Pro Football Hall of Fame Is not Pro Football

Avry Lewis-McDougallContributor IJune 7, 2009

26 Nov 2000:  Damon Allen #9 of the British Columbia Lions celebrates after the Grey Cup 2000 game against the Montreal Alouettes at the McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Lions defeated the Alouettes 28-26.Mandatory Credit: Craig Klem  /Allsport

The first inductees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were enshrined in 1963. The first inductees included:

  • Slingin' Sammy Baugh
  • Bert Bell
  • Red Grange
  • George "Papa Bear" Halas
  • Jim Thorpe
  • Tim Mara
  • Joe Carr
  • Don Hutson
  • George Preston Marshall
  • John "Blood" McNally
  • Robert Hubbard
  • Earl "Dutch" Clark
  • Ernie Nevers
  • Wilber Henry
  • Mel Hein
  • Earl "Curly" Lambeau

The names of the original inductees are known to some but forgotten to many; most people remember names like Dan Foutes, Steve Largent, Steve Young, and Marcus Allen.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has some great members, but where are the great players from such leagues as the CFL and the Arena Football League?

The all-time leader in passing yards in pro football history is held by a man who never played a single down of American football, Damon Allen (QB in article picture), brother of NFL great Marcus Allen. Damon holds the all-time passing yards record for pro football with 72,381 passing yards while playing 23 fantastic seasons and retiring in 2008 at the age of 44.

Who's the nearest NFL player in career passing yards? It's Brett Favre with 65,127 career passing yards.

As for Damon, I don't even think many even know who he is, which is sad. 

The leader for all-time games played in pro football history is former British Columbia Lions kicker Lui Passaglia. Lui played in 408 career games, all for the BC Lions in a career that spanned from 1976-2000. Lui retired at the age of 46, still leading the CFL in kicking. If that does not get you into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I don't know what does.

As for the Arena Football League, I know many people may say, "Oh, the field is only 50 yards long."

I really don't care. If guys are throwing for over 45 touchdowns in a season, then that should count for something. Dallas Desparados quarterback Clint Dolezel has thrown for 931 career touchdowns and is the Arena Football League all-time leader in passing touchdown passes. To me, if you throw for close to 1,000 career touchdown passes, then I don't care if you're playing in the Pakistan Football League—you should be in consideration for going to Canton.

Will players in other leagues get credit for their accomplishments soon? I doubt it, but, until then, the hall of fame in Canton is the NFL Hall of Fame and not the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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