Hall of Fame Debates (77)

Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!

Saying that, we felt it was worth our time to take a look at the 2016 Nominees and debate whether they should have gotten in (or not) and look to the future of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chairman:  Generally, we don’t rank owners on our lists, and there is one basic reason for it.  It’s boring.

Spheniscus, I don’t claim to know much about Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers beyond a few basic things.  In the twenty-three years he owned the team, they were one of the elite franchises in the NFL and under his watch, they won five Super Bowls. 

He has been a finalist for the past three years and sure enough he got in, to the surprise of not a whole hell of a lot of people and to the fanfare of nobody out of the Bay Area.

The Niners were clearly not better off for him being forced out, and on fan blogs I have seen, he appears to be missed as the owner of the team.

That seems like the only things we need to know right as to why he got in right?

Spheniscus: Isn’t he really the original Robert Kraft? Took over a moribund franchise. Found a transcendent quarterback, hired a transcendent coach, and went on a run that was unmatched for sustained excellence until the Patriots came along in the 2000s.

Then after winning again with a new legendary quarterback he gets forced out and the Niners, with the small resurgence of a couple of years ago, have been largely terrible ever since.
If that is not a sign if greatness as an owner, I’m not sure what is. I’m not really sure how else we could measure it.

Chairman:  By that measurement he should have been a lock years agoi, but if Kraft follows his path, does that mean some incompetent relatives are going to force him out and the Pats are going to revert to 1970 levels of suckitude?

Possibly with the Super Bowl being in San Francisco would give the locals something to cheer for after losing half of their team to retirement and overall apathy.

The more I think about it, he should have gotten in a couple of years ago.

Spheniscus: The 1970s Pats weren’t terrible (I’m told, seeing as I wasn’t there). The roughing the passer call on Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton against the Raiders in 1976 Divisional Playoffs in is still talked about around here like Raiders fans talk about the Tuck Rule. This is the play, call it yourself…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dWZKiiekmc

But I understand what you are saying. We just have to hope that Brady is still good for the next seven years. Or that Jimmy G is the next Steve Young.

But back to DeBartolo… looking at it, I think that it will likely be his year as well. Particularly with only an up or down vote necessary. They just started this contributor spot a few years ago and the backlog is so great, I doubt they are going to give a down vote this early in the process. And I think he deserves it.




Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!

Saying that, we felt it was worth our time to take a look at the 2016 Nominees and debate whether they should have gotten in (or not) and look to the future of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chairman:  Tony Dungy can put me to sleep, and I mean that in a good way. 

Spheniscus, do you ever watch golf on a Sunday afternoon and the soothing sounds of the commentators just put you to sleep?  Sometimes that is what I think Tony Dungy could do just by reading the phone book.  What does that have to do with the Hall of Fame?  Not really a whole lot, but you can see why players respond to him and how he is the kind of man who has gone out of his way to help players (namely Michael Vick) in need, and it doesn’t hurt being a good guy that people want to see inducted.

Dungy was considered a lock for a while and I get why.  He is considered likable, has a Super Bowl Win and a high winning percentage but I can’t past that Jon Gruden accomplished what Dungy couldn’t in Tampa Bay

Frankly, that is a big one for me.

Spheniscus: I want to go on record as saying that in the history of my watching football there have only been two people, Hines Ward and Bill Romanowski, who I have liked less than Tony Dungy.

Tony Dungy is the most overrated coach in NFL history. He had a defense which had two (Brooks and Sapp) and likely four (Lynch and Barber) Hall of Famers in Tampa and led them to contender status but couldn’t get over the hump. As soon as he left. BOOM! Championship.


He then moves to Indy, where he inherited one of the five greatest QBs of all time, as well as two of the other 15 finalists this year. While he did get his championship, in the very shadily called victory over the Bears, he was far better at being eliminated in the first round than anything else. They went 13-0 in 2005 and went on to be the first #1 seed ever eliminated by a #6 seed.
That is the legacy of Tony Dungy. An incredibly mediocre coach who was given incredible talent and completely underutilized it. Add in his honey-coated, holier-than-thou sanctimony and I couldn’t stand anything about him and his overrated coaching philosophy.


I know he was elected this year, (even though I thought Marvin Harrison was the only Colts’ person who would get in this year, I didn’t think they would put two guys in from the same team), and I don’t like it. Just like I didn’t like it when his boss Bill Polian, the biggest cheater in league history, got in last year. But what can you do about it? They are the Colts, the league’s darlings. If any team was getting two guys in the same year, it would be them.

Reading this back, I might have a bit of an issue with the Colts. That is definitely true. But I know I am not alone in my belief that Dungy is entirely overrated. If you read the boards after the election, that was probably a 60-70% opinion. He is not a Hall of Famer.


Chairman:  Wow.  And I was feeling bad about how every time I look at his ears I am reminded of Gollum.

Let me ask you this.  Which coach would you have put in his place?  For me, it is former Cowboys Head Coach, Jimmy Johnson, who I think who was far more involved than Dungy in the personnel decisions of the Dallas Cowboys mini-dynasty that yielded three Super Bowls.  I know he was the coach for two of them, but his fingerprints were all over the third. 

He also has the likability factor that voters love, a successful broadcasting career and a winning playoff record.

Spheniscus: Jimmy Johnson is a good candidate but he only has 80 career wins. Marty Schottenheimer has 200 wins and a .613 career winning percentage, but not even a single Super Bowl appearance. Mike Shanahan has 170 wins and two Super Bowls, but won’t be eligible in for another two seasons. And Don Coryell’s candidacy depends more on his effect on the game than his actual statistics.

So that leaves two real better candidates than Dungy. Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren. Cowher has more wins and as many Super Bowl championships and also has a winning percentage over 60%. Holmgren also has the same number of Super Bowls, more wins, a winning percentage just under 60% and completely rebuilt a moribund franchise (Seattle) to the point where it has now become one of the model franchises in the league (a la Bill Parcells with the Patriots).

Both would be better candidates. Cowher would be marginally better. Holmgren significantly better. But give either of them Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and Edgerrin James and they both have more than one Super Bowl victory.    


Chairman:  I guess I am far higher on Jimmy than you are.  Again, I point to those three Super Bowls, and yes I am giving him the third! 

I like Cowher a hell of a lot better than Holmgren.  Maybe it his longevity with one franchise, or maybe because he looks like a coach more than anyone since Ditka.

Actually, yes that is the reason.

Spheniscus: Jimmy Johnson would be a great candidate had he stuck around for that third championship. Gives him 15 more wins, getting him almost to 100. And a third championship.

There is just no precedent for a modern coach to have the Gayle Sayers treatment. He coaches two more years even without the championship, he’s a much better candidate.

And you have to give Holmgren the credit for the work he did in Seattle. That puts him far above Cowher in my opinion.

But all three are above Dungy.


Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!
Last month, regular contributor, Spheniscus and I debated the Hall of Fame merits of those who were on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Now that the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has announced their class has done the same.  We were hopeful to do this prior to the announcement of the actual inductees, but life, as it often does simply got in the way!

Saying that, we felt it was worth our time to take a look at the 2016 Nominees and debate whether they should have gotten in (or not) and look to the future of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chairman:  This was the first time that Steve Atwater has made it to the Finalists, and if he gets inducted next year, it will mark the first time that a defensive player from the Denver Broncos would be inducted.  There are currently four Broncos in Canton (though Fred Little has no business being enshrined) and you would think that with the famed Orange Crush Defense of the 1970’s and the two Super Bowls that somebody from that side of the ball would have been included.

Atwater is known for most for leveling Christian Okoye on Monday Night, but for me this is the guy who stepped up big on the two Super Bowl wins for the Broncos, especially their first win where he had a stat line of six solo tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles; a great performance for a Safety. 

I wonder if Atwater could be inducted to represent all of the Bronco’s D?

Spheniscus: Those Broncos teams had very good, but not exactly legendary defenses. The best player on them by far was Steve Atwater. He is one of the two starting safeties on the NFL 1990s All Decade team. Which should mean something you would think.

Although Atwater would probably never be able to play in today’s NFL. He flat out crushed people, most notably Okoye. And he often led with his helmet.


But he was feared and respected and definitely a worthy nominee. I just think that John Lynch with his incredible reputation and media friendly personality is going to have to get in first before Atwater. Mainly because Atwater is a Bronco and we all know how the Hall feels about those guys.

Chairman: And you can’t exactly show a highlight video with a bunch of tackles leading with your helmet these days can you?  Not without a cautionary disclaimer and Will Smith’s shitty African accent.  By the way Will and Jada, The Fresh Prince didn’t deserve a nomination.

I like Atwater, I really do, but I think he was lucky to get this far, and that final step will probably always elude him.

Spheniscus: His demographics do make it hard. Safeties and Broncos aren’t exactly Hall favorites. Like I said, if John Lynch gets in he may have a chance. But that isn’t exactly a given.

This I will say, like Andersen if he wasn’t one of the first five eliminated, I will be very surprised. And it would probably be a very good sign for his future prospects.

Chairman: Here is my final thought on Steve Atwater.  He is one of those players where I really don’t care if he is inducted or not.  I think we both agree that there are other Safeties who should be considered for the Hall, but Atwater isn’t at the top of the list for me.  Johnny Robinson is and only for a short time as Brian Dawkins is eligible next year, and I would pit him over both of them.

We also have Ed Reed coming up as well as Troy Polamalu, both of which I put over Atwater.  The former Bronco made a huge leap becoming a finalist but if he didn’t get in this year, he won’t in the next five. 

Oh, and I didn’t even mention that John Lynch is still here!

Spheniscus: Yes, Reed, Polamalu and Dawkins are all going to jump him. And I think they are all going to get in. And Lynch is still there. So let’s say he doesn’t get in with the writers. Do they put him in as a senior candidate? Does he have to wait for Randy Gradishar? Is he ever going to Canton without a ticket?