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Harrison Thinks Reporters Shouldn't Vote On HOF

Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison, who’ll be offering opinions later this year for NBC, already has been offering some intriguing takes about the game he played for so many years.

And we usually have found ourselves agreeing with him.

Most recently, Harrison has sounded off on the process for determining the folks who secure admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This time around, we disagree with Harrison.

Harrison is clamoring for change because he fears that he won’t get a fair shake via the current process, which puts enshrinement in the hands of 44 journalists — one representing each NFL team and a dozen at-large members.

He shared his views with Nancy Gay of FanHouse, who holds one of the 44 ballots.

“Probably not,” Harrison said of his chances for getting in,
“because just look how the NFL has looked at me all these years.
Ignoring my stats and my impact as a player and a teammate. Focusing on
the negative.

“Do I believe I’m a Hall of Fame player?  Absolutely.  Will I make it in
there?  That’s up to you guys.  But I know that I did all I could do.”

Harrison suggests a different approach for determining the folks who’ll make it to Canton.

“I think [the selection board] should
be made up of football archeologists, historians, personnel managers,
people that know the game and have played the game,” Harrison said.  “No disrespect to you guys.  Maybe, even a handful of reporters should
be part of it.”

But there are some problems with his proposed formula.

First, there are no “football archeologists” who’ll be sifting through the rubble of Giants Stadium in search of Jimmy Hoffa’s watch.  The closest thing to “football archeologists” are the folks who cover the sport for a living, and who have done so for a long time.

You know, the folks who currently vote on who get in to Canton.

Second, and more importantly, Harrison is basing his perception that he won’t make it to the Hall of Fame on the fact that, for example, he made it only to two Pro Bowls and that he consistently tops the list of the NFL’s dirtiest players.

But the folks who determine eligibility for Canton determine neither of those things.

As to the former, players, coaches, and fans vote for the Pro Bowl rosters.  As to the latter, the most commonly referenced list of the league’s dirtiest players comes from a player poll conducted by Sports Illustrated.

So changing the rules won’t necessarily get him in — especially if any of the players and coaches who kept him out of the Pro Bowl and/or the players who consistently called him the dirtiest player in the league have a voice in the new procedure.

Frankly, it’s unknown whether the 44 folks who vote on membership in the Hall of Fame will reach the same conclusion.  But it’s not as if the media has shunned him.  Harrison twice was named an All-Pro by the Associated Press, and he once was named to the AP second team.

Of course, the fact that he is now calling for the voters to be stripped of their privileges likely won’t cause any of them to give him the benefit of the doubt when the time comes to consider whether he deserves enshrinement notwithstanding his reputation among his peers — and his four-game suspension in 2007 for HGH use.

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49 Responses to “Harrison Thinks Reporters Shouldn't Vote On HOF”
  1. HawgNSonsTV says: Jul 8, 2009 5:15 PM

    Harrison WHO?

  2. gameday says: Jul 8, 2009 5:18 PM

    Harrison is NOT a Hall of Famer.
    Sounds like he did too much HGH,among other things.
    And quite honestly, not very many people give a damn what Harrison thinks, except his dealers and idiot Pats fans

  3. deddyluger says: Jul 8, 2009 5:19 PM

    If LeRoy Butler isn’t in the HOF this scrub most certainly shouldn’t be.

  4. beastroid says: Jul 8, 2009 5:20 PM

    i agree with harrison, i would want people who excelled, or at least, were above average, in football voting on who should be in the hof, not some reporter who has never experienced what it is like to be on the field.

  5. footballisking says: Jul 8, 2009 5:20 PM

    I agree with Harrison to many reporters hold grudges on people that werent good interviews to them and show favoritism to players that warmed up to them

  6. gameday says: Jul 8, 2009 5:23 PM

    “I think [the selection board] should be made up of football archeologists, historians, personnel managers, people that know the game and have played the game,” Harrison said. “No disrespect to you guys. Maybe, even a handful of reporters should be part of it.”
    *************************
    Hmmm, “personnel managers”.
    I think you mean HGH dealers and videographers.

  7. Draft King says: Jul 8, 2009 5:26 PM

    Rodney Harrison is the only member of the 30/30 INT/sacks club. If he doesn’t make the HOF, I’d be very surprised… no matter who is voting on it.

  8. Roethlisberger's Bitch Tits says: Jul 8, 2009 5:26 PM

    I agree with Harrison 100%
    Most of the football writers today, including Peter King are first rate hacks. There are football historians who have covered the games for many, many years and they are more than qualified to at the very least, have a voice in matters. I mean, how many great players who played in small markets get the perennial shaft by writers who have never heard of them. Dick, Lebeau, Ken Riley, Ken Anderson, Henry Ellard, Issaic Curtis, Kevin Greene, Alex Karris, Ken Stabler, Jim Marshall, Jerry Kramer, Chris Carter.
    Its a joke and these douchebags get away with it every stinking year. This game was played before 1990, its ashame that many of these writers are oblivious to it.

  9. Treadstone says: Jul 8, 2009 5:30 PM

    I don’t necessarily agree w/who he said should be doing the selecting, but I do agree that it should be a mixed and diverse crowd w/other positions than just reporters. My thought on them is that all it takes is for a few reporters to hold a grudge against a player that either insulted them or ignored them earlier in their career and they see this as an opprotunity. I may very well be wrong, but it’s just a thought.

  10. Bubba Maximus says: Jul 8, 2009 5:34 PM

    I wonder if Harrison thinks Steve McNair was selfish for cheating on his wife AND his mistress.

  11. FumbleNuts says: Jul 8, 2009 5:40 PM

    Ok Rodney……. Maybe the “football archeologists” can dig up Lyle Alzado and get his opinion.

  12. Bullseye says: Jul 8, 2009 5:41 PM

    “Second, and more importantly, Harrison is basing his perception that he won’t make it to the Hall of Fame on the fact that, for example, he made it only to two Pro Bowls and that he consistently tops the list of the NFL’s dirtiest players.
    But the folks who determine eligibility for Canton determine neither of those things.”
    This is false.
    The media covers those they wish to cover and ignore those they wish to ignore. It has as much to do with market size or the bufoonery of the player involved as it has to do with ability or production, which is why guys like Chad Johnson and TO are always on Sportscenter, et al, and productive guys like Jeff Van Note, Randy Gradishar, and Fred Taylor who languish or have languished in small markets deemed insignficant always get short changed. The media attention/lack thereof has a direct bearing on who gets the fan vote.
    Why would Dwight Stevenson be a Hall of Famer when he played on 5 Pro Bowls and had an injury shortened career, but the thought of Tony Boselli being a Hall of Famer is ludicrous to most when he had the same number of Pro Bowls and had a career of identical length due to injury?
    The process is at the mercy of the people who cover it, not based upon merit.

  13. Devils Advocate says: Jul 8, 2009 5:45 PM

    if you think Harrison made these remarks for selfish reasons you are an idiot.
    the players should have input. not total authority and Rodney is not advocating that.
    Bubba Maximus what a jerk you are for making that comment at a time like this. you showed your true colors moron.

  14. mrf47 says: Jul 8, 2009 5:57 PM

    Is it too late to change my screen name to “Football Archeologist”? If not, please make this happen, Mike.

  15. Vance says: Jul 8, 2009 5:57 PM

    The voting process should be similar to that of the Academy Awards. in other words, unless you’ve played the game, you shouldn’t get a vote. But I would include former executives, GMs and coaches. only a small percentage of reporters should be allowed in. And Rodney Harrison is in the 30/30, he should get in. and as far as McNair, sports figures cheating on their wives is nothing new. All of them just didnt get caught. Id bet my life savings that at least 1/4 of all members of the HOF in each respective sport have committed adultry. i wish they would do a study.

  16. VoxVeritas says: Jul 8, 2009 5:57 PM

    Yeah I can only think of about a dozen safeties that deserve it before Harrison is even considered.

  17. JSpicoli says: Jul 8, 2009 6:04 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly. Same for all pro sports’ HOF’s. Why we let Pointdexter and some chicks decide this is a travesty. You have idiots, some with grudges, who never played a sport, or if they did, they are jealous, making decisons that are among the most sacred to the sport.
    I say all living members of the HOF vote on new inductees.

  18. JSpicoli says: Jul 8, 2009 6:06 PM

    Jack Tatum regularly left waste matter in the toilet bigger than Harrison.

  19. goodntnow says: Jul 8, 2009 6:11 PM

    Check out how this clown Mike Florio states 1) The closest thing to “football archeologists” are the folks who cover the sport for a living, and who have done so for a long time. and 2) This time around, we disagree with Harrison.
    What a frickin’ joke! This is the prime example of a media member thinking that they are Way too important of a factor and that the public actually buys into their crap.
    Rodney is 110% correct. These jackasses haven’t a clue about anything. How do we know this? Because we read and laugh at their crap that they get paid a living to write on a daily basis.
    Rodney was the single best safety to have played this game since Ronnie Lott bar none. Rodney is a First ballot Hall of Famer and if he doesn’t go further proves his point as well as mine that media members are nothing but self serving clowns that no one takes seriously and rightfully so.

  20. Football Archeologist says: Jul 8, 2009 6:11 PM

    Very nice dig at the end Flo!

  21. pfitz says: Jul 8, 2009 6:20 PM

    I dont care what the Patriot haters like Gameday say.Rodney is a HOFer..The guy was a great player who was got better as the games got bigger..The guy is a throwback to tough players like Ronnie Lott and Mel Blount who didnt have the touch football rules we have today..

  22. weathersusa says: Jul 8, 2009 6:20 PM

    I think that Harrison would do himself well to actually do some research on the topic before he goes off on the voting process. We only have to look at how the NFLPA is treating the former players to see how the voting would go for the greats of the past. Do you think that they would have given a flip about someone like Bob Hayes? Do you even think they would know who he was?
    Rodney Harrison was a very good player. He would much less known if he had not have been a bit dirty. Was he a real dirty player? No. He couldn’t hold Conrad Dobler’s jock in that department. Now please stop saying stupid thinks, and do your prep work for the upcoming season, Rodney. We have high expectations for you.

  23. RedskinPete says: Jul 8, 2009 6:27 PM

    he doesn’t get in, no way HAIL

  24. Ralphie says: Jul 8, 2009 6:31 PM

    “Yeah I can only think of about a dozen safeties that deserve it before Harrison is even considered.”
    That’s debatable. I could possibly see a couple, but not 12.
    Who are those dozen Safeties and why did they have better / more notable careers?

  25. pats suck, blow and cheat says: Jul 8, 2009 6:39 PM

    HGHarrison in the Hall? Only if Victor Conti presents him.

  26. tj.52 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:50 PM

    I have to admit that once I learned some years back that it was the media that voted on HOF entry, it lost a whole lot of carrying weight in my eyes. Then when I learned of the individuals who were doing the voting, it lost the rest. (Borges, PTI, etc.)
    Until football reporters stop wishing for base defenses and offensive superstars to report on so that they don’t have to learn the game, the HOF system will be flawed. How the hell can someone who doesn’t understand cover 4 determine Rodney Harrisons HOF eligibility?

  27. mvlonergan says: Jul 8, 2009 6:53 PM

    Let’s be clear: Harrison is the ONLY member of the 30/30 club. That being said, Dick freakin’ LeBeau still hasn’t made it to the Hall of Fame, and he’s still seventh all time for INTs despite being retired since 1972. Heck, no other DB should get in until LeBeau is inducted as an old-timer, and no assistant coach should get in until LeBeau is inducted as the architect of the Blitzburgh defense. However, therein lies Harrison’s point. It’s one he’s previously made about probowls and is now making about the Hall of Fame. It’s a popularity contest, folks. Fan votes typically outweight the player and coach votes, and 15 years later an excellent player is saddled with the “he didn’t make enough probowls” label. It’s the same reason Steve McNair won’t make the hall of fame despite being essentially statistically equivalent to Troy Aikman — but with a better TD:INT ratio. Seriously. Look it up. The fact is, most football fans, sports writers included, are too dang lazy to do the research. They just let the relative popularity of a player determine their perception of his greatness.

  28. AlanSaysYo says: Jul 8, 2009 6:55 PM

    My bet coming into this story wa that the Harrison in the headline was either Marvin or James. I should have known better.

  29. silence says: Jul 8, 2009 6:56 PM

    Humerously, the last paragraph of this article flat out proves Harrison’s point. Journalists need stories. They need to create sensation. Thus, Mr. Florio ends his piece with, “AND HE USED DRUGS!!!” Yet, throughout this article, he doesn’t list one player statistic. They’re not really important for sensationalist journalism.
    NOW do you think reporters should vote on the HOF? This is why they never should. They’re glitz, they’re glam, but they’re not experts.
    HOF should be decided by retired NFL head coaches. They won’t end their votes with, “and his four-game suspension in 2007 for HGH use.”
    And I couldn’t care less if Harrison makes it into the hall.

  30. Brownwood26 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:57 PM

    Whether Harrison deserves the Hall of Fame or not, he’s right. Sportswriters determining Hall entry is the biggest travesty in sports. Set up a Hall of Fame committee that consists of Hall of Fame coaches and players and select pro football historians (i.e.- Joe Horrigan) and let them make these decisions. Sportswriters with biases and agendas (like that a-hole Dr. Z) who have NO idea what they’re looking at when they watch a football game are a huge mistake.

  31. empty13 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:59 PM

    players dont hold grudges?

  32. spyboots says: Jul 8, 2009 7:10 PM

    I guess it’s a good thing Michael Jackson was never in the NFL.

  33. SirSuperSouthern says: Jul 8, 2009 7:11 PM

    Quit pointing to that 30/30 stat, it doesn’t give Harrison a free pass into the HoF.
    The three members of the baseball 40/40 club have all been outed as steroid users (Canseco, Bonds and Alex Rodriguez).
    Nobody but Harrison is in the 30/30 club in football, and he was caught using performance enhancers. Seems to me like that stat should just get thrown out the window, its not like Canseco is in the baseball HoF.
    That said, I’m not a Harrison hater by any means – if he makes it he makes it. I enjoy his strong opinions as an annalist, and think he was a great pick-up for NBC. I just don’t think that 30/30 club stuff is worth its weight…

  34. Shamrock says: Jul 8, 2009 7:33 PM

    Druggie. Dirty. Dumb.
    Football archeology …. lol …..

  35. hay1111 says: Jul 8, 2009 7:39 PM

    The only way Rodney Harrison makes it to the HOF is as Kurt Warner’s 2nd guest…Trent Green’s blown out knee is 1st.

  36. VoxVeritas says: Jul 8, 2009 7:56 PM

    “That’s debatable”
    Of course it’s debatable. Everything’s debatable. I don’t have to look away from the Cowboys to find three right off the bat. Cliff Harris, Charlie Waters and Darren Woodson. I’d add in no particular order Ed Reed, Jack Tatum, Steve Atwater, Kenny Easley, Donnie Shell, Leroy Butler and I think that Polamalu and Bob Sanders will merit serious consideration before their careers are over if they don’t already. Oh, and Brian Dawkins.
    Why? Because they’re better. You get more with any of those guys. Everything you want out of a safety, minus the NFL-record fines. And HGH.

  37. EdReed4prez says: Jul 8, 2009 8:03 PM

    In unrelated “other Harrison” news… James Harrison doesn’t want to go to the HOF because they wouldn’t invite him if he wasn’t really good at playing football.

  38. TheDPR says: Jul 8, 2009 8:21 PM

    The Pro Bowl is meaningless and should have absolutely no bearing on a player’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
    The AP All Pro is somewhat more legit but it, too is a bit of a popularity contest.
    I kind of like Harrison’s idea of including some former coaches, players, GMs, etc. but not to the exclusion of all media.

  39. Ralphie says: Jul 8, 2009 8:52 PM

    Jack Tatum and Atwater only in my eyes for retired safeties would be considered “better”, and what those two had that Charlie Waters, Woodson and Harris did not have is that they were absolute game changers for the position. The others (Polamalu, Sanders, Reed, Dawkins) careers aren’t over yet. If Polamalu and, Sanders retired today they wouldn’t be close. No on Dawkins (good, but you must just be hunting for names on that call). If this was Reed’s last year he would be the only “close to a lock” as you can get of the current bunch. Easley was great but was banged up and didn’t have the longevity.
    That “NFL record fines” comment is bullshit btw. If Tatum came into the league in 1996 and played the same way he did during his Oakland NFL years he would have been banned from the league 5 years ago. Back in the 70′s everything was legal. Tatum hit Daryl Stingley with a forearm to the head and paralyzed him (that was legal then–it aint now). If Harrison played in the 70′s time period there would be no whining about “NFL record fines”. The reason that Atwater, Tatum and Harrison had those big hits is because whenever a receiver comes over the top nobody had a better chance to get a running start to light them up than the safety. They were fast Linebackers with some cover skills. If HGH is the reason you don’t think Harrison should be considered just say it.
    It may be a moot point anyway for all of them; pure Safeties have the least representation of any position in the HoF (only 6 are in) and the position has been devalued in the eyes of many voters the past two decades. With the evolution of the NFL offensive sets Safety has been evolving more into a CB position. The demands of the position have changed, the best safeties in the next 10 years will be the top CB’s who’ve lost a cover step and are moved back there for 5 years (think Lott and Woodson).

  40. Backinthesaddle says: Jul 8, 2009 8:58 PM

    I’m a Pats fan and think Rodney was a key ingredient of the back-to-back Superbowl teams. I loved having him on the team because of his passion and leadership.
    With that said, I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer….just don’t think his achievment was enough to get in.
    I do think, however, that all of the people out there that don’t know Rodney like we Pats fans do will soon see what kind of guy Rodney is when he’s commentating in his new TV gig. He’s extremely well spoken and don’t be surprised if you find him to be open, direct, honest, principled and unpretentious. I’m a huge fan of Rodney Harrison the player and person.

  41. JimmySmith says: Jul 8, 2009 9:17 PM

    Give me a break, a HOF? What a joke.
    Ask this, how many Superbowls did you win after your team was caught cheating? (zero)
    Is the Giant’s TE, Boss, a speed demon, you know, the guy you chased for 30 yards in the Superbowl you did lose despite being the heavy favorites? How many other HOF safeties were that slow of foot.
    Harrison is a blowhard, much like many of the NE fans.

  42. Darth Ringo says: Jul 8, 2009 9:49 PM

    I don’t think Harrison belongs in the HOF either but not because he didn’t go to enough Pro Bowls. That’s a stupid standard.
    Every year washed-up players make the Pro Bowl on reputation alone, and players that deserve to go don’t make it because there’s no room.

  43. CaptainFantastik says: Jul 8, 2009 10:50 PM

    Harrison’s right. Sports writers don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. And i’ll bet that 99.9% of HOF voters have never even snapped on a helmet in their lives. Glorified armchair QB’s is all sports writers are.

  44. JSpicoli says: Jul 8, 2009 10:53 PM

    Whoever the Ftard is that wants to make up history……Tatum did not hit stingley w ith a forearm . It was his head and shoulder and it would not be called dirty by todays standards. Just a hard hit . Rip DS

  45. swervinmervin says: Jul 9, 2009 12:20 AM

    If Lynn Swann is in the HOF, than Harrison definitely should have a shot. Swann being in the HOF proves that the whole thing is a joke.

  46. Ralphie says: Jul 9, 2009 7:25 AM

    Tatum lead with his forearm and cracked his head back and followed through with his shoulder and body. That would be illegal today revisionist meat wallet.
    The definition of karma would be your hero paralyzing a player with a cheap shot in a preseason game, and then ending up with both legs amputated from diabetes several decades later.

  47. ButchD says: Jul 9, 2009 8:59 AM

    1- Harrison is not a HOF player
    2- He is however right about writers. They are as bias as fans if not more. And, they pretend they are not. At least with fans their bias is obvious, most even admit it. this falls into the ‘report the news’ not ‘make the news’ category as well.

  48. texasPHINSfan says: Jul 9, 2009 11:45 AM

    i’m with ButchD
    1) Harrison is not a HOF player IMO
    2) he is somewhat correct about writers. i wouldn’t say NO writers should be on the board, i just don’t think it should be ALL writers. some legacy football members who have been in the game 30-40 years might be a good idea too. writers can have biases just like everyone else
    3) Harrison is an idiot for discussing this now, and an even bigger idiot for slamming the group that would vote him in anyway. way to ingratiate yourself genius. i guess HGH isn’t good for the brain.

  49. faith53 says: Jul 13, 2009 10:59 AM

    I don’t know whether Mr. Harrison should be in the Hall of Fame or not.
    However, I absolutely agree with him regarding reporters. Most reporters are frustated non athletes who are reduced to writing about real athletes.
    Because they (reporters) are human, you better believe they hold grudges.

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