Whitlock makes his case for changing the Hall of Fame selection process

On Saturday night, Jason Whitlock of FOXSports.com was upset.  He was specifically upset about the omission of Willie Roaf from the seven-person class that will have their bronze busts placed in Canton come August, with or without a football game played the next night. Whitlock was generally upset about the process for determining who gets in, and who doesn’t, the Saturday before every Super Bowl.

Whitlock was sufficiently upset to call me out about my silence on the subject, suggesting that our deal with NBC has left me neutered in matters of this nature.  Whitlock, as he explained during a Wednesday visit to ProFootballTalk Live, simply wanted to shame me into action — and it worked.  The process needs to change, and Whitlock makes a great case for it during his latest FOXSports.com column and during his latest visit to PFT Live.

Instead of cutting the thing up into various sound bites, we’re presenting the entire clip here.  It’s worth every minute of your time.

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18 responses to “Whitlock makes his case for changing the Hall of Fame selection process

  1. Be less concerned about Roaf not getting in and more concerned about Jerry Kramer being overlooked for so long.

  2. I hate that you used a picture of Willie with the Chiefs. He cemented his place in the Hall with the Saints.

  3. I usually dismiss any Whitlock rantings out of hand, but the man has a point. The voting process needs to be tweaked.

    It’s not as bad as the MLB HOF voting, which is a freaking joke that has been exhaustively covered elsewhere, but it’s certainly flawed.

    Non-player nominations need to be handled separately from player nominations, like the veterans committee does now with its two choices who are sent to the main group on an up-or-down basis. Doing so means that deserving non-players like Don “Air” Coryell will eventually get recognized because their enshrinement won’t give a deserving player the short-shrift.

    The cap on the number of players considered either needs to be raised or the entire thing changed to a pro-bowl style ballot in which you choose people by position. The current five-player cap makes it hard for someone at a position like offensive lineman or kicker / punter to get enshrined because everyone wants to put the skill position players in since they rack up big numbers.

    There are other changes that need to be made, but these are a start.

    Disclosure – I’m a Saints fan and feel Willie Roaf got screwed as well, but I haven’t been big on the HOF voting for a while now because of the tendency for big-name players with mediocre stats like Joe Namath to make it in over deserving players with better stats who had the misfortune to play in smaller markets.

  4. Whitlock’s other suggestion for improving The Hall of Fame was that “they make the damn doors wider.”.

  5. His argument starts out extremely weak (race card) and I almost stopped reading right there. But, he made a really good point about media members not knowing the game like ex-players and ex-coaches.

  6. The system is jacked up and Whitlock has a decent point, however, he needs to let the racial crap go. His overall point is good but there is litte merit in his proposed fixes. They should add a ballot from each HoF player/coach and separate contributers/coaches from player ballotts. Good players are not necessarily HoF players, and neither are fantasy stat magnets.

  7. What kind of a challenge must a QB undergo in the NFL to win a Superbowl? It entails an entire season of phenomenal performance. To simplify the HOF selection, which has forgotten many of the greats of the past, a rule should be passed retroactively back to Superbowl One: All quarter backs that have won a Superbowl should automatically be inducted. This would accomplish one thing for sure….the Hall Of Fame Voting Committee could be Removed fron the TURD WATCH!

  8. stairwayto7, you continue to demonstrate your ignorance of all things football just as you demonstrated your bad sportsmanship in not congratulating the Packers on their win Sunday night. You are an embarrassment to Steelers fans. I continue to hope all is explained by youth–you are 12, correct?

    FYI, L.C. Greenwood belongs in the Hall but did not make it in three years. Based on his domination at the safety position while he played and the stats he held when he retired, Donnie Shell belongs in the Hall but was not elected within three years.

    Certainly six-time All Pro first-teamer Dermontti Dawson, who dominated the center position throughout his career, belongs in the hall but has only made the final 10 for the past two years. Games are won and lost in the trenches but linemen are frequently ignored in HoF voting while more publicized players are enshrined year after year. After three years does that mean we just scratch them from the list??

    And those are just the Steelers. Many players from other teams–Willie Roaf, Jerry Kramer, Ray Guy, etc., who made the game what it is deserve to be in the Hall.

    Until you mature or learn something about the game, please hush.

  9. Mike …

    YESSSS!!! Yes yes yes Brilliant discussion!! Most of the time, Jason Whitlock is way too bright for the room. I’m not a Deion Sanders fan–couldn’t stand him when he played. But Whitlock’s comments about Sanders place in the Hall, especially about Franco, were dead on the money.

    It’s absurd to let the Max Mercys of sport (a reference to the Duvall character in The Natural) make the decisions on who goes into the Hall of Fame when it’s evident that they’re making their decisions based on something other than performance criteria. I’m not a fantasy football person and agree with Whitlock’s videogame assessment. To me, the issue is the impact the player had when he played. That the measure of whether he belongs in the Hall.

    BTW, nice look.

  10. I like Jason Whitlock but he didn’t explain exactly how he plans to remove this group of powermongers from the selection committee … also don’t agree with his opinion on Art Monk who absolutely deserves to be in. But yes the HOF is something of a joke – how is it that Jim Marshall is not in but Michael Irvin (who always pushed off) is … and was elected before Monk, who was the all-time leading receiver when he retired.

  11. So Whitless disqualifies himself as a journalist and as a knowledgable football person and expects us to take his article seriously? Sports journalism has really gone down the toilet but I can’t believe this guy gets paid for this.

    Yes, the HOF voting process is not perfect. Yes, Roaf should be in and will be shortly. But I had no problem with the guys they did put in.

    As opposed to Whitless’ childish rant, I do appreciate HOF voters have a very difficult job to do. Only five guys in a year is tough.

  12. @ramcountry …

    Guess you didn’t notice that seven guys went in this year. Why should the HoF selection be made by people who never played the game, never drafted a player, never coached a winning team? And why has selection been limited to five players a year when they could increase to seven if they wanted? The issue shouldn’t be how many but how deserving. If a guy deserves to be enshrined, he should be enshrined without having to play a numbers game … and certainly not a politics game. Whitlock made a lot of sense, which you might recognize if you were more focsed on the game and less on making silly, nonsubstantive comments about “Whitless.”

    How do you change the power structure? That’s simple. The NFL–remember them?–adds some former coaches and execs to the voting pool. That would change the balance of power immediately.

  13. @ Deb

    Yes, but two of those seven were senior candidates. They didn’t keep Roaf out, he wasn’t competing against them.

    The AP hands out end of the year awards as well as naming All Pro and All Decade teams. If you’re going to vetch about the HOF vote, at least be consistent.

    I don’t see why you think the process would any less flawed if coaches and players were involved. These are the same people that put Steven Jackson in the Pro Bowl this year.

    Whitless doesn’t make a lot of sense. He knows nothing about the process and doesn’t pretend to. Instead he insists the HOF voters don’t know anything about football when they were the ones who named Roaf to his precious All-Decade team. Like I said, be consistent.

    By all means, add a few coaches and players to the HOF committee. Just don’t expect anyone to stop btching about the results.

  14. @ramcountry …

    Can’t remember if it was Mike, Whitlock, or both, but they also talked about the players of the year selections. So they were consistent.

    And no, the Pro Bowl is not selected by the people I’m talking about. The Pro Bowl is selected by a combination of active players and fans. It’s the inclusion of fans that results in ridiculous people being named to the Pro Bowl. Basically, if you get a lot of press, you’ll make the Pro Bowl. Or if you’ve made it for several years, you’ll continue to make it long past your prime. It’s a popularity contest. In years when the Pro Bowl was voted solely by players, those selected more accurately reflected the best at their positions. Now we’ve extended this fan-vote stupidity to the Super Bowl MVP 🙄

    Whitlock and I aren’t suggesting that active players have a voice in selecting the Hall of Fame. We’re talking about people who know how to evaluate talent. I don’t care for the man, but Bill Polian would be a much better judge of players deserving Hall of Fame recognition than Len Pasquarelli. Certainly brilliant longtime player personnel people like Ozzie Newsome and Kevin Colbert understand how to objectively evaluate talent. I have no objection to having some sportswriters in the mix, but they need to meet some fundamental criteria to suggest their heads aren’t up their backsides.

    Of course, people will continue to b*tch about the results. That doesn’t matter … unless their complaints are justified.

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