The Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct four-to-seven new members on Saturday here in New Orleans, and two men connected to the New York Giants are on the list of 17 final candidates. Let's take a moment to debate whether Michael Strahan and/or Bill Parcells might make the cut in 2013.
Was Strahan good enough to make it on the first ballot?
Bruce Smith and Reggie White did, but Kevin Greene had more sacks than Strahan and is still fighting for a spot after being rejected each of the last eight years.
The difference is that Strahan holds the single-season sack record. The man who held that record before Strahan, Mark Gastineau, is not a Hall of Famer, but Gastineau had only 74 career sacks. Strahan is fifth on the all-time list with 141.5. Strahan also has a ring, which we can't say for Greene.
Considering that he's also maintained a heavy media presence and is friendly with a lot of the media members who control his Canton-related destiny, I have a hard time imagining Strahan not being inducted this weekend.
"If (his name) is not called, it will be a black, gloomy day for the NFL," Justin Tuck told Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. "I don't see how hes not a shoo-in for first ballot Hall of Famer."
I agree. There have only been 63 first-ballot entries over the years, but Strahan certainly belongs in that crowd. At least four men have to be inducted and I can't find anyone on the list of candidates who made more of an impact than Strahan.
The media can't keep punishing Parcells, can they?
There was quite a lot of outrage when Parcells wasn't inducted on the first ballot last year, so there's probably a strong chance he squeaks in this time around, especially when you consider that he made the top 10 in 2012. The class is a little stronger, but those who stubbornly left Parcells off of their ballots last year might be more willing to write those eight letters this time around.
I have no idea how or why people believe that someone's candidacy becomes stronger just because he's been forced to wait, but with more wins than all but nine coaches in NFL history and with five Super Bowl appearances (and two victories) under his belt, it would be an embarrassment if the media members in charge of electing football legends left Parcells out for the second year in a row.
That would be an indication that there are still lots of journalists with axes to grind against a prickly lightning rod like Parcells. That's not fair, but neither is life.
There are also indications that some voters don't like that Parcells jumped around a lot during his career. Again, I don't think it's fair to hold that against him, but even if you do, the good still clearly outweighs the bad by a wide margin.