Let them in

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Doomsday101, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    We haven't had a good argument in a long time. No really good brouhahas, not even over my Dallas-to-win-the-Super Bowl pick. So as we head into the summer football doldrums, let's invent a nice little controversy.
    Let's argue over who among the eligible coaches and players most deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    I've got my list ready. Get yours and let's brawl.
    Keep in mind that many of these guys were discussed in the meeting of the 39 Hall selectors in Detroit the day before the Super Bowl. Here, then, is my list of The Jilted 10.

    1. Thurman Thomas, RB, Buffalo. I continue to be amazed at the lack of an uproar when he didn't make it last year. He's one of those guys who everyone says, "Oh, don't worry. He'll get in.'' Probably so, but I've heard that said about too many people over the years, people who never got in. So I take nothing for granted. Thomas was the most versatile running back over a six- or seven-year period, and he was the reason the Buffalo offense kept so many long drives alive. Only one Hall of Fame back, Walter Payton, has more catches than Thomas' 472. This guy's lock city. Or should be.

    2. Mick Tingelhoff, C, Minnesota. Two numbers say it all: seven years All-Pro, more than any other center in NFL history (not counting Jim Otto's AFL awards), and 240 consecutive games. The man never missed a game due to injury for 15 years. At center! I've always felt he was unfairly singled out for the Minnesota Super Bowl losses and for getting beat on a few memorable plays. You don't play that long without being a great football player. And Tingelhoff was.

    3. Michael Irvin, WR, Dallas. Three knocks on Irvin I always hear. 1) He cheated: He held and pass-interfered when the officials couldn't see. 2) He was a mess off the field. 3) Dallas will have Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith (and maybe Larry Allen) in the Hall when this era's team is considered. That's enough. Poppycock. This man was the leader of the Cowboys, pure and simple. The leader. And he was a great player who simply refused to lose. I know it's a cliché, but ask anyone around that team -- Aikman, Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Jones. It's absurd he hasn't made it. And re: the off-the-field stuff, we are not allowed to bring those considerations into the meeting room. Only what happened between the lines should matter. Catching 750 balls for a three-time Super Bowl winner and being the key guy in the locker room on game days ... that should make him a gimme.

    4. Bill Parcells, coach. I always say the same thing about this. When Marv Levy was actively trying to get back into coaching, even at his advanced age, he and Parcells came up for a vote. I must be blind, because I think it's no contest that a man who has led four different teams to the playoffs, three different teams to the conference title game, two different teams to the Super Bowl and won two world titles is more deserving by far than Levy.

    5. Dermontti Dawson, C, Pittsburgh. More All-Pro nods (six) than Dwight Stephenson or Jim Langer, to go along with a durable 184-game career. He played 13 years compared with Stevenson's eight. And while I think Stevenson was a better player, technically especially, I also think the longer career definitely plays in Dawson's favor.

    6. Charlie Sanders, TE, Detroit. Two big problems with Sanders: He played for a team that lost a lot and never won a title, and he played tight end. People don't know how to look at tight ends. Imagine having a guy who was every bit the blocker of John Mackey -- and who averaged 14.3 yards per catch! Jerry Rice averaged 14.8. Sanders played 10 years at the highest level and he was every bit the player Mackey or Mike Ditka was. Just ask the men who competed against them.

    7. Roger Craig, RB, San Francisco. I can't believe he doesn't get more consideration. Was I the only one who thought for five or six years he was the guy you had to stop in the San Francisco offense to have a chance to win? Think of what he did at his peak. Remember back 20 years. Unstoppable, durable, Mr. Inside-Mr. Outside. In 1985 he rushed for 1,050 yards and had 1,016 receiving yards. Imagine a year in which everyone knows you're getting the ball and still you pick up five yards per rush and 11 yards per reception. That's one of the best years a runner has ever had.

    8. Bob Kuechenberg, G, Miami. SI.com's Paul Zimmerman rails every year about Kuechenberg belonging. I've come around on the Dolphins offensive lineman. For a long time I felt that because the center on that Miami team, Jim Langer, and the other guard, Larry Little, were in the Hall, that was enough for one line. I am convinced that Kuechenberg was better at his position than Langer was at his, so why penalize him because one of his linemates is in and maybe is only a borderline guy?

    9. Derrick Thomas, OLB, Kansas City. I have wavered on Thomas, who I feel could be stopped by the best offensive tackles. But he passes the eye test. That is, I remember seeing him make so many plays with my own eyes and saying, "Wow -- how many more players could do that?'' And there haven't been many in my lifetime. He wasn't Lawrence Taylor, but he was in LT's league.

    10. Gary Zimmerman, T, Denver. No really good player I've been around was more invisible than Zimmerman off the field. He didn't like the media stuff, but he wasn't rude about it. He was just a no-nonsense drive-blocker with good feet to slow down the great pass-rushers of his day. That's why, in part, he did something precious few players have ever done -- be a two-time NFL all-decade player. He made it in the '80s and the '90s.
    There are my 10. Zimmerman edged L.C. Greenwood, who I also support, by the way.

    Looking forward to seeing your lists.

    Quote of the Week
    "I'll be surprised if anything happens. I really will. He's been welcomed here and will continue to be as long as he's the guy he has been in the past.''
    -- Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe on Terrell Owens, commenting at the team's weekend minicamp.

  2. cobra

    cobra Salty Bastard

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    :repost: :repost:
  3. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    not everyone can or will catch every thread that goes through there. you miss a day threads are off the main page and you can either catch up or just let it go.

    repost police seem a bit anxious to me at times. : )
  4. 2much2soon

    2much2soon Well-Known Member

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    Imagine playing with Joe Montana and him having Jerry Rice, Dwight Clark, and Russ Francis as receivers.
    Your really believe Craig made those guys? Because that sounds like what you are saying to me. And I don't buy it.
    He was a system guy who would of been a minor footnote in NFL history if he played anywhere else.

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