NFL Hall of Fame Ballot

Here are the 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2011—with my take …

• Deion Sanders—As 100 percent as any player has ever been.

• Jerome Bettis—I think no. Always excellent, but all-time excellent? No.

• Marshall Faulk—The ultimate all-weapon tailback. It makes me feel old to see him on this list, because I vividly recall him as an up-and-comer at San Diego State.

• Curtis Martin—I loved Martin when he played for the Jets, and clearly he belongs. But was he more all-time great or consistently excellent? I vote for B.

• Terrell Davis—Too short of a career. No.

• Roger Craig—I’d probably vote yes. The guy was an all-around weapon and one of the three or four best running backs of his era.

• Cris Carter—Yes, because the numbers are there and he was great. But is he a Top 20 all-time wideout? No.

• Andre Reed—Really, really good, but not legendary. No.

• Tim Brown—Same as Reed.

• Shannon Sharpe—One of the three or four best tight ends ever. I vote yes.

• Willie Roaf—Definite yes. Dominant.

• Dermontti Dawson—Excellent, but not that excellent. No.

• Charles Haley—Yes, yes, yes. One million times, yes. Guy won five Super Bowls and rushed the passer as well as anyone.

• Chris Doleman—Nah. Just especially good.

• Kevin Greene—No shot.

• Cortez Kennedy—Nope, nope, nope.

• Richard Dent—The Sack Man was awfully good. But not good enough.

• Aeneas Williams—Doesn’t belong on this list.

• Lester Hayes–Wildly overrated.

• Ray Guy—Should have been voted in 10 years ago. A legendary leg.

• Commissioner Paul Tagliabue—Absolutely, 100 percent yes. A monumental figure.

• Art Modell—Ha, ha, ha … uh, no.

• Ed DeBartolo Jr.—Ha, ha, ha … uh, no-no.

• George Young—Absolutely. A brilliant GM who made the Giants a great franchise.

• Don Coryell—I would argue yes. Revolutionized offensive football.

• Ed Sabol—I love flicks as much as the next guy. So—sure. Why not?

12 thoughts on “NFL Hall of Fame Ballot”

  1. Disagree with you on Terrell Davis. He’s a no-brainer, however short his career was. You’d take his career over Curtis Martin (a guy I love/respect even as a Pat fan) because his best years might have guaranteed you a championship.

    If ever there was a guy who is mentioned for having a brilliant and all-time great short career, it’s Terrell Davis. Hopefully time doesn’t forget or overlook what he did.

  2. I don’t understand how Ray Guy has been missed all these years.
    The players I think deserve in:
    *Deion Sanders
    *Marshall Faulk
    *Curtis Martin
    *Terrell Davis, I don’t see how longevity plays into it. He was a talent. 2 Superbowl rings. Injuries can take anyone down.
    *Shannon Sharpe
    *Willie Roaf, though I doubt he gets in on this ballot.
    *Charles Haley
    *Richard Dent, one of the main reasons the Bears were so good those years.
    *Ray Guy, did I mention he should have been voted in years ago?

  3. I don’t know if Aeneas Williams is a Hall of Famer but he belongs on the list. Had he played for good teams, he’d be much more highly regarded by the general public. Dude was really, really good.

    I think Bettis makes it because of longevity. He was never the best RB in the league, so I get your point. But to be a high-level back for 10 years counts for something in my mind.

  4. Asking because I really don’t know– Has Haley softened towards the media in the last year or so? I think I remember that he wouldn’t comment for the book and he’s obviously a huge bastard in general. But has he been more open as his HOF candidacy came up?

  5. Your arguments against Davis and Martin are the exact opposite arguments!

    If you go by stats that aren’t cumulative, Davis was better, but not by an overwhelming amount. Davis averaged 97 yards rushing per game, Martin 84. (Though Martin actually averaged 4 more yards *recieving* than Davis did.) The yards per rush favor Davis 4.6 to 4.0. A lot of that is skewed by the one unbelievable Davis year (1998) and don’t forget he had John Elway. Drew Bledsoe and Vinny Testeverde were never that good :).

    Oh, one other thing, even though Martin played twice as long…he lost 15 fumbles in his career to Davis’s 12.

  6. Oh, by the way, Roger Craig’s combined yards per game rushing *and* recieving is 79.4. Even if you just do the SF years, it’s 95.1. Martin’s at 103 combined for his career.

  7. Jeff, I’m with Jim with regards to Aeneas Williams. I don’t know if he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but you did him a disservice by blithely dismissing him as being undeserving of even being in the discussion. I think 55 INTs, plus 23 recovered fumbles, 8 Pro Bowls, a 3 First Team All-Pro, while spending most of his career with horrible Arizona teams is worth discussing. Plus, unlike a certain corner you deem a lock for the Hall, Williams wasn’t afraid of contact.

  8. So Paul Tagliabue deserves to be in over Art Modell. Art Modell, he the former head of Television Communications for the NFL who helped to make Monday Night Football the commercial success it became. Art Modell, who wanted a new stadium for his football team that was hemorrhaging money and despite spending millions on a stadium for the then-awful Indians and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (?), the city wouldn’t pony up the dough to build another stadium.

    But yes, put Paul Tagliabue in. He of the “Jacksonville-is-the-next-Green-Bay” belief. A team that’s in playoff contention that hasn’t sold out all year and will probably move to Los Angeles (and spare me the economy argument, this was never a market that was financially viable, not with Tampa already in north Florida. Oh and the Ravens are still selling out despite Baltimore not being a very lively city right now either in case you were wondering). Paul Tagliabue, who thumbed his nose at Baltimore’s fans and their years of support for the Colts by saying after the expansion process was over that the city would be better off building another museum.

    Art Modell was wrong in how he handled things. But this was Tagliabue’s mess. Had the second expansion team gone to Baltimore over Jacksonville, Modell doesn’t have a viable market to move the Browns and would have eventually sold the team (which he wound up doing anyway in Baltimore). Paul Tagliabue is a pompous ass who cost his league millions in that deal. A monumental figure? Really?

  9. Tim Brown made the Pro Bowl in three different decades, and nine times overall. Over 1,100 catches and 100 TD’s for his career, including playoffs. The guy belongs in the Hall, but I pretty much agree with everything else.

  10. How do Chris Doleman and Kevin Greene rank lower on your list than Charles Haley? Both of them were much more prolific sack artists. The NFL Network ranked Greene as the 6th best pass-rusher of all time, with only 5 1st-ballot HOFers ahead of him (Gino Marchetti, Bruce Smith, LT, Reggie White and Deacon Jones). Doleman was in 8 pro bowls to Haley’s 5. If playing on Super Bowl winning teams is the main criterion for the Hall of Fame, then let’s vote Larry Brown in on the next ballot.

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