\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.