Hall of Fame committee had long talk on Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was a great enough NFL player that he could have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame without any debate needed at Saturday’s meeting of the Hall’s selection committee.

But in reality, the committee had a long talk about Sanders.

Vic Carucci of NFL.com writes that his biggest surprise from the meeting was that Sanders wound up being the topic of one of the longest conversations.

Sanders wasn’t always the friendliest fellow with the media, so it’s easy to envision a scenario in which some members of the selection committee had to be talked out of their personal ill will toward him. But fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what happened here: We heard from another member of the selection committee who confirmed that there was a long conversation about Sanders, but that committee member said the discussion was really just a matter of everyone wanting to get their two cents in, rather than a debate over whether Sanders was worthy.

I’d like to see more transparency in the selection process, with voters explaining who they voted for and why. If Sanders was worthy of a long conversation behind closed doors in the selection committee’s meeting room, that conversation is worthy of being aired publicly.

56 responses to “Hall of Fame committee had long talk on Deion Sanders

  1. I think it’s BS that the media members who vote use personal problems they had with players to persuade their voting.

    They are voting on a player’s performance on the field. this is not highschool and is not a popularity contest.


  2. btw, people can say what they want about 9 toe. guy was a game changer and top 5 at his position for his entire career until the final 2 years

    that’s saying something

  3. Whatever!! He isnt worthy of the HOF and thats why they had a discussion. The fact that Chris Carter didnt get in is a shame!! Even the HOF is full of politics just like everything else in life!!

  4. Hall of Famer? Sure. First ballot? I don’t know… especially when a guy like Andre Reed is denied again. Both he and Irvin certainly benefited from their SB victories, but I think both have benefited more by being loud mouths during their playing days and then staying in the public eye by getting jobs on TV.

  5. i dont think the selection should be aired public, geeez, every journalist wants everything aired….
    i do like the idea of them having to reveal who they voted for and maybe why…

  6. The media wants everything, every rumor, leaked to the public. They feel they have an entitlement to get any information they want at any time so they can write an article. They don’t care who it hurts or affects. When it come to them personally they clam up. They shouldn’t have a vote in the first place.

  7. BEST DB of all time. Hands down, impossible to argue. Changed the entire game plan for opposing offenses for over a decade. You couldn’t look at his side of the field.

    Dude was a legit scoring threat from the defensive side of the ball every game. His impact on game results is immeasurable and his rings speak for themselves.

    Any debate of Deion’s greatness is laughable.

  8. is sanders a hof player? sure. first ballot? i think not. not when other guys have been waiting years. the next tackle deion makes will be the first tackle he makes.
    i think the voters should have to declare who they voted for and why. let’s have some accountability here. the rest of us do in our jobs

  9. Gee I wonder if the discussion centered around him being a Grade A narcissistic jerk bag most of youth and career.

  10. I’m sure that his presenter at Canton, Tim McCarver, will have more to say as to why Deion was worthy of the honor.

  11. I’d like to see more transparency in the selection process, with voters explaining who they voted for and why. If Sanders was worthy of a long conversation behind closed doors in the selection committee’s meeting room, that conversation is worthy of being aired publicly.
    For once I am in total agreement. Unfortunately the biggest issue I have with the “process’ is that almost all of the HOF selectors have personal vendettas. Paul Zimmeran was a previous selector who stated emphatically that as long as he was alive, Ken Stabler would never get into the HOF. Whether Stabler has the cred to get in is no matter. For one of these supposedly “unbiased” selectors to make that kind of statement leads me to believe that he’s not the only one who thinks like this about certain former players. This is the flaw. It should be up to a committee of Hall of Famers to decide who gets in. Oh and it’s time to bring the number up from 5 to at least 7 with 2 senior selectee’s for a grand total of 9. This original formula was established in 1963. There were 14 NFL teams at that time.

  12. Being a “student” of football I admire someone much more like Pat Fisher of the Redskins from the 70’s than a Deion Sanders. Deion was not only a horrible tackler but his ridiculously big mouth and arrogance make him an assclown. Besides that Deion Sanders just shows what kind of a buffoon he is by doing things such as a slap to the face of Marriuci on the NFL Network-did Deion think that was cute or funny?. The NFL Network can get rid of Deion Sanders and jamie Dukes, at least Warren Sapp has greatly improved through his hard work-Deion’s a jerk!!!

  13. Wouldn’t this entire process be easier if everyone who is “Hall worthy” just got in ? To limit it means that when you played, when you retired and what other quality players around you are all determining factors in whether or not you get in. If your play between the lines justifies you as one of the best, you get in. Any other way is a disservice to the players, the Hall and the game.

  14. Best Corner to ever play period. Most that disagree, are mad because he didnt play for their team. As someone else stated, he was a legit scoring threat whenever he was on the field.

    Everybody has a flaw or two. Deion wasnt the best tackler, however he did make some. Although the term, “Shutdown Corner” didnt exist before Deion. Is he an arrogant SOB…? yep.

    Who’s the best corner in the league today…? Revis..? Asomaguh..? Can you honestly say that they are better than Deion was..? I think not. The best role model… umm no. The best corner ever… absolutely.

  15. The tackling comments are tired and weak. Deion didn’t tackle because his man never touched the ball!! He was a finesse corner who changed the sport. You couldn’t punt it to him and you couldn’t throw it anywhere near him or it was 6 the other way without fail for 12 + years.


    Babe Ruth didn’t steal bases and Axl Rose didn’t play guitar. If Deion was on your defense, you could care less about a tackle. He was a weapon on defense that is unlike any other player before of after. Tackling??? joke.

  16. you know what is really ironic?…most of you whiners would have nothing to do with your lives if it werent for these writers…….make a point or move on……and, in my oh, so ever humble opinion, NO ONE except former players, coaches, and current players should be voting for someone’s HOF recognition. PERIOD!

  17. I have always believed in one simple rule for ANY Hall of Fame:

    If you have to make a case for entry, then that player shouldn’t get in.

    When a player’s name is mentioned, it should simply be a matter of: “hell yeah, he was one of the BEST EVER”, rather than “well, he had a better completion record throwing for more touchdowns that three other guys already in”.

    It’s the Hall of FAME, not the Hall of Better than most. A guy you absolutely FEARED facing, for whom you had to change everything you normally do, and hope (PRAY!) that that’s going to be enough to stop him.

    Joe Montanna: YES!!!
    Phil Simms: Not so much

    Shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds for the debate, not an afternoon, and if that means that some years there’s only one name added, so be it.

  18. Whenever I hear about how Deion “took away one side of the field”, I like to look up Jerry Rice’s game logs against him.

    1989 – 2 games, 6 catches, 113 yards, 2 TD’s
    1990 – 2 games, 21 catches, 396 yards, 6 TD’s
    1991 – 2 games, 13 catches, 182 yards, 3 TD’s
    1992 – 1 game, 7 catches, 183 tards, 1 TD
    1993 – 1 game, 6 catches, 105 yards
    1996 – 1 game, 5 catches, 49 yards

    So, in 9 career matchups against the greatest WR of all time, the “greatest shutdown corner of all time” gave up an average of 6.4 catches and 114.2 yards per game, and 12 TD’s. I know it’s a small sample, but it’s pretty tough for me to say Sanders is the best when the guy who was his top competition owned him every time they lined up across from each other. And I didn’t even bring up the tackling. Give me Rod Woodson over Deion every day of the week.

  19. If the HOF is to have any credibility, then Deion deserves a long discussion. Every year, HOF voters invent reasons not to vote for certain guys, based on the “He only did this, but not that” principle.

    One of the most recent examples of this was Derrick Thomas. It took him a few years to get in, and the knock on him from the holy HOF voters was that Thomas was “only” a pass rusher because he wasn’t great against the run. Nevermind that he was one of the best pass rushers of all time.

    Likewise, Deion was one of the best cover corners ever. But if they’re going to hold off on certain players because of holes in their game, then Deion deserved it as much as anyone. When did he ever play the run? Or tackle someone?

    If that’s the criteria the voters want to use, then it should be applied evenly. Of course, it won’t be, because the process is a fraud, as are many of the people doing the voting.

  20. politics should stay out of it. I don’t care if you like the guy. I don’t care if you hate his mouth. I don’t care if you don’t like him on the NFL Network. The haters here are just as bad as some of the selectors. I am not even a cowboys fan and its easy to see he should be a 1st ballot hof.

    As far as him getting in before others, such as WR Reed, its not even a comparison. Reed, while he may have his own merits and case to get in, is not even close to being considered one of the best WR of all time. There are so many great/hof worthy WR, which is why there is a log jam at that position, whereas Sanders is considered by most to be the best cover corner of all time. So sorry your personal favorite isn’t in the hall in a logjam position but that does not mean someone better in another position should be held out just to clear the logjam.

  21. Once you make what happens behind closed doors public it changes what happens behind closed doors.

    Closed doors are closed for a reason and sometimes that reason is more important than our desire to eavesdrop.

  22. Do a lot of you folks watch football, or do you listen to stories? Deion was the best lockdown corner in football. Period. He shut down half the field. First ballot HOF..no discusssion. Was he a BANGER…no? Did he make tackles when he needed to? ABSOLUTELY. Watch the tapes..dont you think if he was that horrible of a tackler, there would have been an outcry of support on the non-Deoin side with recorded evidence of this? Its 2011, not 1911. That tech is available. Asks Cromartie from the Jets/Bolts playoff game a couple yrs ago. If your name is not Antoine Wingfield and you play corner, you are not lighting up 220-230 lb. Running backs.
    My only gripe is Cris Carter not getting in this yr.

  23. I’m sorry, but it’s laughable all the rubes who think “Neon Deion” should be HOF becuz of his marketing expertise while he played and his fancy high-steppin. Bottom line is, football is made up of four basics (per Vince Lombardi), throwin’, catchin’, runnin’ and tacklin’……I don’t recall Sanders doing much of any of them and certainly not tackling. If the redneck rubes would go back and look at all the plays and touchdowns that Sanders “gave up” in his career because he was afraid to tackle a player, it would far out-number the td’s he scored etc. The dude was a “showman”, no doubt about it, but to cause a person to be blind to all of his defeciencies is insane and I can guarantee you that is why there was “plenty of discussion” about electing him on first ballot. For the rubes who will surely disagree with this post (and the Pro Bowl Selection Committee’s hesitancy), you must all like “All-Star Wrasslin'” becuz it’s all about showmanship. I’m not sayin’ that Sanders shouldn’t eventually be voted in to the HOF but certainly not first ballot. Try leaving your “homerism” aside for a moment and look at the complete player. For the dude that said, “Babe Ruth didn’t steal many bases”…..what an asinine comparison (that would be like saying, “Sanders didn’t throw many touchdowns”. The ability to tackle is a main component of playing defense, not a afterthought.

  24. He’s not a likeable guy. I don’t have a problem with them not rubber stamping him. Maybe should have made him wait a year or two.

  25. Like most of ya i agree Deon is a Hof But first ballot? not so sure.Especially over Cris Carter and for me even Tim Brown

  26. I totally agree that personal bias should play zero role in whether or not a guy earns this distinguished honor. The ‘Deion didn’t tackle’ element is somewhat a valid point, but not enough to keep by far the greatest cover corner in NFL history out of Canton.

    Revis, Asomugha, Cromartie, Deangelo Hall, Asante Samuel, Rodgers-Cromartie, virtually every DB in the NFL looks up to Deion the way all young WR look up to Jerry.

    Not to mention the fact that he was the Devin Hester of his day, with incredible contributions in the return game for the majority of his career.

  27. ptcraddock says:
    Feb 8, 2011 10:19 AM
    The tackling comments are tired and weak. Deion didn’t tackle because his man never touched the ball!! He was a finesse corner who changed the sport. You couldn’t punt it to him and you couldn’t throw it anywhere near him or it was 6 the other way without fail for 12 + years.

    No they are not tired & weak. The game is tackle football, not just covering someone. I bet he didn’t have over 50 tackles his whole career. That is just awful. And the fact he was a giant ass on & off the field.

  28. My issue is this: why the heck are WRITERS the people that get to vote FOOTBALL PLAYERS into the HOF? What sense does that even make? I think the players and coaches should be the voters on that honor.

  29. Who cares about Deion Sanders. Did anyone ever see him make a tackle? NOPE, therefore, he is not a great all around player and is not worthy of the HOF. Just because someone is eligible for the HOF that year does not mean someone has to get in. They need to make this an exclusive club for exclusive players.

  30. No balls ever came his way so he never got a chance to tackle anyone?????????? Is the posting of the Jerry Rice stats wrong???? Hmmmm….

    What if a team decides they want to run the ball his way instead of pass???? Does that absolve him of his responsibility?? Hmmmm….

    Does turning your head,,, closing your eyes and sticking out your arm constitute a tackle???? If so,,,, he was the best tackler I’ve ever seen……

  31. And this is why the system sucks…losers who can only dream of playing the game having their precious feelings hurt…Deion was a hall a famer the second he hung em up.

  32. Andre Reed? Enough already not everyone is a hall of famer..getting ridiculous..whose next? Steve McNair??

  33. Anyone who thinks Sanders was a first ballot HOF’er, doesn’t really know football but is obviously a fan of “all -star wrasslin” where it is all showmanship. As one poster pointed out, against the greatest WR of all time, Sanders was a zero becuz he really wasn’t a shutdown corner but more of a roving corner/safety where he seldom had one on one responsiblities and could roam the field. I would like to see someone research all the td’s Sanders gave up becuz he didn’t take care of his responsibilites or becuz he couldn’t and wouldn’t tackle anyone. Using showmanship as a reason to be in the HOF then Trent Dilfer should be in as well, afterall he did win a SB, LMAO.

  34. So Deion gets in. This cracks me up. Why? Because what did he really do? Was he a great athelete? Yes! But what did he do to be voted in the HOF?

    He was a decent “cover” corner but how good was he at tackling? Not very good and contrary to his own beliefs that is his job to make tackles when necessary.

    My question is this. What does he have over someone such as Cris Carter? Carter arguably had the best hands in football. The reason why Carter hasn’t made is because of his early years. Well he corrected himself and became one of the best players in the history of the game. Deion, not so much. So he won a few superbowls. So did Jim McMahon. So did may others that will never come close to the HOF.

  35. @bengalshope: winfield not the only corner that can tackle, charles woodson,ronde barber,champ bailey can all tackle. Would anyone vote vick in if he was just the fastest qb that had all these qb rushing records? Or would he have to be more of a complete player ? Im with whoever said you say a person name and its either an instant yes or instant no and if you have to think about it or debate it then its a no

  36. EJmat2 you say…
    “So Deion gets in. This cracks me up. Why? Because what did he really do? Was he a great athelete? Yes! But what did he do to be voted in the HOF?”
    You are kidding right?
    AP Def POY, 2X NFC D POY 8X All-Pro (Pro Bowls are a sham for stats) 1990s All-Decade player. 2 x Super Bowl champ. Probably the best combo Punt/Kick returner in NFL history (with Hester breathing down his back)
    PLAYERS say that he was one of the greatest, so who in the heck are you to say “What did he do?”
    Get your personal feelings out of debating greatness. I mean I HATE Ben Rothlesburger, but the man has been a QB of 3 Super Bowl temas and won 2 of them…so hes “done” something in the game.
    It kills me when you couch potatoes get upset because players have a personality and our showman. These guys are not corporate guys who were a suit and tie. They PLAY football. Corners are out there matched up with guys who run 4.3 and 4.4 and KNOW where they are going and you are supposed to stop them. You better be confident or else you will be writing on this blog like the rest of us.

  37. So Deion didn’t play the run well, he was a corner and not everyone is Charles Woodson. Nobody takes the pass away from their side of the field like Deion did. Fpor those that didn’t like watching him dance, dont complain about deion, complain about the QB that just threw a pick 6 when he shouldn’t have even LOOKED in his direction

  38. One thing that Sanders realized early that he couldn’t do what he did on a bad team. So early in his career he made a great decision to only go to teams that were on the brink of a championship. This a lone gives me the rationale not to elect him 1st ballot. Sander made already good teams better, but he didn’t make bad teams better. On a bad team he was a distraction. Look at all the others elected into the hall this year, and even those who didn’t make it. How many jumped from Superbowl winner to Superbowl winner. I venture to say that only 1 of the finalist did that and his name was Sanders!

  39. Sports writers should have no say whatsoever as to who gets into the HOF. They prove time and again that they know no more about the sports they cover than the average fan.

    Anyone suggesting Sanders shouldn’t be in the Hall has some sort of personal bias. It is impossible to look at his body of work on Special Teams and D and conclude that he was not the best ever at his position. You have to be a total jackass to describe him as a “decent” cover corner.

  40. If I were coaching “Stadium of Dreams” game (greatest of all time in their prime) and I was told Deion was my starting left corner in the game I wouldn’t think twice about it.

    Therefore he belongs in the Hall.

  41. @hatesycophants – how is it impossible to look at him and say he wasn’t the best CB ever? And since when do Special Teams come under the job description of CB?

    Rod Woodson made more Pro Bowls, had more career picks, scored more defensive TD’s, had more than twice as many tackles, and had a much more productive twilight. I’m not saying he was better than Sanders, just saying that looking at the “body of work” it could be quite easy to say he was, especially when you consider he was a standout kick returner early in his career as well.

    I agree that Sanders should be in the Hall of Fame, but the talk about him being the “best corner of all time” is patently ridiculous. He was constantly dominated by Rice, and Irvin had 2 of his best games going one on one with Deion (including 12 for 152 and 2 TD’s in the ’94 playoffs). Simply put, he was dominated by top flight WR’s in ways that current potential HOF CB’s like Bailey, Asomugha, and Revis flat out have not been. Not to mention that all 3 of them can tackle.

  42. You have to be a total jackass to describe him as a “decent” cover corner.
    Absolutely right.

    Sanders was the best cover corner in the game, one of the best return men in the game, and one of two people in NFL history to score on an INT return, punt return, kickoff return, fumble return, a rushing TD, and a receiving TD.

    Sanders had more tackles than Revis and Asomugha at the same stage in their careers.

    Vital part of 2 SuperBowl championships. A threat every time he touched the ball. The best cover corner in league history, and changed the way defensive backs play the game. First ballot Hall of Fame, without question.

  43. @dte421,

    You are examining this question from a false postulate. Name a corner who single handedly shut down Jerry Rice in his prime. You are holding Sanders to a standard no one has achieved. As for the rest of your concerns, I refer you to hineswardcries….

  44. @hatesycophants – There were some corners that gave Rice considerably more trouble than Deion did – Jerry Gray and Aeneas Williams to name a few. Irvin’s biggest games came against Deion as well. My point is that the “greatest shutdown corner” of all time was 1-8 vs. the greatest receiver of all time.

    Since you’re also referencing Revis by pointing me to hineswardcires, here’s a comparison – many consider Andre Johnson to be the best current WR, and Revis to be the best CB. In their two matchups, Revis has held him to the lowest yardage total of the year in each game. Does this mean that Revis is better than Deion? No, it just means that a truly elite corner should be able to shut down an elite WR once in a while, and Deion routinely failed to do that. Look for yourself – when teams with elite WR’s threw at Deion, they had success. To me, that means he’s not the greatest CB of all time.

  45. “You are holding Sanders to a standard no one has achieved.”

    Wouldn’t that kind of define the “greatest shutdown corner of all time?” Someone that did things no one else did?

    Talk about a false postulate.

  46. As a lifetime Eagles fan, it pains me to say this, but he was the best corner I have ever seen. Granted, I’m only 36 years old, but he was a game changer. He scared me every time we played them the same way Darrell Green did with Washington.

    Deion was a jerk on the field and off, but anyone who didn’t vote for him should lose their vote forever.

  47. I’m kinda doubtful Deion was coving Jerry Rice when he made all those catches. If I remember correctly, Deion played one side of the field almost exclusively.

    The GOAT himself, Jerry Rice, said on NFL Network’s “In Their Own Words,” that he used to lose sleep when he knew a matchup with Deion Sanders awaited him when he woke. If the greatest WR in the history of the game is losing sleep going up against him, can his 1st ballot really be questioned ? I mean, who knows how good a guy is if it isn’t the guy who’s going up against him ?

    Let’s also shine a little light into how good Deion was considering he was playing baseball full time, missing out on OTA’s, training camp and pre-season games. Revis misses some early work this year and he wasn’t even close to as good as he was last year.

    Personally, I can’t stand the guy. But what he did on the field changed how teams played against the defense he was on and how the position would be played. I just wish he’d shut his mouth.

  48. Media members should NEVER be allowed to vote for ANY Hall of Fame. All major sports Halls have enough membership now that ONLY current HOF members should be given the opportunity to vote.
    Sports writers have no business determining Hall of Fame membership.

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