Skip to content

Another argument for more Hall of Fame voices

pft rodney

The Hall of Fame doesn’t anticipate discussing ways to improve their selection process any more than normal this year.

That’s too bad, because there has been a lot of great discussion (on this blog and elsewhere) on some steps that could help open up the process.   We are in a profession largely based on evaluating the performance of others, yet too often bristle at the suggestion that we can and should do better.

More than anything, we think that providing a greater cross-section of voices beyond just sportswriters in the Hall of Fame voting process could help provide a more well-rounded look at the sport.

NBC’s Rodney Harrison joined PFT Live and discussed one uncomfortable reason why more voices could help things:  Writers have biases.    More specifically, writers often have biases towards players that are nicer to writers.

NFL players that act like jerks tend to get viewed more harshly than guys that are professional with the media.  This plays out in daily coverage of teams and could be a factor in Hall of Fame voting.

I’ve raised this point with some actual writers (I don’t consider myself one).  The response is usually something like: “It’s only natural.”  Or “How can a player’s behavior towards us not affect things?”

I have so much respect for those whose cover players on a day-to-day basis, but this seems to be a bit of a blind spot in the industry.  We should judge a player on their performance.  We should judge coaches and evaluators on results, not if they are nice guys.

This sort of bias is probably not a massive problem in Hall of Fame voting, but it’s another reason why more voices in the process can only help.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: PFT Live, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Videos
17 Responses to “Another argument for more Hall of Fame voices”
  1. w2lucky says: Feb 15, 2011 8:07 PM

    Only an idiot would believe there is no way they could be influenced by the way an athlete treated them. Might I suggest a basic course in psychology. Get rid of the writers that vote for HoF and replace them with HoF players and coaches or a committe that gets selected every year by palyers and fans. NO WRITERS.

  2. sharkcatcher says: Feb 15, 2011 8:09 PM

    Cliff Branch say he agrees.

  3. philtration says: Feb 15, 2011 8:11 PM

    NBC’s Rodney Harrison joined PFT Live and discussed one uncomfortable reason why more voices could help things: Writers have biases. More specifically, writers often have biases towards players that are nicer to writers.

    Sound familiar?

  4. stull60060 says: Feb 15, 2011 8:11 PM

    The HOF is a joke. There are biases and personal vendettas committed by some of the voters. As I have posted here before. Ken Stabler was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and he is still not in the HOF. h

  5. stull60060 says: Feb 15, 2011 8:15 PM

    The HOF is a joke. There are biases and personal vendettas committed by some of the voters. As I have posted here before. Ken Stabler was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and he is still not in the HOF. He should of been in long ago. As an example of this bias a sports writer by the last name of Zimmerman said, “I will never vote for Ken Stabler to get in the HOF”. Why? Not because Stabler wasn’t great, but because he disliked Stabler on a personal level. Stabler disliked speaking to the press during his playing years. That’s why he is kept out.

  6. webehighrollin says: Feb 15, 2011 8:17 PM

    Janabbbb Naeeeeem Alviiiiii!!! dun dun dun dun

  7. tomthebombtracy says: Feb 15, 2011 8:32 PM

    Speaking of the Hall, did ya’ll see the induction show Saturday night SB Eve on NFL Network.

    Talk about bad TV. The Hall Director was obviously nervous on the mike; the fact there is this draconian thumbs up/down part of the process on the final group is very anticlimactic. You already they’re in…..and if they’re not it would be a huge black ball scenario that would take a lot of explaining.

    Also, the Hall itself is not up to what the standards should be for the NFL….I realize it is not the NFL Hall but the Pro Hall. Still, it’s like a catacombs, dark, disorienting.

    And the Grand Jury method of electing people….we already know that’s gotta change.

  8. Canyonero says: Feb 15, 2011 8:51 PM

    You are an “actual writer,” Gregg, hate to break it to you. :-D

    I like expanding the HOF voting process, too, but let’s beware of a slippery slope. It must NEVER be as open as the Pro Bowl, or it will become just as meaningless. Keep it a small-ish group, close to the game.

    No fan votes. No current players or coaches. No PETA, no Congressional Subcommittee, no Jared from Subway, etc..

    Keep the 32 core voters, and expand the 12 at-large voters, that’s it.

  9. chapnastier says: Feb 15, 2011 8:53 PM

    This is getting irritating too. This blog is great proof of insane amounts of bias. But to be fair, every single member of the media, news or sports or otherwise, is biased in one way or another. The problem is the arrogance of pretending to be fair.

    This website pretends to be reporting fair on the Superbowl ticket situation when a majority of the articles are written by a guy who made a living as a lawyer. Any lawyer would see the great potential for profit in the law suit and as a result woudl immediately be biased.

    The writers of this website work for NBC. NBC is MSNBC and has a history of showing liberal bias. Liberals generally support unions. Every article on this site is about how the players are doing all they can to come to terms of a new CBA while the owners are bashing it.

    It is human nature to be biased. We are all biased in one way or another. The problem is overcoming that biased when needed. So far I have yet to see a reporter or a blogger prove that he or she has the ability to put their bias aside regardless of their arena of reporting.

    I know this wont make it posted but its all true and it all makes sense.

  10. hobartbaker says: Feb 15, 2011 9:09 PM

    If you’re real quiet there, you can hear the voices..

    “We are the Retired, short days ago we played, drank till dawn, and never got out of bed before sunset. We played, and were played. Now we lie in the Hall of Fame. To you from arthritic hands we throw, the torch……”.

  11. lbijake says: Feb 15, 2011 9:43 PM

    Dr. Z played the game 600 years ago and always thought he knew more than everybody. Definitely not an unbiased voter. Take some writers off, add some broadcasters, let current members vote. Take the vote and make it open.

  12. drasarp says: Feb 15, 2011 10:03 PM

    You write: “More specifically, writers often have biases towards players that are nicer to writers.”

    Are you kidding me? How do you think Deion Sanders got into the HOF were it not for his “Prime Time” promoting and press schmoozing?

    That’s why there needs to be more people voting; NFL representatives, players, HOF members, etc.

    I can remember vividly who were the best players on my college team. And that was 50 years ago. It goes without saying that people who are involved in the game or played it or cover it specifically on an “hands on” basis should be the only ones voting for HOF members.

    Case in point: Suppose only HOF members were allowed to vote for this years class. Would they have elected Sanders? I think not. Their experience would have told them there were more deserving players.

  13. ramcountry says: Feb 15, 2011 10:21 PM

    @ drasarp

    “Case in point: Suppose only HOF members were allowed to vote for this years class. Would they have elected Sanders? I think not. Their experience would have told them there were more deserving players.”

    I didn’t hear any HOF member say Sanders doesn’t belong there. Your own bias is coming through loud and clear.

  14. jackhall00 says: Feb 16, 2011 7:37 AM

    The process is so so arcane.
    The only thing worse is the Baseball HOF snobs who get to vote every year. Talk about hurt feelings these guys are worse than the girl who got dumped right before the prom.

  15. dexterismyhero says: Feb 16, 2011 8:41 AM

    Can Dr Z speak or write yet? I know he had a seried of strokes a while back. So i guess he couldn’t say no to Stabler.

  16. JSpicoli says: Feb 16, 2011 12:33 PM

    Dr. Z is a tool, and I hope he is drooling all over himself as we speak.

    Stabler is a stone cold lock, and remains outside the HOF.

    BiASS

  17. ybo1 says: Feb 23, 2011 3:46 PM

    HOH are a big joke,all of them. Look at the rock and roll HOH…?? How can Blondie be in there and not The Moody Blues??? Any how, as much as I think they are a big joke, the former players being voted in don’t seem to think that. They all look very proud when accepting the honor and bust in thier gold jackets. It has to be more fair to honor these players that made football what it is today and hopefully will continue to be. Personal feelings, vendettas and personalities need to go out the window with these writers and look only at how they played the game, either that or change it so the fans, coaches and current players vote. Writers can still vote, but only as fans.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!