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It's Canton Time Again........
Category: FEATURED

 

It's hard to seem that it has been a little over a year since 3rd Stone has left us. Of all of the "amateur" bloggers I've come across from the Old Site, 3rd was clearly #1 or #2 ever IMHO in knowing and understanding his "sport of choice" subject matter- which in this case is NFL/AFL football.

So, it is in this regard that I come to you with this blog. It's at this time of the year when I miss his writing the most b/c we all know that he would have such insight into Pro Football Hall of Fame selections at Canton (and also provide more fuel for his immortal "Crazy Canton Cuts" series!).

As such, I submit this piece more as a discussion among us as 3rd forgot more about the NFL than I will ever remember. In his honor, we can still have our own discussion on this. I suspect he would've enjoyed the banter on it.
B-I-G shoes to fill here........

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This weekend various NFL journalists will convene and grant admittance into the Pro Football HOF. Like any HOF process (as we have seen recently), it has its flaws.

First, here are my three major beefs with the selection process (you will need these to understand what will be required of you later as you hopefully participate)

1. Only a maximum of FIVE "modern" era players/builders can admitted in any year. With careers being cut so short in this violent game, that's hardly enough. Remember the total NFL rosters at any given time comprise roughly 1500 players. In MLB it's roughly 750, NHL is roughly 700, NBA is roughly 400.

2. It's the "Pro Football" HOF, jackwagons, not the "NFL" HOF. So where is the CFL? More so, WHERE IS THE AFL?????!!!!!! Billy Shaw is the only inductee to have never played in the NFL, and even then he had to suffer the indignity of wearing an NFL blazer at his induction. In short, players who spent their careers making a name for themselves in AFL are treated worse than a dog treats a fire hydrant.

Disgraceful. Don't even get me started on the screw jobs put on Johnny Robinson and Jim Tyrer- and I was an Oilers fan, not a Chiefs fan.

3. The "modern" era spots are up for grabs by both players AND owners/coaches/PR people. They should have a separate voting procedure and area for the players versus the other guys. Look, I'm glad Ed Sabol was admitted in 2011, but should he have taken up a spot of a player? At least the Veterans now have their own separate selection process, and this might actually help those who got jobbed in #2.

So, Mr. Phelps here is your assignment if you choose to accept it..........

Pick no more than FIVE modern names from the list below and also decide if the two veterans are HOF worthy.


In short, it is BALLS TO THE WALL for you.........

 



 

Now, I'm going to summarize each candidate below in the following format

# of Pro Bowls/# of First Team All-Pros/ Super Bowl record

Then below that

# of Top Tens in an appropriate category (WR's and RB's will have 3 carries-catches/yards/TD's) and # of LL's. Defensive players will have sacks or INT's)

So, if someone is a WR

5/2/2-1
8-3-4, 2LL

It means.......

Five Pro Bowls, 2 First Team All Pros, 2-1 in the Super Bowl (2 rings then)
8 times TT in # of catches, 3 times TT in total receiving yards, 4 times TT in TD's, and he led the league twice in a combination of those categories.

Also

* denotes first year of eligibility, all others have been previous Finalists

V denotes Veteran nominee (decided separately)


Your nominees in alphabetical order

* Larry Allen, OL, 11/ 6/ 1-0: #95 on NFL All-time list

Jerome Bettis, RB, 6/ 2/ 1-0: 7-5-4, no LL's

Tim Brown, WR-KR, 9/ 0/ 0-1: 6-5-8, 1 LL

Cris Carter, WR, 8/ 2/ 0-0: 8-5-8, 4 LL's

V Curley Culp, NT, 6/ 1/ 1-0

Eddie De Bartolo Jr, Owner

Kevin Greene, DE, 5/ 2/ 0-0: 8 TT's in sacks

Charles Haley, DE, 5/ 2/ 5-0

Art Modell, Owner

* Jonathan Ogden, OL, 11/ 4/ 1-0: #72 on NFL All-time list

* Bill Parcells, Coach, 2-1 in Super Bowls, won post-season games with 4 different teams

Andre Reed, WR, 7/ 0/ 0-4: 5-3-4, no LL's

V Dave Robinson, LB, 3/ 1/ 2-0

* Warren Sapp, NT, 7/ 4/ 1-0: Defensive POY, 2 TT's in sacks

Will Shields, OL, 12/ 2/ 0-0: 12x all AFC by Pro Football Weekly

* Michael Strahan, DL, 7/ 4/ 1-1: Defensive POY, 6 TT's in sack, 2 LL's, #99 on NFL All-time list

Aeneas Williams, DB, 8/ 3/ 0-1: 5 TT's in INT, 1 LL


I'll give you my brief rundown of who I would select, and who I think will get in. Remember, (you and) I can only choose five + possibly two Vets!


Allen: I'm partial to the guys who work in the trenches, especially OL where there is no glamour. He was a very dominant OL for a decade and he won a Super Bowl.
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: YES. Being with one club, a marquee franchise with a ring should do it. Plus, he's got three other HOFer's on the O-side of the ball lobbying these guys- including analysts Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.


Bettis: Disclosure- I have an axe to grind with this guy personally, as I consider him a liar on the Phil Luckett caper. That being said, do you think he's as good as Rickey Watters? They had similar numbers over their careers. Bettis more powerful, Watters more versatile. Do not discount his two "feel good" awards from the NFL. That might carry weight with the committee.
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. Other than he was big for an RB, not a great stat-line. But, he gets kudos for presenting Earl Campbell on the NFL 100 Greatest Players


Brown: One of these guys who was durable and versatile, but never one of the top 4 at his position. Notre Dame and Heisman mean nothing here.
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. His "Kill Bill" Callahan comments might even keep him off the Finalist list next year!


Carter: I look at WR stats as very misleading b/c the league has become a passing league now. However, I've relented on Carter. Take away Jerry Rice and he might be considered the best receiver of the last 25 years?
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: YES. He's done his penance, and his job as an analyst where he can schmooze the voters certainly helps


Culp: Are there other Veterans more worthy? Yes. However, you already know I'm disposed to give these vets a break. More importantly, he is worthy anyway b/c he established and invented the nose tackle position. Stram rolled him out in the 1969 post-season and the Chiefs started their reign of terror to win the Super Bowl. He was the prototype as how line play occurs today.
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: YES. The committee recognizes the errors of their ways finally- at least to some extent.


DeBartolo Jr: This is tough year to be an owner or a coach etc. Too many good players. Don't know how his criminal activity will sit although there is no "morals" clause for Canton. Ground breaking owner? Yes. How would he have done in today's hard cap though?
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. Parcells will get first consideration.


Greene: Great player. One of the top five though on this list?
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. Alas, his window is closing also.


Haley: The only guy with five rings. Come on though, was he even one of the five best players on any of those clubs?
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: YES. Forget about the locker room issues with the press. Five rings to none for Greene gets him in this year, plus SF is in the Super Bowl.


Modell: I have no problem with what he did to Cleveland. I also have no problem with what Bud Adams did with my beloved Houston Oilers either. Bud Adams is still alive and is an original AFL owner and current owner. Art Modell is dead and owned the Browns/Ravens for almost a decade less. Do I need to go any further here?
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. Forget about the Ravens being in the Super Bowl. Art is dead, so forget the sentimental vote.


Ogden: As Allen was dominant in the NFC, Ogden was dominant in the AFC. He stands the best shot of any of the first year nominees to get in.
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: YES. Are you kidding? BAL is in the Super Bowl!


Parcells: The Big Tuna has alienated a lot of people I think. He should get in someday, and I think his candidacy will bring about some changes in how selections are made. Too many players though waiting to get in.
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. Although I think if any of the builders get in, it will be him.


Reed: ZERO all-pros. Not very many top tens. Where would Reed have been without Jim Kelly? Any questions here?
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. I feel bad for players like this, but such is the process.


Robinson: See Curley Culp. Hard to believe he only had three dominant years. Good thing he's not a "modern" player even though I remember him playing...... for the Packers! (Insert age joke here)
My vote: YES, see Culp
Will he make it?: YES. see Culp, although if only one gets in, it should be Culp.


Sapp: Wonder how his bankruptcy while at the NFL Network is impacting things? He should get in someday, but frankly, he's the most vulnerable of the four first-time players. For him to be able in the TT in sacks from the NT is pretty impressive IMHO- and the guy learned his lessons well from Curley Culp in stuffing the run.
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: NO. Again, too much talent to go up against- not a media market guy.


Shields: Great guy, very very good OL. However, his teammate Willie Roaf went two years ago and KC did not have a post-season resume to impress.
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: NO. No way three OL's are going this time.


Strahan: Can't underestimate the importance of being in the NY market in these things; plus (unlike Lawrence Taylor), he's kept his nose clean (rim shot here). I think he's a one dimensional guy though- unlike Sapp.
My vote: NO
Will he make it?: YES. NY and no other 1st time defensive players will get it done. No way the committee lets in three first time guys. He takes Sapp's rightful spot.


Williams: Distinguished career, mediocre franchise. Not a guy the offense tries to stay away from although they are mindful of him.  Still, perhaps the best true DB of his era. Tough year for defensive players though.
My vote: YES
Will he make it?: NO. The last DB other than Deion Sanders to wait less than 15 years to get in? Mel Blount, 1989. Case closed. (Post Errata: Rob Woodson made it in his first year eligibility in 2009.)

My votes-
Veterans: Culp, Robinson
Modern: Allen, Carter, Ogden, Sapp, Williams


Predicted Committee votes-
Veterans: Culp, Robinson
Modern: Allen, Carter, Haley, Ogden, Strahan


What are your votes?

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