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Hall of Fame may change the way it selects contributors

2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Getty Images

In addition to players and head coaches, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a catchall “contributor” category that allows people to be enshrined in Canton for what they did away from the field. But not many contributors actually ge elected.

Of the last 40 people enshrined in the Hall, only two of them — Bills owner Ralph Wilson and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol — were from the contributor category. Joe Horrigan, the Hall’s vice president of communications and exhibits, says the Hall would like to change the way it does business to make a clearer path for contributors.

“I can’t tell you we’re real close to a solution, but as we do every year, we do discuss the possibility,” Horrigan told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We don’t want to have second-tier Hall of Famers in the sense someone snuck in the back door. That’s kind of the issue always. We continue to address it. Eventually, I think we’ll probably come up with some sort of a modification.”

Whatever the Hall of Fame does, it would be wise to separate contributors from players. The Hall of Fame Selection Committee is currently faced with the thankless task of comparing people like Steve Sabol of NFL Films or former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue with former players. And really, how do you determine whether Sabol is more deserving than an offensive lineman? Voting on contributors separately would make a lot of sense.

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19 Responses to “Hall of Fame may change the way it selects contributors”
  1. nebster21 says: May 21, 2013 12:51 PM

    Goodell if he quits tomorrow should NEVER get into the Hall. In my mind it would take ALOT to change my mind on that.

  2. raiderinva says: May 21, 2013 12:59 PM

    The Hall of Fame is a joke as long as it discriminates against players like Ray Guy who changed the position he played and 2X Super Bowl Champ and Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett.

  3. csszrr says: May 21, 2013 1:05 PM

    They need to find a way to backdoor in Art Modell..

  4. bigbrad184 says: May 21, 2013 1:05 PM

    Pretty simple solution. Currently there are two players from the senior committee that get nominated each year, but those guys had their chances and didn’t get in. Now, there are some who slip through the cracks which is why the senior nomination is there, but do they really need two per year? Make it one senior nominee and one contributor nominee instead and problem solved.

  5. badmude says: May 21, 2013 1:06 PM

    Maybe they can get rid of the “Reporters” doing the voting. Have coaches, owners, HOF players do the voting. People that actually have something to do with the sport.
    Maybe someday the travesty of not having a guy like Ray Guy being included as one of the HOF greats gets resolved.

  6. vikesfansteve says: May 21, 2013 1:15 PM

    What about Tom Flores. He deserves it as much as Plunkett.

  7. bobzilla1001 says: May 21, 2013 1:19 PM

    The day they put someone in the Hall based on “hang time.” that’s the day they ought to forever close the doors.
    There are simply too many actual, real football players to be considered over a punter, ANY punter.
    Jerome Bettis.

  8. granadafan says: May 21, 2013 1:20 PM

    Agreed with the above. Why are reporters the ones deciding who gets into the Hall of Fame (same with baseball)? They’re not the ones assessing and watching film. I get that they cover the game extensively and watch games, but there should be equal weight from NFL personnel, ex-players, GMs, scouts, and a little contribution from reporters.

  9. autumnwind999 says: May 21, 2013 1:46 PM

    How is Tim Brown still not in yet? It’s insane.

  10. eklypse69 says: May 21, 2013 1:52 PM

    The Snake isn’t in, Ray Guy isn’t in, and you’re considering non-players to be enshrined on a more frequent basis?! This is ridiculous!

  11. uwsptke says: May 21, 2013 1:54 PM

    Where MLB gets it wrong is allowing anyone who has covered the sport for a certain amount of time a lifetime vote for the HOF, but where they get it right is saying anyone voted in by 75% of the voters gets in (no stupid “rule of 5″).

    The NFL seems to have the opposite problem. So many guys are deserving (like a Jerry Kramer) who just never get in because they have to compete for a set number of spots each year. To limit the number of enshrinements per year is arbitrary and stupid. If 75% of voters think a person is a HOF, let them in.

    A guy like Ron Wolf, who had a vital role in Oakland, Tampa Bay, New York (A) and ultimately Green Bay will probably never see a bust in Canton since it’s too hard to measure up to what a player has accomplished. But without Wolf trading for Favre and getting Holmgren to sign on and tutor him, Favre (who was on his last chance in ATL) probably would have partied his way out of the NFL by his mid-twenties never to be heard from.

  12. hehateme2 says: May 21, 2013 2:01 PM

    Clearly, no one cares about Ray Guy or the Faiders. Sorry.

  13. longislandcowboysfan33 says: May 21, 2013 2:02 PM

    Not a Bengals fan, but Ken Anderson should be in the hall, but he’s not. It’s not a perfect science the voting for HOF’ers.

  14. mrphatal says: May 21, 2013 2:05 PM

    Jerry Jones still making the call who goes in again, like he did for Irvin? Irvin is a cry baby and didn’t deserve to be a first ballot hall of famer. Dude was constantly in trouble and we want him to rep the NFL?? Right, good call Jerry.

  15. garyhd01 says: May 21, 2013 2:32 PM

    for every good reason like the gms etc having votes you have a jerry jones or a matt millen and al davis would you really want them deciding who is deserving?? I would say if a reporter votes for a certain number of players that get minimal support get rid of them not for 1 or 2 but for regularly voting for non deserving players

  16. gadgetdawg says: May 21, 2013 3:38 PM

    That is a tough one. Contributors belong in the Hall but not a one of them is more important than the players.

    I’d like to see a few more of them in but how they do it is important. Last thing I want to see is a reserved slot just for them. It more important to catch up on players that deserve to be in there. Besides you know after a number of years questionable folk will slip in solely because a free slot is open for them.

    I see the problem. I just am not certain getting a dozen or so important non-players in is more important than the dozens of passed over players.

  17. deltaoracle says: May 21, 2013 3:47 PM

    Maybe they’ll someday very graciously allow Jerry Kramer in through that door. Idiots.

  18. philsimmsisadouche says: May 21, 2013 4:00 PM

    So, you’re suggesting that contributors get special treatment and separate consideration when deserving players don’t get enough vote every single year? If anything they should make it harder for contributors to get in.

  19. germanstingray says: May 21, 2013 9:35 PM

    They may buy a double wide trailer, pull it up out back and put the contributors’ busts in there. They could finance it with a small meth lab in the trailer’s bathroom.

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