Hall of Fame to consider adding contributor category


Seven new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will get their yellow blazers this weekend, but there could be eight members enshrined when the football world converges on Canton again in 2015.

At their board meeting on Friday, the Hall of Fame will consider an amendment that would create a contributors category that would be considered separately from the senior and modern day groups that are currently in place for the voting process. If the amendment is adopted, the maximum number of inductees each year would rise to eight.

There are currently 19 contributors in the Hall, 11 of whom are owners, and Hall of Fame president Dave Baker says that may not be a fair reflection of the contributions that non-players and coaches have made to the game of football.

“Obviously, during the last 30 years there has been more growth in the game than ever before,” Baker said, via the Denver Post. “There are a lot of people who are responsible for that, but unfortunately, what often happens is a contributor gets compared to a modern-day player [on the ballot] and it’s not really a fair comparison. It’s apples and oranges. It’s what happens on the field and what happens around the field that makes that game happen.”

The Hall of Fame voters currently vote on a list of five modern-day candidates and two seniors candidates and it is still to be determined if there would be one contributor up for election each year or if there would be two with the seniors only getting one name in the ring. All candidates need to get 80 percent of the votes from the selection committee to be elected.

26 responses to “Hall of Fame to consider adding contributor category

  1. You know what else they should consider?

    Getting rid of the writers. Why? Because of their use of the good/bad teammate and selfish/unselfish arguments when behavioral arguments are not allowed per HOF VP Joe Horrigan.

    We have game film and the writers can’t break it down. Since the eye in the sky don’t lie let’s get rid of those who sound like they do. Would you want someone voting when they claim that their criteria is no violation of the rules when it clearly is?

  2. Ed Sabol was lonnnnnng overdue, and but for the grace of God — lived long enough to have a heartbeat during his induction. Fortunately, Ed was in his 90’s, in a wheelchair and lived long past what the actuarial tables would have predicted.

    That’s the good news.

    Now this. Why in the heck is it taking soooo long to get Steve Sabol in the Hall? Steve profoundly enriched the experience of the fans — it is notable that the NFL went from far behind MLB, boxing, horse-racing, etc. and then became the megalithic empire we now see today … and it all took place during the period after Ed and Steve started up NFL Films (formerly, Blair Motion Pictures – named after Ed’s beautiful daughter).

    Is NFL Films. and by extension Ed and Steve Sabol completely responsible for the emergence of the NFL? Obviously not. But it is inarguable that they were fundamentally instrumental in the ascension of the NFL to the dizzying heights we now see today.

    Sadly, Steve never got to receive an induction speech — and he was overdue for enshrinement years before he passed.

  3. Not needed. The NFL has plenty of ways to honor “contributors”. The fact that there are 19 in the hall already means that an unbelievably great contribution will be recognized.

  4. This is a horrible idea. I believe they are doing this so a sorry sack like Bob Costas can be in the Hall of Fame and he does not even come close to even being thought of.

  5. By all means lets have people who’ve never played the game, been apart of the management, operation or coaching of it get voted in by writers who share those same distinctions.

    It’s becoming the hall of very good, and honestly it’s a joke that writers get to control it.

    Remind me again why a multiple 2000 yard rusher, superbowl, and league mvp in Terrell Davis isn’t in the hall but people he’s passed on the rushing list are?

    Oh because he didn’t play long enough?

  6. I suggest a category “Quarterbacks Carried on the Backs of Their Defenses” and that way the Trent Dilfers and Brad Johnsons and Ben Roethlisbergers have a shot at making the Hall of Fame.

  7. When Ed Sabol was asked about his HOF induction, he said he didn’t give a da**. More specifically, he said only those who played the game should be eligible. He’s right.

  8. How about enshrining the guy who was on the field for more plays from scrimmage during the Super Bowl than any other person ever–Referee Jerry Markbreit. The guy is generally considered the best official in the history of the NFL. Just like players, officials get to the NFL by being the best-of-the-best in high school and moving up to Division II or III college games. Then they move up to Division I. Then they move up to the power conferences. And then if they are the best there, they move up to the NFL. And then if they are the best in the NFL, they make the playoffs. And if they are the very best, they work the Super Bowl. Markbreit worked more Super Bowls than anyone in history. The guy was in the league for 25 years or so. Definitely Canton-worthy.

  9. Jerry Kramer, Green Bay Packers. Named to the NFL’s 50th anniversary team and the rock of the 1960’s Packers Power Sweep is still waiting.

    They inducted Packer linebacker Dave Robinson last year. From the era, Kramer was a much larger contributor.

    They can come up with another category for Jerry. Shame on the media for ignoring him this long.

  10. You naysayers do realize this could be an avenue for Front Office people and assistant coaches (and maybe even head coaches) to get in the Hall, don’t you? Not just media members or bloggers…or Art Modell.

  11. Agree with Hodag. Won’t put Jerry Kramer in for being one of the best OGs ever, not to mention a backup placekicker who provided the winning points in a Championship game vs. the Giants?
    So put him in for helping to popularize the game with “Run to Daylight,” or for being one of the founders of a group to help struggling NFL vets.
    I mean, pick any of the above.

  12. The contributor category has been needed for some time. There are several deserving individuals that have been instrumental in the shaping of the game that should not take spots away from the men that played the game when HOF voting occurs.

    Steve Sabol and Myron Cope both are deserving of entry into the HOF as contributors and should be added post-haste.

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