two other obvious ones that have been overlooked
year-after-year are Alex Karras and Otis Taylor.

Of the ones here that I believe will (or should) go in are:
Ken Stabler, Art Monk, Andre Reed, Too Tall Jones,
Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas, Darrell Green, and
Ray Guy. Maybe Terrell Davis (longevity aside).

The one that I consider as an absolute lock is Paul Tagliabue.

The ones on this list that have me scratching my head and
saying "that guy sucked" are:
Herschel Walker (???), Mark May (???), Ray Childress (???),
Jim Jeffcoat (???), Raymond Clayborn (???), and Elbert
Shelley (in this case, I've been a hardcore NFL fan for over
30 years, and if there's somebody I HAVEN'T EVEN HEARD OF,
he absolutely does not belong on the HOF nominees list).

As for the seniors, again Jerry Kramer is snubbed.
Emmitt Thomas was a great corner, they might take him
(the same way they just went ahead and took Gene Hickerson
and Charlie Sanders last year). As for the other guy, I've
never heard of him. But, then again, who the hell was
Fritz Pollard???
Lots of issues and beefs with this post from what I can see:

1. Jerry Kramer was not only not the best lineman in NFL history, he wasn't even the best lineman on his own team. Forrest Gregg was. And I've seen informed opinions that he wasn't even the best GUARD on his own team, that Fuzzy Thurston and Gale Gillingham were both more accomplished. The problems with Kramer's candidacy are actually several besides these: he was a five time all pro but made only 3 pro bowl squads, he missed half of 1961 and most all of 1963 due to injury, he wrote the tell all book "Instant Replay" which may have ruffled some feathers, and the all first 50 years of the NFL team he was named to is roundly criticized by insiders as a botch job. Maybe not as automatic a pick as some may think, but I wouldn't gripe if he got in.

2. Alex Karras was named to 4 all pro squads and 4 pro bowls, which is about the same number as Henry Jordan (5/4). And he took four tries, two as a Senior, to get in, and is likely seen as the cutoff point for this position. And this doesn't count the one-year suspension he got for betting on his own team -- the same thing nearly kept Paul Hornung out.

3. Otis Taylor might be seen as a good borderline choice, but he's up against '50s, '60s, and '70s folks as diverse as Harold Carmichael, Drew Pearson, Cliff Branch, Harold Jackson, Isaac Curtis, Billy Howton, Billy Wilson, and Lionel Taylor, all of whom have good arguments for getting in. I'd recommend checking their stats here:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

Good luck getting them all in.

4. Except for Gale Sayers and Dwight Stephenson, the HoF has not treated folks with short careers kindly. Note Kenny Easley, Sterling Sharpe, and Dick Stanfel for three examples, and see what happens with Tony Boselli. Without Sayers's huge KR stat advantage, that may make things tougher on Terrell Davis than one might expect. We'll see.

5. Please note that Pete Rozelle, arguably the most influential commissioner in NFL history, took 8 tries to get in. If he's the gold standard here, I sure don't see that Tagliabue deserves to be pushed to the head of the line.

6. I'm also on board with Art Monk, Andre Reed, Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas, and Darrell Green getting in -- this is Gradishar's last shot before the Seniors abyss, too. Less a fan of Ken Stabler, who had about 4 great years statistically and a bunch of mediocre ones, especially over Ken Anderson, who I think should be in. No way on "Too Tall" Jones, whose all pro/pro bowl profile is only 2/3 -- why him and not Joe Klecko, Fred Smerlas, or Mark Gastineau, all of whom were his peers and put up more impressive such profiles and likely don't have a prayer?

7. Ray Guy is a tough call. There are those who argue that a punter contributes to at most 6 plays per game and doesn't belong in any more than a long snapper or other special teams player does. And still others have a problem with Guy's punting in general, arguing that he was more concerned about distance and less about pinning the opposition deep, that he had way too many touchbacks. Guys like Dr. Z are on record as saying as much, and prefer someone like Tommy Davis for the HoF.

8. There are always some head-scratchers in the preliminary round. They never get very far. The bigger head scratchers are clearly deserving folks who are left off, like Cortez Kennedy last year.

9. Re Marshall Goldberg: he played 8 years, about half of it during WWII against a depleted talent pool. And even then, his numbers look at best like they're at Hall of the Very Good level, and that is being charitable. He never was a first team all pro and is not on any all decade teams (there was no pro bowl back then). And he had already come up as a Seniors candidate in 1979 and was voted down. Why choose him when they could have picked 40s linemen Al Wistert or Riley Matheson, both named to several all pro teams? Or 20s lineman Duke Slater, a fine player whose career was hurt as badly by racism as that of Fritz Pollard? Or 20s end Lavie Dilweg? Or if they needed a back, why not Dilweg's teammate Verne Lewellen? Awful, awful choice, if you ask me.

10. Re Emmitt Thomas: someone please tell me why he was chosen ahead of other DBs who are equally or more deserving, including (deep breath) Cliff Harris, Johnny Robinson, Lemar Parrish, Bobby Dillon, Bob Boyd, Abe Woodson, Jack Butler, and Jim Patton. Sure, Thomas has lots of interceptions -- but so do Robinson and Boyd. Thomas was an all pro twice, but except for Robinson, who spent almost all his career in the AFL, every one of these players made more such teams: Parrish and Butler 3, Boyd, Harris, and Woodson 4, Patton and Dillon 5. If you compare pro bowl appearances (or AFL equivalents), Thomas has 5 but so do Woodson and Patton, while Harris has 6, Robinson has 7, and Parrish 8. Dillon has 4. Butler also has 4 and Boyd only 2, but both are on their respective all-decade teams. Hard to see this choice, either.

11. Fritz Pollard was in fact a very good Seniors nomination. Playing the position of back, he was one of the major black stars of the 1920's and the first black NFL coach, who got screwed big time by later implemented racial exclusion policies. Duke Slater, a lineman and black contemporary of Pollard's, might have been an even better choice -- I think he belongs in also.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:30 PM   #11
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Wow, bachslunch, what a first post. Welcome and stick around! :wavey:
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philabramoff View Post
Unfortunately, selection to the Hall-of-Fame is so subjective,
that LOTS of players (like Randall McDaniel, or for that matter,
Guy McIntyre) may not get in. Who the hell knows what will
happen, except for some of the obvious ones, and even some
"obvious ones" don't get in (Jerry Kramer, Alex Karras, Otis Taylor).

(On my Jerry Kramer issue, I can't TELL you how many times
people have said to me "I thought he was already in".)

A few examples....Dave Wilcox (SF Linebacker 1970's) is in.
On that front, several LB's of his time, just as good, if not
better, should also be in: Isiah Robertson, Chris Hanburger,
Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, Bill Bergey, Andy Russell,
Phil Villapiano. How come Dave Wilcox gets the nod?

Jim Langer (Miami center 1970's) is in. Other consistent Pro-Bowl
centers of his time: Jeff Van Note, Mick Tingelhoff, Forrest Blue,
Len Hauss. Again, why Langer?

Jackie Smith (Cardinals TE of late 60's-70's). How about other great
tight ends of his era that were actual pro-bowlers: Bob Tucker,
Ted Kwalick, Charley Young, Riley Odoms, Jerry Smith. Yet again,
why was Jackie Smith the one chosen from this bunch?

Offensive linemen, especially, is SO subjective (no stats, except for
"number of Pro Bowl appearences"). Again, if Ron Yary,
Rayfield Wright, Art Shell, and Dan Dierdorf are in the Hall, then
Winston Hill and George Kunz should be there. Those two were
consistently on the Pro Bowl teams right alongside them year
after year.

I personally believe Kramer is not in the Hall because there already
are ten HOF'ers from that Lombardi squad...and how many more
can you take (unless you also want to make the case for Max McGee
(RIP), Fuzzy Thurston, and Dave Robinson)?

In short...most of you will see some true greats from your own
favorite teams getting snubbed. The HOF is SO subjective, and
the pool to choose from is SO saturated.
Already addressed Kramer, Taylor, and Karras earlier. Some new things to bring up here:

1. I'm not so sure the HoF selection process is necessarily so subjective. Stats for those players who compile them certainly counts. Super Bowl rings or NFL Championships won seems to make some difference in borderline cases. And especially for non-stat compiling positions, number of 1st team all pro selections, pro bowl selections, and membership on all-decade teams seems to count a good bit.

2. Dave Wilcox got the HoF nod over the others because he's apparently the better linebacker. He seemingly was excellent against both the run and pass -- he could take on blockers, cover receivers, and could hit hard -- and was a highly consistent performer. His all pro/pro bowl profile is 4/7, which is very good. All pro/pro bowl profiles on the rest you mentioned and some you didn't and maybe could have: Isiah Robertson 3/6, Chris Hanburger 3/9, Maxie Baughan 3/9, Les Richter 1/8, Chuck Howley 5/6, Joe Fortunato 3/5, Randy Gradishar 2/7, Robert Brazile 5/7, Bill Forester 4/4, Andy Russell 1/7, Tommy Nobis 1/5, Lee Roy Jordan 1/5, Bill Bergey 2/5, Phil Villapiano 0/4, Dave Robinson 3/4, Mike Curtis 2/4, Dan Currie 2/1, Jim Houston 2/4, Wayne Walker 2/3. Looking at these numbers alone, one could perhaps make the strongest cases for Brazile, Howley, Hanburger, and Baughan, with a next tier perhaps including Gradishar, Robertson, Fortunato, and Forester. Fortunato, Brazile, Robinson, and Nobis also appear on various all-decade teams. Wilcox looks as good as the best of them on this score alone.

This thread might be of interest, as it discusses several of these players:

http://nflhistory.net/dcforum/DCForumID64/2929.html

3. Jim Langer looks better compared to all but Mick Tingelhoff on your center list. The all pro/pro bowl profile for Langer is 4/6, Forrest Blue 3/4, Len Hauss 1/5, and Jeff Van Note 0/5, plus Langer is on an all-decade team and has Super Bowl rings on his fingers, while none of the rest can say this. Tingelhoff being kept out with a profile of 6/7 is admittedly hard to explain; the only argument I've heard against him is that he did not play well in Super Bowl games -- but then again, he was one of the last undersized centers who primarily lined up opposite a linebacker instead of a huge nose tackle. Guys like Tingelhoff found themselves antiquated by the 70s.

4. (With all pro/pro bowl profiles following) Bob Tucker 1/0, Ted Kwalick 1/3, Charley Young 2/3, Riley Odoms 2/3, and Jerry Smith 0/2 don't quite measure up to Jackie Smith's 2/5, the last of whom most definitely was an "actual pro bowler." None made an all decade team. Most importantly, Jackie Smith has about 60 more catches than anyone else on this list, which is a lot for a TE. And if one argues that he played more games than the rest, one can argue back that that counts for something too, all else being relatively equal. But it's not so much equal, as it turns out.

5. All six of the OTs you mentioned have comparable pro bowl numbers, but (with profiles) Ron Yary 6/7, Rayfield Wright 3/6, Art Shell 3/8, and Dan Dierdorf 5/6 all have superior all-pro numbers to George Kunz 2/8 and Winston Hill 0/8, with Yary and Dierdorf having a big advantage. Plus the first four are on the all 70s team while Kunz and Hill are not on any. Definite edge to the first four here.

6. Actually, I think Randall McDaniel has an excellent chance of getting in sooner or later with a profile of 7/12. Guy McIntyre's 0/5 is another matter.

But you're correct that every team's fans thinks there are several of their players who are deserving of the HoF who aren't in. Cowboys, Redskins, and Broncos message boards, for three, are loaded with such fans.
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:13 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great replies, bachslunch.

As for longevity...

Dwight Stephenson didn't have that short of a career.
8-years. Then again, he was the greatest center to
ever play the position. (Watch some old game films.
He used to push D-Linemen to the ground with one
arm).

If longevity was a disqualifyer, Earl Campbell would have
never gotten in. Yeah, he played 8-years, too, but was
basically useless for the last three (especially his last
two years with New Orleans). Therefore, if we apply
the Earl Campbell principle to Terrell Davis, he'll be in too.

AND...I agree with you about Duke Slater. He was one of
the first great linemen of pro football, also overcoming the
great racism of his time.
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
5. All six of the OTs you mentioned have comparable pro bowl numbers, but (with profiles) Ron Yary 6/7, Rayfield Wright 3/6, Art Shell 3/8, and Dan Dierdorf 5/6 all have superior all-pro numbers to George Kunz 2/8 and Winston Hill 0/8, with Yary and Dierdorf having a big advantage. Plus the first four are on the all 70s team while Kunz and Hill are not on any. Definite edge to the first four here.
Based on the figures, sounds like George Kunz IS comparable to some
of these guys (2/8) as compared to (3/6) and (3/8) specifically.
Also, figure that Kunz played for much less heralded teams than
the Cowboys, Vikings, and Raiders. Half his career with Atlanta
and the other half with Baltimore, and still getting named to the
Pro-Bowl alongside these other guys sure makes the case for Kunz.

I also remember him playing...he was regularly named in the same
breath as Ron Yary, Rayfield Wright, Dan Dierdorf, and Art Shell
when Pro-Bowlers were being considered.

Also figure the Trivia Question in that the reason he was traded
from Atlanta to Baltimore, is because Atlanta wanted the # 1
overall pick in the draft (with which they drafted Steve Bartkowski).

Kunz is a definite snub.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philabramoff View Post
Thanks for the great replies, bachslunch.

As for longevity...

Dwight Stephenson didn't have that short of a career.
8-years. Then again, he was the greatest center to
ever play the position. (Watch some old game films.
He used to push D-Linemen to the ground with one
arm).

If longevity was a disqualifyer, Earl Campbell would have
never gotten in. Yeah, he played 8-years, too, but was
basically useless for the last three (especially his last
two years with New Orleans). Therefore, if we apply
the Earl Campbell principle to Terrell Davis, he'll be in too.

AND...I agree with you about Duke Slater. He was one of
the first great linemen of pro football, also overcoming the
great racism of his time.
I guess it depends on how you define "short career" and "useless year." Gale Sayers played 7 years, five big ones and two useless ones (of 2 games each), and he's considered the classic example of "short career." Earl Campbell has five big years and three perhaps below average but certainly not useless years, totaling 8, and might also qualify here, with only one clearly shortened year in terms of games played. Dwight Stephenson played 8 years and in two of them (1982 and 1987) only appeared in 9 of what was likely 16 possible games; his 8 year career is the shortest of any o-lineman in the HoF, and two of these years contain barely more than half a season's worth of games. I'd consider them all to be "short career" guys to varying degrees. Games played per season for these three:

Sayers: 14, 14, 14, 9, 14, 2, 2
Campbell: 15, 16, 15, 16, 9, 14, 14, 16
Stephenson: 16, 16, 9, 16, 16, 16, 16, 9

In Terrell Davis's case, he's got one less year than Campbell (7 total), and pretty much has four big years, one average year, and two useless ones. Games per season:

Davis: 14, 16, 15, 16, 4, 5, 11

He's really more akin to Sayers, but unfortunately without Sayers's formidable kick return numbers. Campbell has 7 pretty full seasons and one shortened one, so I don't see him as directly comparable to Davis.
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