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Committee Chairman

Committee Chairman

Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .

37. Wilber Marshall

Wilber Marshall was a key component of the Chicago Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl Championship team, and the season after he led the NFL in Approximate Value with 23.  Marshall proved himself to be an upper-end Linebacker, and he signed with the Washington Redskins as a Free Agent in 1988.

36. Diron Talbert

A member of the Los Angeles Rams for his first four years of his professional career, Diron Talbert joined the Washington Redskins in 1971, where he would have a much greater role.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announces their Semi-Finalists

A huge day is afoot for us as the Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced their 25 Semi-Finalists for the Class of 2021.

The 25 were pared down from 130 Preliminary nominees, which includes four first year eligible players:

They are:

Eric Allen:  Cornerback: 1998-94 Philadelphia, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints & 1998-01 Oakland Raiders.  Eligible since 2007, Allen cracked his way to Semi-Finals for the first time.  He has 54 career Interceptions and is a six-time Pro Bowl Selection.  Ranked #42 on  

Jared Allen: Defensive End:  2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-13 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears & 2016 Carolina Panthers.  This is Allen’s first year of eligibility, and he was expected by many to make it to this round.  Allen led the NHL in Sacks twice (2007 & 2011) and had 136.0 in total.  He was also a five-time First Team All-Pro.  Ranked #19 on

Willie Anderson: Tackle: 1996-07 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens.  Anderson has been Hall of Fame eligible since 2014, but this is his first time making it as a Semi-Finalist.  Ranked #283 on

Ronde Barber:  Cornerback/Safety:  1997-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Barber is a former Super Bowl Champion and was the 2001 leader in Interceptions.  He has over 1,000 Solo Tackles with 47 career Interceptions.  Barber is a Semi-Finalist for the fourth consecutive year, all beginning with his first year of eligibility.  This has not yet translated into a Finalists appearance.  Ranked #13 on

Cornelius Bennett:  Linebacker: 1987-95 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons & 1999-00 Indianapolis Colts.  Bennett has been eligible since 2006 but this is the first time, he has made it to the Semi-Finals.  Over his career, Bennett helped take Buffalo to four Super Bowls, had 71.5 Sacks and was a five-time Pro Bowler. Ranked #124 on

Tony Boselli:  Tackle: 1995-01 Jacksonville Jaguars & 2002 Houston Texans.  The career of Boselli was short, but he is believed to be the greatest Jaguar of all-time. The Lineman has been a Finalist for the last four years.  Ranked #45 on

LeRoy Butler: Safety: 1990-01 Green Bay Packers.  Butler had 38 career Interceptions, won a Super Bowl and went to four Pro Bowls over his career.  He is on a four-year streak of Semi-Finalist nods, and he was a Finalist last year.  Ranked #73 on

Alan Faneca:  Guard: 1998-07 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets & 2010 Arizona Cardinals.  A Super Bowl Champion with the Steelers, Faneca went to nine Pro Bowls and was a six-time First Team All-Pro.  Faneca has been a Semi-Finalist and Finalist in his first five years of eligibility, and this is year six.  Ranked #4 on

Rodney Harrison:  Safety: 1994-02 San Diego Chargers & 2003-08 New England Patriots.  Winning two Super Bowls with the Patriots, Harrison is also a two-time Pro Bowler. Eligible since 2014, Harrison is a Semi-Finalist for the first time.  Unranked on

Torry Holt:  Wide Receiver:  1998-08 St. Louis Rams & 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars.  Holt won a Super Bowl with the Rams, and he went to seven Pro Bowls with 12,832 career Receiving Yards.  Holt made it to the Finals last year, and has been a Semi-Finalist every year, with this ballot making number seven.   Ranked #9 on

Calvin Johnson: Wide Receiver:  2007-15 Detroit Lions.  Johnson went to six Pro Bowls, three First Team All-Pros and was considered the most exciting Wide Receiver of his day.  This is his first year on the ballot.  Ranked #27 on

John Lynch: Free Safety:  1993-03 Tampa Bay Buccaneers & 2004-07 Denver Broncos.  Lynch went to seven Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.  He has been a Finalist the last seven years, and is likely set for an eighth.  Ranked #25 on

Peyton Manning: Quarterback:  1998-11 Indianapolis Colts & 2012-15 Denver Broncos.  Manning took both the Colts and Broncos to a Super Bowl win, and he is a five-time MVP with 14 Pro Bowls and seven First Team All-Pros.  He would throw for 71,940 Yards and 539 Touchdowns and this is his first year on the ballot.   Ranked #1 on

Clay Matthews:  Linebacker: 1978-93 Cleveland Browns & 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons.  A four-time Pro Bowler, Matthews had 69.5 Sacks with 1,595 Combined Tackles.  Matthews is a Semi-Finalist for the fifth straight time, but has never been a Finalist.  This is his last year on the Modern Era ballot, so it is now or (likely) never.  Ranked #75 on

Sam Mills:  Linebacker: 1986-94 New Orleans Saints & 1995-97 Carolina Panthers.  A five-time Pro Bowler, Mills began his pro career in the USFL.  A four-time Semi-Finalist, Mills made it to the Finals for the first time, last year, but only has two more years of Modern Era eligibility.  Ranked #48 on

Richard Seymour:  Defensive End/Defensive Tackle:  2001-08 New England Patriots & 2009-12 Oakland Raiders.  Seymour won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, went to seven Pro Bowls and was a three-time First Team All-Pro.  He is a Semi-Finalist for the fourth straight year and was a Finalist the last two years.  Ranked #39 on

Steve Tasker:  Special Teams/Wide Receiver:  1985-86 Houston Oilers & 1986-97 Buffalo Bills.  Tasker went to seven Pro Bowls, and despite having never been a Finalist, he has been a Semi-Finalist seven other times.  Ranked #106 on

Fred Taylor:  Running Back:  1998-08 Jacksonville Jaguars & 2009-10 New England Patriots.  With 11,695 career Rushing Yards, Taylor is also a one-time Pro Bowl Selection.  Taylor, who was first eligible in 2016, is on his second straight Semi-Finalist ballot.  Ranked #171 on

Zach Thomas:  Linebacker:  1996-07 Miami Dolphins & 2008 Dallas Cowboys:  Thomas led the NFL in Combined Tackles twice (2002 & 2006) and he is five-time First Team All-Pro.  He also has 1,727 career Combined Tackles.  A Semi-Finalist for the last three years, Thomas was a Finalist for the first time, last year.  Ranked #23 on

Hines Ward:  Wide Receiver:  1998-11 Pittsburgh Steelers.  Ward won two Super Bowls with a Super Bowl MVP on his resume, and the four-time Pro Bowl Selection recorded an even 1,000 Receptions with 12,083 Yards with 86 Touchdowns.  Ward has been a Semi-Finalist every year since eligibility, but it has not translated into a spot in the Finals.  Ranked #33 on

Reggie Wayne:  Wide Receiver:  2001-14 Indianapolis Colts.  A six-time Pro Bowl and one-time Super Bowl Champion, Wayne has 14,345 Receiving Yards with 82 Touchdowns.  Wayne was a Finalist last year in what was his first year on the ballot.  Ranked #8 on

Patrick Willis:  Linebacker: 2007-14 San Francisco 49ers.  The Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007, Willis went to five First Team All-Pros over his career.  Willis was a Semi-Finalist last year in what was his first year of eligibility.  Ranked #15 on

Charles Woodson:  Cornerback/Safety:  1998-05 & 2013-15 Oakland Raiders & 2006-12 Green Bay Packers.  Woodson is a Super Bowl Champion with the Packers and has 65 career Interceptions.  The nine-time Pro Bowler is also a former Defensive Rookie of the Year (1998) and Defensive Player of the Year (2009).  This is Woodson’s first year of eligibility.  Ranked #2 on

Darren Woodson:  Safety: 1992-03 Dallas Cowboys.  Woodson won three Super Bowls with Dallas and was a three-time First Team All-Pro.  This is his fifth year as a Semi-Finalist but Woodson has yet to be named a Finalist.  Ranked #94 on

Bryant Young:  Defensive Tackle:  1994-07 San Francisco 49ers.  Eligible since 2013, Young was a Semi-Finalist and Finalist last year for the first time.  The career Niner had 89.5 Sacks, won a Super Bowl and went to four Pro Bowls.  Ranked #164 on

The only two eligible Semi-Finalists from last year who did not reach this stage are Ricky Watters and Simeon Rice.

This group will be shrunk to 15 in January.  

We are in the preliminary stages of creating a Zoom meeting of football bloggers and Hall of Fame aficionados who will act as if we are the Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee and debate as to who we think should advance.   

John Franco believes he is a Hall of Famer

According to John Franco, he should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In an interview this past weekend with WFAN in New York City, Franco was asked about his Cooperstown omission and had quite a bit to say on the topic:

“I’m still trying to figure it out myself, too.  It is what it is. Writers at the time … guess they felt the save statistic wasn’t that important.

The game has changed from early 90s to present where relief pitchers more important and part of that strategy of the game.  It is what it is. My numbers are just as good as anybody in the Hall of Fame. Mariano’s off the chart, obviously, and Trevor Hoffman, but [my numbers] are comparable to everyone else in there.

The Hall of Fame is supposed to be about numbers…relief pitchers in there have 400-600 saves. The other ones who have been in there a while have 300 saves, obviously that’s a different era. I have 424. In my mind, I think I deserve to be in there, but it’s up to the voters. 

Longevity, number of games I pitched in, games I finished – I think it was over 1,100 games I played in – my ERA has been really good…these are things that they consider and we’ll just have to see who is on that committee.  The thing I like about that is that there are players voting on that, too. That’s probably how the Hall of Fame should be…we’ll have to wait and see what happens but I’m hoping vote goes my way next time.”

Franco was on the ballot in 2011 and received 4.6% of the vote, thus failing to meet the 5% to remain on the ballot.  The first thing to look at is the year he was on the ballot, 2011.  It was a loaded year, and he finished 19thon the ballot, with 11 of them currently inducted.  Look at what he was up against:

Roberto Alomar, 2nd Year, 90.0%
Bert Blyleven, 14th Year, 79.7%
Barry Larkin, 2nd Year, 62.1%
Jack Morris, 12th Year, 53.5%
Lee Smith, 9th Year, 45.3%
Jeff Bagwell, 1st Year, 41.7%
Tim Raines, 4th Year, 37.5%
Edgar Martinez, 2nd Year, 32.9%
Alan Trammell, 10th Year, 24.3%
Larry Walker, 1st Year, 20.3%
Mark McGwire, 5th Year, 19.8%
Fred McGriff, 2nd Year, 17.9%
Dave Parker, 15th Year, 15.3%
Don Mattingly, 11th Year, 13.6%
Dale Murphy, 13th Year, 12.6%
Rafael Palmeiro, 1st Year, 11.0%
Juan Gonzalez, 1st Year, 5.2%
Harold Baines, 5th Year, 4.8%

The first reaction is that it is possible that some Hall of Fame voters left Franco off of their ballot, as he could not make their top ten.  If that is true, and there were just three voters who did not select him because the cap is ten, he would have remained on the ballot.  Subsequently, this was when the Hall still had a 15-year period, thus Blyleven, Morris, Parker, Mattingly and Murphy would not have been on the available pool to vote on had the current rules applied.  It should also be noted that other first ballot candidates were Kevin Brown (2.1%), Tino Martinez (1.0%) and John Olerud (0.7%).  This was one tough ballot!

Franco referenced his save total (424), which is currently fifth all-time, and ahead of Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter, who are in, but Franco played later, when Saves were not as prevalent.  As for Lee Smith, he had 478 Saves, and a bWAR of 28.9 against Franco’s 23.4.  The most accurate comparison is Wagner, who is currently in his 6thYear of Eligibility, has 422 Saves with a 27.7 bWAR, and had less competition on his ballot.  Wagner had 31.7% of the vote last year, and it is not inconceivable for him to get in.

Franco’s Cooperstown path is not closed.  He is eligible for the Today’s Game Committee, who will convene in 2022 for a 2023 induction.  That is still a tall order, but if Wagner looks to be Hall of Fame bound, Franco looks so much better, especially considering he has more association with a single team, and a better post-season record.

In 2021, we will be expanding our baseball to list to 300, and Franco will be among them.