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: I look at Don Coryell as the ultimate case of influence VS success. Seriously, it is that simple to me. Coryell was the coach who opened up the passing game with his innovations but has a pedestrian head coaching record and a losing playoff record…and as it turns out we will have another year to debate this.
Spheniscus, which is more important?
Sphensicus: I have a hard time faulting him for having a bit of a middling record seeing as he is most likely the most successful coach in both Cardinals and Chargers history, two teams with a long history of screwing things up. I mean he is 25 games above .500 and went 3-6 in 9 playoff games. You know who also went 3-6 in his first nine playoff games? Peyton Manning. So let’s not focus on a small sample size.
I think this comes down to whether or not you think Leo Ferris is a Basketball Hall of Famer. Who is Leo Ferris? While the credit goes to the Hall of Fame owner of the Syracuse Nationals Daniel Biasone, Ferris was the guy who actually invented the 24 second shot clock which fundamentally changed the game.
Coryell’s innovations fundamentally changed the way that teams played offense. The ripple effect of his ideas are still seen in the league today. Is that enough? Maybe not. He does have fewer career wins than Norv Turner. But it is nice to see him at least in the discussion. Even if I’m not sure I would ever vote for him.
Chairman: Sadly I think it is that record that has kept him out…mostly the zero, as in zero Super Bowls. Nobody disputes that Don Coryell was an innovator in this game but he never parlayed that into a ring, even though others took his ideas to make that happen.
Maybe it is because I spend so much time researching aspects of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which claims to put innovation first) and I can’t help but respect those who pushed the boundaries that others walked through and kicked it through.
Don Coryell is the Grandmaster Flash to Bill Walsh’s RUN D.M.C. Both are Hall of Famers.
I think I made the first, last and only comparison of Coryell and Grandmaster Flash.
Spheniscus: Does that make Chan Gailey the NFL’s version of Whodini? Again, I am willing to be convinced on Coryell. I am completely on the fence with him as a candidate. I just think it is going to be very hard for him ever to be elected when there is another coaching candidate on the list. We’ll see, maybe he’ll wear down the voters but it may take a while.