Hall of Fame should waive waiting period for Belichick, Brady

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The Hall of Fame imposes a five-year waiting period before players and coaches can be considered for enshrinement. When Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady retire, the Hall of Fame should waive that requirement.

Presumably, both will retire at some point. Undoubtedly, both will get in after the five-year waiting period on the first try, with no debate. So why not put them in the moment that they’re done?

As MDS has pointed out, Brady has had two Hall of Fame careers — one before and one after his 2008 ACL tear. The same could be said for Belichick. Really, if both had retired five or more years ago, they’d already be in Canton. In the past five years, they’ve simply added more and more and more ammunition to what already was a no-brainer case.

So there’s no reason to make them wait, once they retire. (Arguably, there’s no reason to make them wait now; who could argue that they don’t deserve to already be in?) Hockey allows waiver of its Hall of Fame waiting period, and hockey has done it nine times. The NFL should have a similar provision, and know-it-when-we-see-it candidates like Belichick and Brady shouldn’t have to wait five minutes much less five years when they finally decide to walk away.

That topic, along with others, came up Wednesday during a return visit from Mike Tirico to PFT Live. You’ll hear more from Tirico on Wednesday night, when he makes his debut calling hockey on NBCSN, for the Blackhawks-Red Wings game.

99 responses to “Hall of Fame should waive waiting period for Belichick, Brady

  1. When you say “now,” do you mean, like, the day after they retire and they don’t count against the specified number of inductees per year? Or should the two count for that year and further clog the line of inductees who have been waiting to get in for years but are waiting for a, shall we say, “weak class”? Otherwise, I don’t really see the benefit to this at all. So they have to wait five years like everyone else, even though they’re shoo-ins. So did Chuck Noll. So did Joe Montana. Jerry Rice. Brett Favre. Whoever else who were obvious first-ballots. What’s it matter?

  2. Everybody else had to wait and many had to wait past the waiting period. Stabler had to die before they put him in. I understand this article was probably written as just a filler but still. They can wait

  3. If they set that precedent, then who’s to say somebody won’t want that in the future? Really, what makes the difference? They’ll be called a Future Hall of Famer for 5 years and then be a Hall of Famer for the rest of their life. It’s not like they’re going to miss out on anything by waiting.

  4. In such a hurry to add the cheaters. Think they’ve had enough preferred treatment over the years. They can wait. Just like everyone else.

  5. Oh shut up what a ridiculous idea wait like everyone else , some died and couldn’t even enjoy it don’t be changing the rules now

  6. No. They have to play by the same rules as everyone else. This may be hard for them to understand, since they have cheated so much in the past…but there should be no shortcuts for them on this.

  7. As a Steelers fan who loves too root against the Patriots, this is a no-brainer. Both are deserving of the gesture.

  8. Then where do you draw the line? What about these players as they played: Jerry rice..Ed reed…Charles woodson…Champ Bailey…Ladanian Tomlinson…Peyton…Tony Gonzalez..Antonio Gates…Aaron Rodgers

  9. The Greatest coach of all time and the greatest QB of all time. I have already purchased my Superbowl 53 Championship hat and have pre-ordered my Three Games to Glory DVD. They can wait-no need to waive the five year period.

  10. Hockey allows waiver of its Hall of Fame waiting period, and hockey has done it nine times.
    Yeah, hockey…a sport who’s championship games get less viewers than pre season NFL games.

  11. Big Pats fan here and absolutely not. They should wait their turn just like everyone else has had to. In fact being the historian Bill Belichick is I think that would annoy him more than anything!

  12. What Belichick and Brady have accomplished is extraordinary. However, Belichick himself will admit that he modeled the Patriots on the Cowboys. Tex Schramm, Tom Landry and Gil Brandt fundamentally changed the NFL. It took them years, decades, to get into the Hall of Fame. I fail to see why Belichick and Brady should be allowed instant entrance. But then Jerry Jones is in the Hall of Fame, and he hasn’t retired yet. Personally, I think that’s a disgrace, because the only thing Jerry Jones has ever done for the NFL is make a lot of money.

  13. Coaches don’t have a mandatory waiting period. As for Brady, no. Sorry it is a bad precedent. Also it is better for the player from a PR stand point. After 5 years the public starts to forget you and this gives you some free PR after your career is over.

  14. The only time I would consider waiving the waiting period for an obvious hall of famer-Coach, QB, RB, etc.) would be in a Roberto Clemente type situation. Hopefully, we will never see anything like that happen.

  15. doug8772725 says:
    February 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm
    No. They have to play by the same rules as everyone else. This may be hard for them to understand, since they have cheated so much in the past…but there should be no shortcuts for them on this.

    ——————

    You are aware that Belichick and Brady didn’t come up with this right?

    The haters are pretty mad about this. It’s awesome!

  16. NHL no longer allows the 3 year waiver period to be waived. Did it after they allowed Gretzky an expedited pass.

    Wait time is to make sure players are actually retired. I don’t see either of these guys retiring and then coming back in three years or anything. I am sure they don’t think or care about it. They got plenty of rings to shine while they are waiting.

  17. osubrndn says:
    February 20, 2019 at 6:38 pm
    Then where do you draw the line? What about these players as they played: Jerry rice..Ed reed…Charles woodson…Champ Bailey…Ladanian Tomlinson…Peyton…Tony Gonzalez..Antonio Gates…Aaron Rodgers

    —————

    Only one fits. Rice and I would have been ok if they made a special exception for him. I don’t think the idea will get anywhere though. Brady and BB won’t care in the slightest.

  18. ” Undoubtedly, both will get in after the five-year waiting period on the first try, with no debate. So why not put them in the moment that they’re done?”

    Even as a hardcore Pats fan I totally disagree. Waiving that means someone else, possibly someone whose been waiting through several years of votes to get in, won’t. Its not fair to the guys who are on the voting list that year.

  19. Tirico would be a good addition to NHL on NBC. After Emrick, who isn’t getting any younger, there’s no great announcer on NBC. Tirico is a pro.

    My theory is that Tom Brady will be greater appreciated after he is removed from the game for five years. Let’s face it. There is a huge number of fans from opposing teams who absolutely hate Tom Brady. That hate will turn to appreciation after he’s gone for a few years. The hate isn’t rational, but neither was that 4-game suspension that was driven by the jealousy of the other 31 team owners.

    Patriots fans shouldn’t care. 20 years of memories are still fresh. You don’t need to see him in a gold jacket in a couple of years.

  20. Absolutely ridiculous idea here…..So Brady and Belichick get special treatment because???? If this was the case they would bump someone who was potentially getting in and waited their turn .

  21. Only when it is clear and obvious that any player or coach had enough qualifications to be accepted into the HOF more than 5 full years before they retired then it seems fair to subtract 5 from the 5 year waiting period.

    There are likely thousands of older fans who will die during a 5 year waiting period who will never get to see ceremonies for players or coaches that the supported. In this example you could argue that some older fans have already been waiting since 2008 to see Brady get into the HOF.

  22. “As MDS has pointed out, Brady has had two Hall of Fame careers — one before and one after his 2008 ACL tear.”
    ————————————————

    Isn’t 2008 around the first year that so many silly people first started their seasonal comments where they proclaimed that “brady was done” ?

  23. There is no reason to waive the waiting period. The only reason to possibly do that for a player or coach would be if someone were a sure fire HOF and was deathly ill and not going to last the five years.

  24. What’s the rush? If you waive it for them then who else do you waive it for? Will we be talking about 2 types of HoF players then? The true elite don’t have to wait but the other HoF worthy players need to get in line. No, I think we continue with the 5 year waiting period.

  25. PownD says:
    February 20, 2019 at 6:16 pm
    In such a hurry to add the cheaters

    ———-
    Jerry Rice admitted to cheating by using stickem every game after his rookie season. Maybe he should be removed from the HoF

  26. Sure, and they should give them their gold jackets now so they can wear them to all post game press conferences while they’re still playing and coaching.

  27. Just follow the rules. Oh,sorry, I forgot the Patriots don’t follow rules,rules are for the other 31 teams.

  28. Some folks once wanted to put Ronald Reagan on the dime once too.

    For gawd’s sake, these guys are not gods except on the East coast – and ya have to know, outside of the Northeast, these two are a football coach and a football player. It’s not like they’ve done anything valuable to society.

  29. Pastabelly is correct. Brady will be more appreciated after he retires.

    I couldn’t stand Jordan when he was tormenting my Knicks. Now, I go to the HOF and brag about how I saw the flu game.

    As a Bills fan, it’s literally impossible for me to appreciate Brady now. But I’m sure I will. Someday. Many years down the line.

  30. If Belichick has to wait 5 years it will be too late. By that time most of his cheating scandals will be uncovered and their will be no way even Goodell would even be able to change the rules to get him in.

  31. Nobody is bigger than the game. They broke rules to win a few championships, no way you let them cheat a rule every other player/coach has had to abide by to win again.

  32. The criteria has been established. It’s five years. Period. Making exceptions lessens the honor bestowed on the other inductees.

  33. It’s a nice thought, but the only way it makes sense is if it’s an addition to the class size, so nobody else is delayed. Otherwise I agree with Pastabelly, the wait will build appreciation.

    For the folks who cling to “cheater” claims? I hope they find peace someday.

  34. Thank you Florio! This exception should be a one-time unanimous deal only for Belichick and Brady – the greatest coach and player, by a wide margin, in the 100-year history of the NFL. Anyone who wouldn’t vote for them reveals how small they are grinding their little bitty humiliation axes for being proven wrong so many times.

  35. No waiver. They should have to wait like everyone else. Five years isn’t waiting forever.

    They’re not Roberto Clemente.

  36. If MLB had a similar waiver, Pete Rose (the player) would likely have been waived into the HOF when he retired.

    The hissy fit would have ensued later, when the HOF had to decide what to do about Pete Rose (the overrated, mediocre manager/degenerate gambler).

    That would have been a more interesting controversy – I suspect it is much easier to KEEP someone out of a HOF than it is to actually KICK someone out.

    But I think the 5-year wait is a good thing. And I think that BB and TB will secretly enjoy watching others dread the inevitable for half a decade.

  37. I like your moxie but there’s a better chance of them making BB and TB12 wait an extra year then get in early.

  38. I don’t personally believe in the “cheater” narrative. Spygate was suspicious yes but that’s long been over and they’re still winning so what was next? Deflategate? That might hold water if not for the fact they scored more points in the 2nd half with “properly inflated balls” than in the 1st with “underinflated balls” and since then underinflated footballs have been an issue in at least 2 different games but the NFL held no investigations or enforced punishments so the Pats weren’t the last to have the issue they were just the last (and first) to have the issue “investigated.” What was next? The manipulation of offensive formations to fool the defense (against the Ravens)? Yea that led to a rule change regarding offensive formations…but if the rule had to be changed to make what they did illegal that means it wasn’t illegal before the rule change. What was next?….more Super Bowls for the Pats. Give it up already. The only legitimate (if you wanna call it that) claim to cheating was spygate and that alone hasn’t been the reason for over 10 more years of dominance. Go Cowboys

  39. A born and raised Steeler fan. Despite the fact that Belichick defeated
    Cowher on occasion and has totally dominated Tomlin, I respect what
    Belichick has accomplished. To those fans who claim he cheated by
    stealing signs, see what Bill Cowher has consistently stated, I quote,,
    “ if we didn’t hide our signs, shame on us, and it wasn’t why we lost”
    (Sic). Bottom line all teams tried to get the edge, which included trying
    to read the other teams calls.
    The reality is that very few coaches have had the drive to succeed and the work
    ethic of Bill Belichick. Combined with an inmate football IQ,matched by few, the
    combination of that hard work, tenacity and intelligence is unparalleled in NFL history.
    Put it simply, he is by far the best football coach of all time. I have nothing but respect
    for Vince Lombardi, however, his accomplishments are not even close.
    Critics can attempt to plead excuses, but ask any NFL coach or front office person to be
    honest and without envy, if they don’t admit Belichick is by far the best coach of all time and deserves
    the Hall of Fame, without the 5 year waiting list, they are either incompetent or without the ability
    to be fully objective and truthful.

  40. Who are they, they are nobody special! They should wait the minimum number of years like everyone else does! Of course they will get in right away, so just let them wait like everybody else! Of course it is obvious I am one of the many Patriot/Brady?Belichick haters, so just let them wait like everybody else! Cheaters shouldn’t be allowed in anyway!

  41. You KNOW some idiot writer in Cleveland or Pittsburgh will be the lone dissenting vote for either of these guys. It will vault that writer into the public eye for months, making the talk show rounds to explain their (flawed) logic, and you know what they say, “Any publicity is good publicity.” If you are going to amend the rules, it needs to include banishment from all NFL events and media outlets for anyone that votes against them.

  42. Brady can wait, but since I don’t see BB ever retiring, he should get a pass when Brady’s five years are up. I hate the Pats, but it would be cool to see them be a part of the same class after they have accomplished so much together.

  43. raiderbeer34 says:
    February 20, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    I guess Eli/coughlin shouldnt have to wait either, since they undefeated in super bowls vs them

    2 blips on an otherwise blank radar puts you in the hall. Hall of Fortune perhaps.

  44. They should wait the 5 years, it will take that long for the haters among the HoF voters to get over their jealous snits. That way Brady can be the first unanimous HoF selection, just like he was the first unanimous league MVP.

  45. The HOF committee, at the very least, needs to wait until the new Brady wing of the HOF, and Belichick wing of the HOF, have been completed before their induction. And, frankly, the 20,000 square feet the HOF has planned for each wing probably needs to be re-considered, as that is not going to be big enough to hold all of their NFL accomplishments when they retire; that is barely enough to hold their accomplishments to date.

    🙂

  46. Lifelong Pats fan here, but I’d say let them wait. No need to incite more chatter amongst the perpetually butthurt.

    Secondarily, in my “get off my lawn” mode, I really wish we’d stop saying “Future Hall of Famer” for every tom, dick and harry on the field. It cheapens it significantly for me. At least once every single game you’ll hear one announcer call a player a future HOFer, its ridiculous.

  47. As a Pats fan this truly and deeply doesn’t matter. They will get in and join all the other greats who had to wait the same amount of time.

    Its an honor that needs no extra adornment.

  48. As a Pats fan this truly and deeply doesn’t matter. They will get in and join all the other greats who had to wait the same amount of time.

    Its an honor that needs no extra adornment.
    _________

    Agree. Its actually better to wait the 5 years. More build up. More to talk about during the waiting period.

    That said. Both are GOATs. Both are unanimous. Both are First Ballot.

    There used to be a “debate”. There aint anymore.

  49. I don’t personally believe in the “cheater” narrative. Spygate was suspicious yes but that’s long been over and they’re still winning so what was next? Deflategate? That might hold water if not for the fact they scored more points in the 2nd half with “properly inflated balls” than in the 1st with “underinflated balls” and since then underinflated footballs have been an issue in at least 2 different games but the NFL held no investigations or enforced punishments so the Pats weren’t the last to have the issue they were just the last (and first) to have the issue “investigated.” What was next? The manipulation of offensive formations to fool the defense (against the Ravens)? Yea that led to a rule change regarding offensive formations…but if the rule had to be changed to make what they did illegal that means it wasn’t illegal before the rule change. What was next?….more Super Bowls for the Pats. Give it up already. The only legitimate (if you wanna call it that) claim to cheating was spygate and that alone hasn’t been the reason for over 10 more years of dominance. Go Cowboys
    __________

    Well said.
    Don’t forget, they filmed from the wrong location (sidelines), that’s all. Filming itself was not illegal. Also, the thing you are filming (sideline coaches holding fingers up) can be seen in plain view by 70,000 people anyway. That is not “spying”.

    As far as Framgate, 99.9% of the world knows that was a wrongful, artificially manufactured controversy by corrupt Goodell. Having to hand Brady the Superbowl MVP in the same year that he suspended him, well, revenge just will never, ever get sweeter than that.

  50. They shouldn’t be waived from the waiting requirement but maybe they shouldn’t count against the yearly class size. That should actually be the case for any inductee that is unanimous, they shouldn’t if everyone agrees that they are a Hall of Famer. It will suck for anyone that is going to have to compete against them in the year that they are eligible.

  51. needs to wait until the new Brady wing of the HOF, and Belichick wing of the HOF, have been completed before their induction.
    ——————
    that was my original thought, but their greatness has grown so much since then, that they really each need their own building with the current HOF bldg. serving as a relatively small connector between the two. of course there will be huge outdoor statues on each side of the approach. visitors can picnic in their shade.

  52. Moreover, it makes no sense the Lamar Hunt Trophy is named such, it should be the at least the Belichick-Hunt Trophy.

  53. It will take 5 years to make statues of all the trophies, rings and banners they have won anyway, so what’s up with “make them wait”.Not to mention all the extra bronze that will be needed..and the logistics of transporting all that weight. Roads will have to be repaved…bridges built out of haters bones.. On to canton.

  54. Why?…Where’s the need?…What’s the upside? Same rules for everyone. It does not diminish their incredible achievements.

  55. They won’t waive the requirement. The talking heads won’t allow it. Imagine how much press BB/Brady WON’T get, once they are enshrined.

    Make them wait and the talking heads get five years to talk about how they shouldn’t have to wait.

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