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NFL Odds – Who’s Hollering for the Hall of Fame?

Matt McEwan

by Matt McEwan in News

Aug 10, 2016 · 2:56 PM PDT

Every year, the NFL honours at least four, but no more than eight, former players by enshrining them in the prestigious Pro Football Hall-of-Fame in Canton, Ohio. In order to receive your bust and golden jacket, you must first get nominated, then make your way through the list of finalists, and finally receive at least 80-percent support from the board.

The 2016 ceremony was unique for the simple fact that the annual Hall of Fame Game, which is supposed to kick off the NFL preseason, didn’t actually follow. (Apparently it’s not safe to play football on tar.)

Instead, fans merely got to watch Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and the rest of the 2016 class walk out on the field and offer a kind wave. Whether that was worth the travel and hotel costs is not for me to question. It was still probably more interesting than a preseason NFL game.

The cancellation of the game briefly shifted the focus from where it rightfully belongs on induction weekend: whether the honorees were deserving and who should have been inducted in their place. I’m here to shift it back. Fortunately for the guys who got snubbed, there’s always next year! Unfortunately, some of them are going to get snubbed again.

Let’s look at the odds for Canton’s 2017 class. (I’ve tried to soften my bias towards every former Bronco. I can’t guarantee I succeeded.)


LaDainian Tomlinson, RB: 1/9

Credentials:

  • five Pro Bowls
  • three-time First-Team All-Pro
  • NFL MVP (2006)
  • Offensive Player of the Year (2006)
  • two-time NFL rushing champion (2006, 2007)
  • fifth in rushing yards, career

Records:

  • most consecutive games with a touchdown (18 games)
  • most rushing touchdowns in a season (28 TDs)
  • most touchdowns in a season (31 TDs)

Why he isn’t in: He only becomes eligible in 2017.

Why he should be in: Have you watched football over the last 15-years?

Kurt Warner, QB: 1/2

Credentials:

  • four Pro Bowls
  • two-time First-Team All-Pro
  • two-time NFL MVP (1999, 2001)
  • Super Bowl Champion (2000)
  • Super Bowl MVP (2000)
  • one of three quarterbacks to make the Super Bowl starts with two different teams
  • second in passing yards per game, career (260.4 YPG)
  • third in completion percentage, career (65.5-percent)

Records:

  • fastest player to 10,000 yards’ passing
  • fastest player to 30,000 yards’ passing (tied)
  • most passing yards in a Super Bowl (414 yards)

Why he isn’t in: It was only his second-year of eligibility, and most of the 2016 inductees have been waiting a while now; plus, John Madden would’ve lost even more sanity had Brett Favre not been a first-ballot HOF-er.

Why he should be in: Outside of the incredibly impressive credentials, Warner is one of the NFL’s greatest stories: he went from working at a supermarket to being the NFL’s most valuable player. The league counted him out more than once, so it only seems appropriate that the selection committee follows suit.

Terrell Davis, RB: 2/3

Credentials:

  • three Pro Bowls
  • three-time First-Team All-Pro
  • NFL MVP (1998)
  • two-time Offensive Player of the Year (1996, 1998)
  • two-time Super Bowl Champion (1997, 1998)
  • Super Bowl MVP (1997)
  • member of the 2,000 yards club (1998)
  • third in average rushing yards per game (97.5 YPG)

Records:

  • highest average rushing yards per playoff game (142.5 YPG)

Why he isn’t in: His career was short-lived due to a knee injury. Davis tried to come back from it, but was never the same runner. The fact that other, lesser-known backs had success behind the Broncos’ offensive line harms his credibility as well.

Why he should be in: What “TD” did accomplish in that short span was nothing short of amazing: 5,296 yards and 49 touchdowns on the ground in just three seasons (1996-1998). No other Bronco back ever came close to those numbers after Davis. Plus, Doak Walker has a bust in Canton.

Terrell Owens, WR: 1/1

By Tammy Ferrufino [Public domain]
By Tammy Ferrufino [Public domain]
Credentials:

  • six Pro Bowls
  • five-time First-Team All-Pro
  • third in receiving touchdowns, career (153 TDs)
  • second in receiving yards, career (15,934 yards)

Records:

  • only player to score a touchdown against all 32 teams (he’s scored two touchdowns against all 32)
  • most consecutive seasons with at least four touchdown receptions (15 seasons)
  • most consecutive seasons with at least 750 receiving yards (14 seasons)

Why he isn’t in: Nobody likes him.

Why he should be in: His stats are ridiculous! He may have annoyed us all, but he was one of the most dominant receivers to ever play the game.

Alan Faneca, OL: 5/3

Credentials:

  • nine Pro Bowls
  • six-time First-Team All-Pro
  • Super Bowl Champion (2006)

Why he isn’t in: The hall has left out a number of the game’s best guards. It’s just not a sexy position, and there aren’t many stats that go with it.

Why he should be in: Any player with more First-Team All-Pro selections is either in the HOF or still ineligible, and only two guards have more. The last two years have each seen one guard elected. Faneca should make it three-straight in 2017.

Jerry Kramer, OL (Senior): 2/1

Credentials:

  • three Pro Bowls
  • five-time First-Team All-Pro
  • five-time NFL/Super Bowl Champion (1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967)

Why he isn’t in: I have no answer for this, and I don’t think anyone else does either.

Why he should be in: He executed the most legendary wedge block in the history of the NFL, and also kicked the game-winning field goal in the 1962 NFL Championship. Every other member of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team has been honoured in Canton, and it makes no sense why Kramer isn’t there too.

Joe Jacoby, OL: 7/3

Credentials:

  • four Pro Bowls
  • two-time First-Team All-Pro
  • three-time Super Bowl Champion (1983, 1988, 1992)

Why he isn’t in: Washington had five offensive linemen that made up the “hogs,” and Russ Grimm was the headliner of the bunch.

Why he should be in: No offensive line can function with only one great player, and the bookend left tackle from one of the greatest lines ever deserves a spot in Canton. Also, Jacoby only has two years of eligibility left before he has to join as a senior – this may help him out.

Don Coryell, Coach: 3/1

Credentials:

  • 114-89-1 record

Why he isn’t in: He was never able to make it to a Super Bowl, let alone win one.

Why he should be in: The “Air Coryell” offense has changed the way the game is played.

Brian Dawkins, S: 4/1

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work)
By Jeffrey Beall (Own work)

Credentials:

  • nine Pro Bowls
  • four-time First-Team All-Pro
  • member of the 20/20 club (interceptions and forced fumbles)
  • only member of the 30/30 club

Why he isn’t in: He hasn’t been eligible yet. He may be forced to wait because the selection committee has made the game’s other top safeties to wait, too.

Why he should be in: It’s difficult to find a more complete safety than Dawkins: supreme ball-hawking ability, punishing hits, and a force against the run. (Maybe Ed Reed?) He’s also the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a touchdown reception in one game.

Ken Anderson, QB (Senior): 9/2

Credentials:

  • four Pro Bowls
  • First-Team All-Pro
  • NFL MVP (1981)
  • Offensive Player of the Year (1981)
  • Comeback Player of the Year (1981)
  • Super Bowl Champion (2008 as a quarterback coach)

Why he isn’t in: He sits right on the fence of what a Hall-of-Fame quarterback is and is not, and the senior committee only gets two nominations per year.

Why he should be in: His numbers may not stack up to the modern day quarterbacks, but he certainly was one of the best during his era.

John Lynch, S: 5/1

Credentials:

  • nine Pro Bowls
  • two-time First-Team All-Pro
  • Super Bowl Champion (2002)

Why he isn’t in: The selection committee hates safeties, that much is clear. So few players specific to the safety position are in the hall, and the last one to go in was in 1998 (Paul Krause). Meanwhile, Donnie Shell, Johnny Robinson, Cliff Harris, and Steve Atwater all continue to wait.

Why he should be in: Any player with more Pro Bowl selections is either in the HOF or currently eligible for induction.

Roger Craig, RB: 7/1

Credentials:

  • four Pro Bowls
  • First-Team All-Pro
  • Offensive Player of the Year (1988)
  • NFL MVP (1988)
  • three-time Super Bowl Champion (1985, 1989, 1990)

Records:

  • first player to record 1,000 yards’ rushing and receiving in the same season (1985)

Why he isn’t in: He lives in the shadows of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

Why he should be in: Only Marshall Faulk has followed in Craig’s footsteps and surpassed 1,000 yards’ rushing and receiving in one season; Craig is also one of just three running backs to ever lead the league in receptions.

Honourable Mention:

Morten Andersen, K: 17/2

He made more field goals and scored more points than anyone else in the league.

Steve Atwater, S: 9/1

He brought so much pain in his 11 seasons.

Jason Taylor, DE: 15/1

By Ed Yourdon
By Ed Yourdon

Taylor is sixth on the all-time sacks list, and has returned more fumbles for touchdowns than anyone else in the history of the league.

Edgerrin James, RB: 20/1

He rushed for more than 1,500 yards four times, and doesn’t get enough credit for what he did for the Colts’ offense.

Torry Holt, WR: 25/1

Holt was a key member of the “greatest show on turf” and has the gaudy stats to prove it.

Priest Holmes, RB: 30/1

The former Chief amassed 4,590 rushing yards in a three-year span, but his career was shortened due to injury as well.

Ricky Williams, RB: 100/1

Two questions: one, can he go in as “Rio Don?” And two, will they allow his bust to have a doobie in its mouth?


(Photo Credit: Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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