Dear Canton: Put These Guys in Already!
I'm not talking about Shannon Sharpe being snubbed his first year of eligibility, or Cris Carter being snubbed for two years. We all know unless the committee is completely brain dead Carter will be in next year and Shannon Sharpe's wait time will not surpass three more years.
I am talking about players who have waited for a while now, and STILL, don't have a bust, I'm going to point out some travesties, downright idiocy and point out current Hall of Famers that I would replace in favor of the men out.
For the only RB in the history of the NFL to lead the league in receptions, you'd think he'd be in after a decade of eligibility.
Now add in what we all know Canton loves most, Super Bowl rings, the voters have a fetish with them, even if the notion completely disregards the TEAM aspect which is the NFL, and Craig has three, not one or two, but THREE.
His career stats say everything about THE versatile back, yes, before Faulk. If I had to choose to take one Hall of Famer out and put Craig in, it would be Tony Dorsett. Don't get me wrong, Dorsett was a great running back, but he wasn't the versatile back Craig was.
Dorsett fumbled more than twice as many times, starting only 20 more games, and getting 18 percent more touches. But I'll also add Canton's hallmark Super Bowl Rings argument, Dorsett made two Super Bowls, and got one ring to Craig's three.
Something else to consider is how both Dorsett and Craig made one first team All-Pro. Basically, there's zero reason to have Dorsett in and Craig out.
Now, there's only one exclusive Special Teams player in the Hall of Fame, and I understand the argument. Special teamers might be on the field only 3-10 times a game right?
Well, yes, but wouldn't a sane fan also agree the greatest special teams player ever may deserve induction, just to have a representative of the position in Canton?
The representative right now is Jan Stenerud. To give you an assessment, Jan led the league in field goal percentage four times. In 19 seasons, he made a total of 373 field goals. He was a second ballot Hall of Famer, making ONE first team All-Pro, and winning ONE Super Bowl.
Now we look at Ray Guy, a man who invented the stat for hang time, a man who made three first team All-Pros and got three Super Bowl rings. In fourteen seasons he made 1,049 punts, and led the league in yards per punt thrice.
In his career, he had three punts blocked, while Jan Stenerud missed 21 extra points...I will allow you to decide yourself who should be in, and for the record, Guy had been eligible for over 15 bloody years.
Oh yes, I know what you're thinking, only two measly Pro Bowls. Well maybe you should consider this is the guy who held the record for most consecutive games started, and he still holds it for every player that's not on special teams. In other words, not Jeff Feagles.
And to be fair, Jim Marshall's first 18 seasons were not 16 game schedules. In fact his first season was 12 games, so factoring that in, that's 38 games he wasn't able to play due to the times. In total, he started all 282 games he was able to start in, and recovered an NFL record 30 fumbles.
No, he never won a Super Bowl ring, and I don't care. The man's iron streak is unmatched, and I believe it will never be broken by a defensive player.
Who would I replace in Canton with Marshall? Dave Wilcox, in my mind he never achieved anything that Marshall didn't. Oh sure, you could point to his tow first team All-Pros, but then I can point out he only started 153 games, won no Super Bowls, and no noticeable stat line.
Why shouldn't Marshall be in? He's been waiting for 24 YEARS!!!! The Hall of Fame comittee members have no souls, nope, ok, maybe one, but most are leaches from hell.
No, I am not a Stabler fanatic, I think he played on some pretty great teams coached by Madden and that's why he accumulated a 96-49-1 starter record. However, he retired in 1984, and I find it odd that Troy Aikman was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Now Aikman did have a better winning percentage of 94-71...oh wait, no he didn't. Here's another note on what Troy Aikman also never did, never lead the league in any passing category except completions percentage in 1993, under one of the greatest offensive lines ever built.
Aikman threw for 20+ TDs once in a season, and eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark five times, his highest being 3,445. Stabler on the other hand led the league in completion percentage twice, and in TDs twice, passing for over 2,700 yards in a season where he played 12 games and attaining a career high of 3,615 yards in 1979.
He won league MVP in 1974 and was named first team All-Pro that same season. To note, Stabler lost out his first Team All-Pro and league MVP in 1976 to one year wonder Bert Jones.
Stabler won a Super Bowl ring in 1976 and had a playoff record of 7-6, counting the fact one of those losses was due to the luckiest play in NFL history, the immaculate reception. Otherwise, Stabler might have a playoff record of 8-5 or better.
He only had two losing seasons as a starter, one of those where he played only one game, hence 0-1.
If the Pro Football Hall of Fame loves winners, Stabler should be in, and by all account, Aikman should not be in ahead of The Snake.
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