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, Kenny Easley is the Senior Candidate and I hate it.
I have asked myself is it because he is the following:
1. Not on the Notinhalloffame.com Pro Football Hall of Fame list of which I am a huge part of.
2. Because I interviewed Jerry Kramer and feel that this is his spot.
3. He doesn’t belong in the conversation.
Are any of these correct or am I completely wrong?
I really need another perspective here.
Spheniscus: Your love for Jerry Kramer is well known. But this is not his spot. His spot was in 1974 when he was first eligible. Five time first team All Pro, All Decade team of the 60s, Member of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary team. Not in the Hall. I don’t understand it either.
But the question here is whether Easley belongs. And… I dunno. He had seven years. They were in Seattle, where few eyes nationally were on him. And while he was a huge athletic hitter, what separates him from say… Steve Atwater? Who was a huge athletic hitter who was a major part of a defense that won two straight Super Bowls and played 11 seasons.
Atwater has been a finalist before and was a semi-finalist this year. That is more than you can say for Easley, who was never a finalist during his time of eligibility. This is, in effect, the first time that the voters are even thinking about him.
I realize that none of this is making you feel better that Kramer is not in this spot. But taking Kramer out of it, what do you think about Easley as a candidate?
Committee Chairman: That’s why I asked for the perspective…the debate at hand.
To me this is a real headscratcher. I really liked Easley back in the day, and I actually forgot that he was a former Defensive Player of the Year. He was a really good player and a locker room leader, and perhaps was worthy of at least a Finalist consideration during his first run on the ballot. So, is this correcting a former oversight? Is this a nod to the Seahawks, who have limited Hall of Fame representation? I’m not sure.
Easley has never been a player who I have read about fans clamoring for a Hall of Fame spot, and perhaps that is a testament to that Seahawks fans aren’t what they are now. Would he be a terrible inductee? I suppose not, and it doesn’t degrade the integrity of the Hall by having him in it.
By the way, the last seven Senior nominees got in. Easley’s chances are actually really good.
Spheniscus: I agree with you that his chances are good. There is such a backlog of guys who they need to consider that the committee likely feels that they can’t say no when a candidate is there. Particularly in a year where there is only one senior candidate (again, do we really need two contributors?).
If the Hall of Fame class were made up of eight members with both the Senior and Contributor Candidates thrown in the regular pool with the other eligible players, I don’t think he gets elected. Those extra three spots likely go to Jerry Jones, Kurt Warner, and Kevin Mawae in my estimation.
But as you said, he is likely to get in. So good for him and the 12th man up in Seattle. And bad news for the 81 year old Jerry Kramer. Let’s get that man in already.
Committee Chairman: So summing up, my bias aside, Easley to me is still a marginal Hall of Famer but I think he will get voted in. I am only basing it on the 70 percent average of Senior Finalists getting in.
Hey, if he gets in it is a lot better than someone you have mentioned in these debates, Joe Namath!
Yes, I am trying to get a rant from you!
Spheniscus: Sorry to disappoint you, but this is the wrong place for a rant. Everyone agrees that Namath is the worst QB in the Hall and it is hard to get my dander up for the Senior Candidate getting in, even if there are (several) candidates who would be better (see your rant above).
I’ll have another rant coming, just not here.