Why Terrell Davis Belongs in the Hall of Fame (By a Raider Fan)

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst ISeptember 7, 2009

I, however, give credit where credit is due.

As anyone would know, we Raider fans are characterized as "rowdies" and "creeps" by the sports media, and Jay Mariotti of Around the Horn has admitted it.

Mariotti shockingly admitted that he, and possibly others, do not investigate stories about the Raiders, but simply rely on gossip. 

That is an admission of defamation because you are saying that you cannot provide substantiation for your statements.  Frankly, I would like to see the Oakland Raiders pore through Mariotti's articles and find the material to sue him.  That could just be a fantasy, but it is what I would like to see. 

After all, people like Mariotti claim to be inherently better reporters than bloggers, so why can't people like Mariotti be held to a higher standard?

As the saying goes, "make it global," thus it is not a problem with just one reporter that claims to be unbiased and yet makes up news, it is a problem with every reporter that claims to be unbiased and yet makes up news.

I am every sportswriter’s thorn in the side.  I do not preach craziness; I preach confidence.  That, to some, is craziness.

The reason that many fail in their analysis is that they do not believe in what they think, so they seek affirmation from others who could just as easily be wrong.

Why else would people protest at Town Hall meetings in order to say, "Watch Glenn Beck?"

Granted, you are not seeking affirmation from the guy with a Joe Dirt mullet, but the act of seeking affirmation for your opinions is what hinders you.  It is like a Chinese finger trap, you must do the opposite of what you think will work.

I know that I'm Mr. Controversial with my interpretations of real news (ever heard of that Jay?), which range from apologizing to Michael Vick for slavery and post-slavery racial oppression and arguing that Roger Goodell couldn't get his Spygate story straight, to believing that extraordinary justice was given to Darko Milicic for the NATO bombings of Serbia in 1999.

I have also argued that Dan Marino and Dan Fouts do not belong in the Hall of Fame.

To me, justice is ultimately what sports are about. Sure, you can view them abstractly to predict what will happen, but ultimately every great athlete is there for a reason that others are not: Justice.

Their will or desire determined their presence and was coordinated by the selectors of will known as sports executives.

The issue, however, is not who is biased or who is not, because I do believe that everyone is biased.

If you had no bias, you would lack motivation: a bias is just intellectual fuel that people suppress because they think they have to.  Often times, for immediate gratification (money), and the feeling that, "I could do that, but I don't want to." 

Thomas Edison, for instance, was incredibly biased in favor of direct current, which he discovered, as opposed to alternating current, which was discovered by Nikola Tesla.  Did Edison's biases stop him from creating the metaphorically great idea, the light bulb?


Thus, it is just a matter of how well you defend your bias.  The problem is when you lie by claiming to be unbiased.  Be open about it, go down swinging if you must, and keep trying.

Shouting out, "You're biased" is just hypocrisy.

With that said, arguing in favor of Terrell Davis for the Hall of Fame is not something I can stomach, but I believe that it is consistent with many of my previous arguments.  This is just the point at which it has become uncomfortable.

Here we go.

I must start with an indirect arguments about the standards for induction by pro sports' Halls of Fame because two of the Big Three (baseball and football) revolve heavily around statistics and the longevity of a career as a reflection of greatness.

The problem I have had with Hall of Fame inductions is that in the past generation, the Halls have put a premium on statistics, rather than championships.

These same writers will turn around and cry about how athletes cheated them by inflating their statistics with steroids.  (Hey, Jay, I bet you didn't investigate Sammy Sosa either.)  Those players only did so because of the "magic numbers" created by writers who thought statistics reflected greatness more than championships do.

Thus, by fixation on statistics, the writers lowered the bar.  The players ceased to care about victory as long as they got paid and built a resume of meaningless statistics. 

Just ask Manny Ramirez. 

Ramirez took heat in 2007 when he claimed that it did not matter if the Red Sox won the World Series or not.  Fortunately, for Ramirez, the Sox won the Series that year.

I however take it as evidence of something that I like to say: If you do not care about winning, you are probably on drugs.  With the juicers, winning is just incidental.

Unlike rock musicians however, drugs are just the key to something that they do not understand, and which might lead to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ultimately, what is it that an athlete should be on the field to do? 

To win—that is the only answer.

Statistics are just the consolation prize for when you lose.  Occasionally, one player comes along, who is mired in losing for a long time, yet he keeps posting great statistics, so fans and writers try to recognize that, but in doing so, lose sight of the real reason that the game is played: to win, not rack up statistics.

Thus, if writers truly want to send a message to players to stop juicing, then I would suggest that they make new examples with their inductions.

The standard I set is, "Championships + Statistics = Greatness."  Yet, people are willing to isolate statistics to the detriment of championships.

Frankly, Doug Williams did in half a season what Dan Marino tried for an entire career to do-win the Super Bowl.

Yet, the Hall glorifies a quarterback whose career was defined mostly by 1984-1986 while being the top NFL passer and appearing in the Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins.   It glorifies a career that, after 1986, was mostly average, but long.

That is not to say that anyone can play in the pros for many years.  I find it quite odd that Hall preference goes to those who never accomplished the goal that they set out to do: win.

I guarantee, like Joe Namath, that Marino would trade his statistics for a ring.  If not, why did he play?

After all this, the argument to support Terrell Davis is quite simple.  Davis' career was defined mostly by what he did in 1996-1998 by being the top NFL runner and winning two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos.

In two seasons, Davis did far more than most athletes can ever dream of doing. 

That is greatness.


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