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 are turning our attention for the first of two times to the St. Louis Rams, specifically that “Greatest Show on Turf” team that was one of the most exciting squads to watch that I can remember. Now, I am going to try and talk about Wide Receiver, Isaac Bruce without moaning about how the great sports city of St. Louis got screwed for a city that just got another team that they won’t care about. Okay, I am going to try not to mention that again.
Could this be Bruce’s year, or will they only elect one Ram this year, specifically Kurt Warner?
Spheniscus: You think Warner will get elected? I’m not so sure… although we are likely having that discussion in ten candidates or so.
Do I think Bruce belongs? Definitely. The man has over 1000 receptions and is 4th in all-time receiving yards. Bruce’s biggest issue is whenever I bring him up, people always think that Torry Holt should be going in first for the two Rams receivers. Bruce has significantly more receptions and yards, but Holt was the flashier player. The Lynn Swann to Bruce’s John Stallworth.
A question back to you, do you think that Terrell Owens’ presence on the ballot makes it more or less likely to go in? I mean they are 2nd and 4th in receiving yards, but one is seen largely as a loud mouthed jerk and the other a quiet professional. Might Bruce get a boost mainly because he isn’t T.O.?
Committee Chairman: This is why I love debating with you Spheniscus…I always feel that you know where I am going three steps ahead.
A bit of a preview on Mr. Brenda Warner…Yes I do.
I also think he is ahead of Bruce on the Rams train.
I also think Bruce should not be ahead of Torry Holt, who for again didn’t make the Finalists, though I love the analogy of Swann and Stallworth. Both of those Steelers got into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (and should have) as should Holt and Bruce.
Going to your Owens question, I totally think that he should be the next Wide Receiver in, and yes over Bruce. T.O. had to be “taught a lesson” last year. They won’t do it to him again this year.
Spheniscus: You might have an argument for Holt going in first. Just statistically Holt is waaaaaaay too far behind Bruce at first glance. There is over 100 receptions and almost 2,000 yards difference between the two of them. But Holt played five fewer seasons than Bruce. So that is not nearly as significant when you look at it that way.
Still, Bruce is 4th on the All Time Yards list and 13th in receptions. So he is going to get in at some point. On that I am pretty sure we agree. I just think that this is the year. There are 2 valid WRs and 2 valid Rams candidates. Grabbing Bruce allows them to take one out of each category AND stick it to T.O. at the same time.
Regardless, with Randy Moss up next year and Tony Gonzalez up the year after that, whichever player doesn’t get chosen between Bruce and T.O. may be waiting a few years before they will be giving a public speech in a mustard jacket.
Committee Chairman: It is a shame how we have to assume that the Hall will only pick one of a certain position, but that has been the mentality for a while hasn’t it? It was not that long ago where he had a log jam of Wide Receivers and we might be heading there again.
So, will the Hall take Bruce this year? I think we have a disagreement on this one, as I believe he is a Hall of Fame worthy player, and I would cast my pretend vote for him (as I would T.O), but I still think there is a good chance he gets passed over.
I am more compelled to which (or both or neither) Wide Receiver gets in this year more than any other position, far more than which O-Lineman gets in.
Spheniscus: I agree with you there. Although that might just be to see the train wreck that would ensue if T.O. gets passed over again, as I believe he will. I think that Tomlinson, Dawkins, Taylor, an O-Lineman, and one out of Bruce, T.O. and Warner will get in. I personally think that the order is Bruce, Warner, T.O. You seem to think it is the other way with both Warner and Owens getting in and either Dawkins or Taylor missing out.
I’ll wager a six pack of whichever beer you choose that Bruce gets the spot over Owens. To paraphrase the man in black “the battle of wits has begun. It ends when they decide to vote for, they announce their votes, and we find out who is right and who owes the other one beer.”