Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Spheniscus, We now have T.O., who I think should have gotten in last year.

We know why he didn’t, as he was often a selfish player and killed Quarterbacks.  You think Jeff Garcia wants to see him get inducted?  Does it irk the hell out of Donovan McNabb that Owens is a finalist and he isn’t?  It has to right?

Sorry Donovan but when you were in the Super Bowl together, you threw up during the game and T.O. excelled on a bum leg. 

Going back to Owens, there is no statistical argument against him, but I get why the Hall of Fame committee wanted to make him wait one year as a “penance”.  I don’t think they will make him wait a second.

Spheniscus: To paraphrase Silky Johnson “What can I say about the sportswriters’ opinion of Terrell Owens that hasn’t been said about Afghanistan?”

Should they make him wait a second? No. They shouldn’t have made him wait a first. But I have this feeling that as long as there is a viable alternative, the sportswriters will talk themselves into that alternative.

Owens is 2nd all-time in receiving yards. Last year they chose the 8th place guy on the list Marvin Harrison. Next year they will choose the 3rd place guy on the list Randy Moss, who despite also having a tough reputation, has the redemption of the 2007 Patriots on his resume. The question is whether or not they decide to take the 4th place guy Isaac Bruce. Because I think that they will.

Committee Chairman: Ten points for quoting Silky.


I think I am a lot more optimistic on T.O., so much so that when I ever get to Chicago (or when you take your family to the beautiful vacation destination of the Canadian Rockies), I will bet a round on it. The beer will be Canadian by the way, leave that Pabst stuff at home!

I think a nightmare for the Hall is to have both Owens and Moss on the ballot, and for Owens, I never thought he was a bad guy, but does have some mental issues that made him act out the way he did. I am not saying that tongue and cheek, I really think he does have them.

I don’t know how much this has spread to the U.S., but Bell Canada here sponsors a “Let’s Talk” campaign talking about mental disease. I always thought Owens had something especially after watching this:



Whether I am right or wrong about the state of Owens’ mind, it just doesn’t take away what he did on the field. If he was maybe five percent less in production, it might make a difference in my eyes, but I still believe it was a one year slap on the wrist.

Spheniscus: I already made the beer bet offer in the Isaac Bruce section, but I will reiterate it here. I am saying that he won’t make the Hall of Fame until the next presidential election. It will be Bruce in 2017, Moss in 2018, Tony Gonzalez in 2019, and Calvin Johnson in 2020.

I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it, I’m just saying they don’t like him. At all.

Committee Chairman: Well, you know my thoughts on this one. If I am wrong for this year, than yes, I will acquiesce to your line of thinking. This is an all or nothing year for T.O. I am still hoping for all.

Spheniscus: I fully admit that I am a bit out on a limb on this one. You’re right that Owens probably goes in. I just think that Bruce is an attractive enough option for them to say no again this year.

At some point not putting Owens in is going to be an issue and an embarrassment. I just don’t think the voters have reached that point yet.
Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, this is your guy.  I won’t open with any opinion, and like Bill Bellcick’s decision to defer in Overtime against the Broncos, I am deferring to you first.

Tell me why Ty Law is a Hall of Famer?

Spheniscus: Remember when we said that Boselli was the greatest player in the history of a non-descript franchise? Well Law is the fourth greatest player in the history of one of the leagues signature franchises (behind Andre Tippett, John Hannah, and some guy named Brady) and the best defensive player on the last dynasty in the NFL. He twice led the NFL in interceptions, was twice an All Pro, five times a Pro Bowler, and a member of the 2000s All NFL Team.

And ask Peyton Manning what he thinks of Law. That 2003 AFC Championship Game may have been the greatest playoff display by a defensive back ever. One of the five greatest QBs of All Time at the height of his powers completely done in by one man. Not to mention the pick six of Warner in Superbowl XXXVI that gave the Pats the momentum they would need to win bring down the Greatest Show on Turf.

He won’t make it this year as Dawkins will be the defensive back selected. But next year when it is him, John Lynch, and Ronde Barber? I think that will be his year. Really, it had better be because it gets crowded as 2019 brings Ed Reed and Champ Bailey, 2020 gives us Troy Polamalu, and 2021 brings us someone in the conversation for the greatest of all time, Charles Woodson.


Committee Chairman: And Defensive Backs are not the most respected position either in Canton. This could be a case of a Finalist for years, because I see him slotted behind Lynch. In my bit on Dawkins, I actually suggested that Lynch could (though shouldn’t) leapfrog Dawkins primarily due to being in the public eye.

Hey ask, Phil Rizzuto how much saying “Holy Cow” helped him get into Cooperstown.

Honestly, if he doesn’t get in this year or next, he has a very long wait ahead of him and I see a Charles Haley like wait, in terms of length and reminders that this is a multi-time Super Bowl Champion.

Spheniscus: Whoever doesn’t get in amongst the three of Dawkins, Lynch, and Law (because one won’t) will have a really long wait. Like I said, I think that it will be Dawkins. And people hate the Patriots, which will probably work against him. But I think next year is his year.

Committee Chairman: The more I research Law, the more I love the guy. However, my pretend vote goes to Dawkins, and I don’t see the Hall taking Law over Dawkins or Lynch. Lynch could be your biggest obstacle here.

Spheniscus: I agree that Law isn’t getting in this year. It is just good to see him get off of the bench and getting his first nomination. He would get my vote over Lynch, but Dawkins is a tough call for me. Even as a Pats fan, I’d probably still go Dawkins. 
Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, here is one I really like in Kevin Mawae, but I wonder if I am in the minority here.  I think what works against him is the teams he played for were not high profile or often any good.  He played for Seattle for four years where they were mediocre and the Titans, who while good, is not a team who network executives wanted to put in the night game.  He did have a great run in the middle of his career with some good Jets teams, but even though we are talking about New York City, isn’t that really the home of the Giants?

Spheniscus: You have a fellow Mawae fan here. As a Patriots fan, I got to see Mawae in action for a large portion of his career. He was the Jets best player at a time when the Pats were dominating the division and the league.

And remember how I said that Law was the 4th best Patriots player of All Time? The second best is undoubtedly John Hannah, a player who played for a whole bunch of thoroughly mediocre teams, yet is widely considered to be the best Guard in the history of the NFL.

I know that I keep going back to the All Decade Teams, but I feel that they are the truest representation of how players did over the course of their careers and not just the individual weirdness of individual Pro Bowl years. He is the starting Center on the 2000s team. The gap between him and Olin Kruetz, who was the 2nd Team Center on the 2000s team is likely bigger than any gap between first and second teamers at any position. I mean we are talking 7 All Pros to 1. 

He is certainly a better candidate than either Tony Boselli or Joe Jacoby. But I think that Faneca probably edges him out this year.

Committee Chairman: So I think we agree on the order of the O-Lineman in this group. Faneca, Mawae, Jacoby, and Boselli.


Although I haven’t referenced All Decade teams, I also put a lot of stock into them, though I try to remember that occasionally they can look over a player who may have five years in one decade and five in an another, but that is a minor criticism.

For me, and I haven’t referenced this much either, is First Team All Pro Selections. I would never say that earning a Pro Bowl is easy, but it does a better job at showcasing what is elite. There is one First Team All Pro Quarterback and six Pro Bowl Quarterbacks.

Mawae, by the way has three to Faneca’s six, though despite that I still stand by what I said on Faneca’s section, it is still only a slight lean. For what is worth, Boselli has three and Jacoby has two, though there is still no way I rank Boselli over Jacoby.  

Spheniscus: All you need to know about Pro Bowls is that Rodney Harrison and Brandon Merriweather made the same number of them in their careers. I saw both of those players on a weekly basis and there was no comparison. This year the Pro Bowl featured Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, and Philip Rivers, That is the #3, 5, 7, 15, 16, and 19th rated QBs in the league this year. Philip Rivers LED THE LEAGUE IN INTERCEPTIONS BY 14% over the next worst guy and was still a Pro-Bowler. Basically useless as an indicator of greatness.

The All Decade Teams, however are not. Neither are the All Pro selections. And Mawae ranks very high in both. Again, we both agree on Faneca, but Mawae is a very good candidate for next year. It will be between him and Hutchinson, but I think Mawae will get the nod in 2018.

Committee Chairman: And yet we still will see sportswriters use Pro Bowls as a metric for explaining why so-and-so is a Hall of Famer! Hell, Vince Young was a Pro Bowler!


No matter. Mawae gets in next year, but not this one. With all due respect to Mawae, who again, I respect, wouldn’t get my vote this year either.

Spheniscus: Agreed on all of the above. Definite Hall of Famer. Just not with Faneca on the list.


Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, we go to a team I am sure you are familiar with Jason Taylor, the former Dancing with the Stars contestant and Miami Dolphin.  Taylor is a member of the 100 Sack Club and Defensive Player of the Year.  I think Taylor is getting in, but I think they are going to put him on the backburner for one year.  Thoughts on Taylor’s Hall of Fame candidacy and why so many NFL players go on DWTS? 

Spheniscus: Jason Taylor is getting in this year. He is the only person in the defensive front seven on this year’s finalist list. There is no one to compare him to, so there is no one to keep him out. He will be first ballot.

As for why he was on Dancing with the Stars, Jason Taylor is the handsomest man to ever play in the NFL. If you want to transition into the media in something other than a football broadcaster, what better way than winning over suburban moms?


Committee Chairman: I though Kyle Orton was the best looking NFLer of all time?

Taylor probably will be first ballot, despite this feeling I have about him being delayed one year. Maybe that is wrong as the NFL Network is counting on those suburban mom eyeballs tuning to the ceremony.

For what is worth, and we might be done debating Taylor here…I really hate Dancing with the Stars. I haven’t heard of half of these people who compete, and I don’t think I have reached the Clint Eastwood “Get off my lawn” phase of life. Real stars don’t have that kind of time to compete for that long.

Spheniscus: Kyle Orton? You into guys who look like they are somehow middle management the last remaining video store in your province?

Yeah, Taylor is in. Great player, no competition on the ballot, easy vote to make. And clearly you need to watch much more Disney Channel, bad reality TV, and 80s reruns to enjoy Dancing with the Stars. It’s the Midwestern Mom training course. Oh, and eat more Papa Johns. Rumor is that Peyton Manning will be joining the cast next season.

Committee Chairman: Orton would look good in a nametag, wouldn’t he? As for Disney Channel, I don’t have any kids (I think, or at least in this country anyway) so I will have to trust you on that one.


Taylor has my vote and likely the one that matters. As for Peyton, he won’t win DWTS, but Tee Martin will win the year after too much less fanfare.

Spheniscus: Hahahahaha. That’s it. That is the sickest burn of Peyton Manning’s life. Well played sir.

I have nothing else to say other than Taylor is waltzing in this year.








Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, this is the third time that Kurt Warner has made the Finalists but this time he is the best (and only Quarterback) in this group.  His main target, Isaac Bruce is also here and as poetic as it is for them to both go in together, it won’t happen.  There is an unspoken hierarchy here, and Warner has it over Bruce.  My initial thought is one Ram going in and 18 camera shots at Brenda Warner during the induction ceremony.

Spheniscus: See, you and I disagree here pretty mightily. Sure Warner has a great back story and was great with the Rams and the Cardinals. But there was that middle section of his career that people tend to overlook. Hall of Fame QBs aren’t backups to the likes of 23 year olds Eli Manning and Matt Leinart.

And I think you underestimate how much the voters would prefer to vote for anyone other than T.O. As we discussed before, I think there are three first ballot guys in Dawkins, Taylor, and Tomlinson. We will then probably get an O Lineman and either Warner or one of the two WRs. I think that Bruce’s understated personality is going to carry him in that room. Warner will have to wait another year.

Committee Chairman: Didn’t one of your Patriots back up Leinart once? Not that we will ever debate him.


Frankly, I am on the fence on Warner, and I don’t know that I would ever vote for him. What I do think is that the Pro Football Hall of Fame will, and I think will do so before Bruce. This isn’t to say that they should, because I don’t think they should at all, however there is a star quality around Warner that makes it hard not to make him a sexy pick…this despite my assumption that he has had the least interesting sex life amongst all the Finalists.

I think also that understated personality doesn’t help Bruce. I know that the over the topness (is that a word?) hurt Owens, but being on regular television like Warner is every week doesn’t hurt his cause.

Spheniscus: Oh yes, the immortal Matt Cassel who led a 16-0 team to a 11-5 record and somehow proved that Brady isn’t as good as Peyton Manning.


You bring up the talent around him as maybe counting against him. That is the Terry Bradshaw argument. Bradshaw, in my opinion, is the second worst QB in the Hall of Fame. Only behind Joe Namath. Bradshaw was essentially Trent Dilfer being given the opportunity to have the greatest defense in the league for a decade and a top 5 offense for a decade. The difference is that he got 4 rings to Warner’s 1. So the true mediocrity of his career gets lost. Warner is the better player, but it may not matter.

I do think that Warner will be getting in some day. I just think this finalists list the way it is leads to Bruce first for the one spot that appears to be open.

Committee Chairman: I don’t disagree that Namath is the worst QB in the Hall of Fame, but he is forever a legend because of Super Bowl III. I also think Dilfer, or Rypien or Hostetler could have took those Steelers teams to four Super Bowl wins, and perhaps would be smart enough not to call Mike Tomlin a glorified cheerleader!


I want to state, I don’t want Warner to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Isaac Bruce, I have a feeling of dread that it will happen. Warner doesn’t have the personalities of the other two QBs, but has a better story than Bradshaw, and a wife that the cameras can pan to…and again tell that story of bag boy to Super Bowl.

I wouldn’t vote for him, but I can’t shake the belief that this could be his year. Please tell me again that I am wrong…and one more time after that. I want that to be true.

Spheniscus: I think you are wrong as I think Bruce is getting in and Warner is not. But Warner will be getting in soon. Unless I’m wrong and he’s getting in this year. Or not at all. Or maybe as a senior candidate. I may be confused by his candidacy. But I wouldn’t vote for him this year.


\Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, I have zero to zero.zero interest in debating this one. 

Former NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue took office in 1986 and left in 2006.  The NFL thrived in that time frame and I can’t see how he doesn’t get in…especially in the era of Roger Goodell, the Commissioner who make Gary Bettman look like Bill Gates. 

Spheniscus: I know we don’t want to debate this one, but can we at least agree that Taglaibue is a better choice for the Hall of Fame than the last two commissioners MLB inducted Bud Selig or Bowie Kuhn (who may be the least qualified person in any of the major Halls of Fame)?

I have calmed down since Jerry Jones, but here is a mini-rant. I understand that it has been hard to get non-players into the NFL Hall. But do we really need two executive candidates? Two players, one executive. Enough rich guys patting themselves on the back.


Committee Chairman: The induction of Bud Selig will ironically pave the way for Clemens and Bonds, but that is a rant for a different time.

Tagliabue is light years ahead of Selig and Kuhn, and here is another prediction:

Both Gary Bettman and Roger Goodell will get in too.

Spheniscus: Actually Bettman may get in the Basketball Hall of Fame as well, seeing as he is definitely a double agent. And I’m a Patriots fan, so don’t get me started on Goodell.

And I disagree with Selig being the one who paved the way for Selig. That was clearly the trio of managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and especially Tony LaRussa. How do you keep McGwire out or Clemens or Gary Sheffield (which they have done so far) when the guys who managed them and benefitted from their “malfeasance” got in? Once they were in, then Piazza got in. The first of the “questionable” candidates. This year Bagwell, which I think was a load of hooey honestly, and Ivan Rodriguez, who I think is a definitive PED, user got in. Selig may have been the one who threw the floodgates open, but the three managers, particularly the smarmy LaRussa, are the ones who opened the door in the first place.

Committee Chairman: But this still happened under Selig! If I am a Manager and there is no concrete rule agreed to by MLB and the Player’s Union am I going to get high and mighty? The Managers knew, the Commissioner knew, other players knew, but the money train kept going. I agree that the Managers are culpable too, but wait…how did this get so far deep into Cooperstown?


Back to Tagliabue. He is going to get in, but I wouldn’t vote for him just yet. The NFL exploded under his tenure and the longer Goodell breathes, the better Tagliabue looks, but this just feels too soon for me. It won’t be too soon for the powers that be though.

Spheniscus: Wait, are you claiming there was a time that Tony LaRussa didn’t act high and mighty? It got into Cooperstown because we ran out of time to have these debates before the Baseball Hall announcement and we are feeling punchy.

As for Goodell, don’t worry he’ll get in too. He’ll wait until Belichick gets within one win of Don Shula, invent a rules violation, strip the Patriots of all wins in their history, fold the franchise, and order Tom Brady to serve as the janitor at NFL offices. And everyone will love him again. There, there’s your rant.

Oh, Tagliabue is getting in. 




Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, we return to that powerful Buccaneers defense with John Lynch, who doesn’t hurt his case by remaining in the public eye as a broadcaster.  I know that shouldn’t matter, but do you think that helps to put him over the hump?   I think he already has the Hall resume but when you see him weekly and his broadcasting peers constantly state that opinion, it can only accelerate his cause.

Spheniscus: It probably will. Although not as much as his being both a Super Bowl champion and the last great white defensive back.

He was a nine time Pro Bowler and three time All Pro, but interestingly was beaten out by the aforementioned Dawkins, Reed, Polamalu, and now persona non grata Darren Sharper for the four spots on the 2000s All Decade team.

He also has only 26 INTs. That is two thirds of Dawkins total and less than half of what Law has.

I think it is going to be a tough road for him to get in. As I said in Law’s section Dawkins gets the space this year. And both Law and teammate Ronde Barber have better statistics, if not the Pro Bowl selections.

He seems to me likely to be either a Senior Candidate or someone who goes the Roger Wehrli route and gets in on his last bite at the apple.

Committee Chairman: I think we see this one going totally differently. On the Dawkins page, I suggested how Lynch is capable of leapfrogging people he shouldn’t. There is some serious momentum for his candidacy growing and I have been coming across a lot of independent articles touting him as someone “who should already be in”.


Maybe with the glut of Defensive Backs coming up, I can see them putting him in now to avoid comparisons, especially to Ronde Barber,

who you mentioned before, and who I think we both agree was the better player.

Also, you mentioned the white thing, which as much as I want to say doesn’t matter, I think with the past election in your country, we still know is at the forefront of peoples minds.

I feel uncomfortable asking this, but does him being white help? I am afraid of the answer.

Spheniscus: It helps for defensive backs and hurts for wide receivers. The vast majority of wide outs are thought to be fast, have great hands, be very physical, and are generally thought to be black. As a defensive back if you can keep up with them as a white guy you must be something special.

For wide receivers the opposite is true. If you are a white wide out you can’t be fast and good. You are crafty. You are a good route runner. Your talent is automatically downgraded due to the color of your skin. Julian Edelman was a complete free agent four years ago. Only the Patriots offered him anything more than league minimum and that was basically a “prove it” one year deal. And prove it he more than did. If he gets 10 receptions in the Super Bowl (not out of the realm of possibility for him) he moves into 2nd on the All Time postseason receptions list. Behind some guy named Jerry Rice. And no one wanted him.

The Patriots (and Boston) get accused of overly loving white guy receivers, but I think that it is just more that they have found a market inefficiency and are exploiting it. Edelman was drafted by the Pats, but Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan were all either traded away for nothing or just allowed to walk away as free agents. You think that the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t think that Chris Hogan is good enough? I know that Keyshawn Johnson doesn’t as he ripped the Pats receiving corps just this week. And if you don’t think that has anything to do with their “craftiness” vs. their “athletic ability”…

In this case, the last two white DBs I can think of were John Lynch and Jason Sehorn. So Lynch is the last of a breed and in a room of largely white guys that may make a difference.

More interestingly, since we started this conversation, Lynch has left the booth and become the GM of the San Francisco 49ers. Do you think that will have any effect on whether or not he gets in?

Committee Chairman: It totally helps Lynch. The Niners probably can’t get worse next year, and if he does a great job it only enhances it. You talked before about rich guys patting themselves on the back? Lynch isn’t rich like them, but he is more entrenched in “establishment” now, which loves their own.


You mentioned Keyshawn, who I actually I think is a better analyst than he was a Wide Receiver, but I always thought he was overrated, and he sure wasn’t a fan of his “crafty” teammate, Wayne Chrebet. For a guy who penned “Just Give Me the Damn Ball” in his youth, it is funny how the only way he enters a Pro Football HOF discussion is for being an analyst after a Notinhalloffame career (see how I plugged the site there?)

So, do they induct John Lynch this year?

I will say it again, that I think they will…and I hope I am wrong and that it doesn’t cost Brian Dawkins a spot.

Spheniscus: I think that they don’t and that Dawkins does get the spot. But this is probably closer than it should be. Both those guys are getting in the Hall eventually.

Next year will be equally interesting as well with either Dawkins/Lynch up with Law and Ronde Barber. That will be an important year for all three of those guys. Because not getting in then could mean a very, very long wait. 
Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, we have a strong candidate for a first year inductee in Brian Dawkins…except for two things:

The first is that LaDainian Tomlinson is on the ballot and will probably get in.  This might impact Dawkins getting in on the first ballot.

However…

I can’t see how he doesn’t get in really soon, and if he doesn’t get in this year, the year after will see him enter.  This is despite how the Pro Football Hall of Fame views Safeties.

Now seriously, how do you keep a guy nicknamed “Weapon X” out of Canton?

Spheniscus: The good news for Dawkins is that Tomlinson is on the other side of the ball. So it should have almost no effect on his candidacy. The other good news is that Brian Dawkins feels like a first ballot Hall of Famer. And with the other finalists, that is probably enough.

The Hall likes to take players from all over the field in each class. So unless you have two no brainers who happen to play the same position (usually QB), the voters will tend to compare each candidate against those who play their approximate position. I say approximate because Dawkins is going to be compared against the other defensive backs, not just the other safeties. So in this year that is Ty Law and John Lynch, (and perhaps Kenny Easley to a certain extent, but he is really in a separate category since he is the senior candidate).

So while the voters are going to weigh Dawkins’ and Lynch’s and Law’s stats against each other, more importantly they are going to weigh their perception of whether or not the player felt like a Hall of Famer when they were playing. Dawkins had a certain amount of gravitas in the way he carried himself. He felt like a Hall of Famer. I think that is enough.  

Committee Chairman: He does feel like a Hall of Famer doesn’t he? The Eagles only made on Super Bowl, but there was four straight NFC Championship Games, and Dawkins was a huge part of that. He has the resume and the respect, but why is it that I think he will get passed over?


Initially, I did think Tomlinson’s presence would hurt, however the more I think about it, I don’t think it will. What worries me is John Lynch.

I don’t know why I think this, but I have this feeling that there are going to give it to Lynch and if they do, Dawkins will get shut out. Canton does not love Safeties as much as they should and I don’t see them inducting two of them. Dawkins should be ahead of Lynch, but I don’t know if they will see it that way.

Also…and I hate to say this…I think the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn’t think there will be that much of a backlash (except in Philadelphia who booed Santa Claus) if they make him wait a year.

Spheniscus: You may be right. If one of these three first time candidates is getting squeezed, Dawkins is the most likely. Tomlinson is a shoo-in and Taylor has no competition at his position on this ballot. I just don’t think that Lynch will be the one squeezing him.

If anyone should worry Dawkins, it might be… Kurt Warner. Who also doesn’t have any competition at his position on the ballot. If Tomlinson and Taylor are going in, that leaves three spots. I imagine they are going to feel they have to pick an Offensive Lineman since four are on the ballot, and they have heard the criticism about not picking wide outs for years. That leaves one place. And there may be enough division over which defensive back to take that Warner sneaks in with the last spot. I don’t think that will happen, but I think that it is a likelier scenario than Lynch taking the 5th spot this year.

It would be a shame though. Dawkins really deserves to be there.

Committee Chairman: He does belong there and this should always be based on talent, not tenure on the ballot. This is how I felt when Tim Brown beat out Marvin Harrison, as the latter was the better candidate, but they had Brown as a Finalist in Susan Lucci like proportions.


Now if there is a year to put in two Defensive Backs into Canton, this is they year, but it always feels like the Pro Football Hall of Fame picks players like an NFL team drafts…as in “position of need”.

Dawkins would get in on my ballot, and I hope he is on the Hall of Fame Committee’s too.

Spheniscus: I actually disagree with you on that. Tim Brown was a better player with worse QBs playing in an era that didn’t favor the offense as much as when Marvin Harrison played. You give me a draft of all the players in NFL history and Brown and Harrison are the top 2 WRs left on the board, I take Brown 10 times out of 10.

I feel the same way about Dawkins vs. Lynch as well. Although Dawkins and Lynch are full contemporaries, there is no question who was a better player.

While Lynch has been on the list longer, I’d like to think who was actually the better player will hold the day. He’d get my vote, and I think he will get in this year.


Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, for me this is a simple one. 

You and I have debated and discussed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since we cyber met six years ago.  Sorry, I never made to Chicago by the way!  Anyway, Cleveland discusses influence as criteria, and if I travel south to Canton and use the same logic, than Don Coryell is a lock.

However, when I look at his overall record, he doesn’t belong.  Basically, this is the Big Star (or maybe Gram Parsons) of the Football Hall of Fame debate.

Spheniscus: I told you never to mention to anyone that we met online! It’s embarrassing.

Anyway, with Coryell he is most likely the greatest coach in the history of two NFL franchises. Unfortunately, those two franchises are the Cardinals and Chargers, who have to be down with the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Lions, and the most recent incarnation of the Browns as the worst run franchises in the history of the league.

He also has no Super Bowl rings, a losing record in the playoffs, and fewer career coaching wins than Dennis Green and Norv Turner. I get all that.

But he does have a better winning percentage than Hank Stram, Bill Parcells, Chuck Noll, Marv Levy, or Mike Ditka. And I repeat, he did that with the 70s St. Louis Cardinals and the early 80s San Diego (side note: Screw You Spanos) Super Chargers.

That and he created the offense that revolutionized the league to the offensive era we are in today. Which is probably the Big Star (see what I did there) in his corner for his candidacy.


Committee Chairman: I am for him getting in, even if you argue that his defensive acumen is the weakest amongst any coach who has gotten in. I think that is a valid criticism against him, but that is why you hire defensive coordinators right?

Besides, Coryell has been a Finalist a few times before so there is a strong contingent that wants him in, and thinks he should be. Dan Fouts is one. Is Fouts a Hall of Famer without Coryell? Possibly not; which isn’t a shot at the bearded one at all. Fouts was given a system in which he could thrive in and in the process become an influencer himself

Oh, and it isn’t like I met you on a dating site! Notinhalloffame.com isn’t Asiadate or whatever the hell else is out there!

Spheniscus: After looking at this again, I am really on the fence with Coryell. It wouldn’t upset me if he was in, but there are a few other coaches who at least record wise are more deserving. Marty Schottenheimer, comes to mind. As does Bill Cowher and maybe even Chuck Knox and Mike Shanahan.

That doesn’t give me the confidence that he should really be in. I don’t really think that it matters that much this year anyway. There are too many players who are deserving to get a borderline coach in. He may well go in, but he may have to wait until coaches are considered for the contributor category. Something that I expect will happen in the next few years.

And don’t underestimate the romantic power of a good debate of the Hall of Fame worthiness of the Romantics. People have bonded for life over less.

Committee Chairman: Great, now I have “Talking in Your Sleep” by the Romantics in my head. That wasn’t what you meant though was it?


I don’t think Coryell is getting in this year, and like you I don’t have a passion either way. As the only coach who made it this far, he has a better shot than he has in years past, but there is never going to be a fan push or peer push to get him in. I think he will perpetually be on the outside looking in.

Spheniscus: Agreed. He is not making it this year and it is hard to see where the finalist list is that would allow him to get through.
Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Spheniscus, there are three Finalists who are on their first year of eligibility, LaDaininan Tomlinson, Brian Dawkins and Jason Taylor.  Dawkins might get in this year, Taylor might get in this year, but Tomlinson WILL get in this year.  I would bet my dog on that…and I really love my dog.

Speaking of the former San Diego Charger, have you seen the new logo for the now Los Angeles Chargers?  This has to be the laziest thing in sports since the Canadian Football League had two teams named the Rough Riders. 

Spheniscus: That is the second laziest thing about the Chargers. The first is that they are moving to L.A. where no one wants them because… it’s L.A. and it’s there.

As for LaDanian, he mortal lock for being first ballot for the Hall of Fame and my Mount Rushmore of players who never made a Super Bowl because incredible talents were overshadowed by their whininess. He was unnecessarily one of the whiniest players the league has ever seen.

Great running back, sure. Sure fire Hall of Famer. But I can’t watch the NFL network when he is on. It just seeps out of his pores, through the screen, and into my cerebral cortex. I guarantee you a full third of his Hall of Fame speech will be whining. He can’t help himself.

Committee Chairman: Maybe from becoming obsessed with the National Basketball Association and from watching a lot of English Premier League Soccer, my take on whining is a little different, so maybe Tomlinson doesn’t quite measure up to what I regularly see.


Nobody could have a whinier and more classless speech than Michael Jordan.

Since we agree that Tomlinson is getting in right away, it might be more fun debating when a team is going to leave Los Angeles and who first.

Spheniscus: The Chargers. In fact, if they never fully move to Los Angeles would anyone be surprised? I mean, they’ll do the two years in the mini-me stadium. But then the San Antonio Chargers seem like a distinct possibility, don’t they?

Committee Chairman: It wasn’t all that long ago when the Saints were seriously thinking of moving there. I agree that the Chargers are going to leave first. L.A. doesn’t like hand-me-downs. The Rams were a reclamation project. The Dodgers were a coming of age. The Chargers trip north is nothing more than a passing the dutchie pon da left hand side.


Yes, I worked in a Musical Youth reference!

Back to the Running Back in question. Tomlinson is going in on both my vote and the real one.

Spheniscus: He is in. Probably unanimously (although that is not something we would ever find out). Although I wish if someone voted against Tomlinson, we’d find out just so he would whine about it the whole time. It would seriously bother him for the rest of his life. That’d be awesome!

I just realized that there are times I am a terrible person.