Hall of Fame’s decision to treat 15 candidates as 1 may kill the expanded class

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame has decided, for the first time ever, to pool a group of candidates for next year’s class and have the selection committee vote either for all of them or none of them. This idea may torpedo the Hall of Fame’s plans to elect an expanded class to highlight the end of the NFL’s 100th season.

Instead of voting for each candidate individually on the day before the Super Bowl next year, the Hall of Fame selection committee will vote for five candidates as individuals and then vote for a 15-candidate group (which will include 10 players who retired at least 25 years ago, three contributors and two coaches) as a whole. Up or down on the 15 candidates. Either all of them get in or none of them do.

Some Hall of Fame voters don’t like that idea, and it only takes 10 “no” votes from the 48-member committee to vote the whole group down. Peter King wrote in today’s Football Morning in America that lumping the 15 candidates together will create some difficult decisions.

I am not a fan of selecting the 15 in a bloc. It sets a precedent—a bad one, I believe—even though the Hall clearly intends this to be a one-time event. If you change the rules once, what’s to stop the Hall from changing them again?” King wrote. “Let’s say I believe 11 of the 15 nominees are solid and should be admitted, and let’s say I’m waffling on one, and let’s say I do not think three are Hall of Famers. Should I vote yes on the entire class as a bloc, knowing I will be voting yes on three or four who I believe do not belong? For me, that would be a very tough call. An unnecessary one, I believe. We should vote on the 15 one by one, the way the Hall has been admitting the legends of the game since 1963.”

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is expected to be one of the 15 candidates, and his presence could hurt the other 14 candidates’ chances of making the Hall of Fame. Some voters are dead-set against inducting Tagliabue because they believe his response to research into players’ brain injuries was unacceptable. It’s possible that the entire 15-candidate group will be voted down solely because 10 voters simply will not vote for Tagliabue under any circumstances.

Other issues could arise. What if, say, a credible allegation arises that one of the 15 candidates gambled on football during his career? The selection committee could decide that it simply can’t allow that candidate into the Hall of Fame, and then the other 14 candidates would miss their chance.

The Hall of Fame erred in its decision to treat 15 candidates as one. Now the only question is whether it will correct that error before the next class is voted on, the day before the Super Bowl.

12 responses to “Hall of Fame’s decision to treat 15 candidates as 1 may kill the expanded class

  1. So lets say you have Tom Brady and a player like Nick Mangold (a very good center for the Jets but not HOF).
    Either you keep Brady out, which is clearly wrong.
    Or you start putting in good but not great players.

    Awful.

    (Nick Mangold is a made-up example, obviously, he retired way before Brady so it wouldn’t be this choice in real life. use a different very good but not great player from your team instead.)

  2. Seems like they are trying to sneak someone (Tags) or someones in. This is not one of their better ideas, how many good and truly deserving players are going to get passed over because of this.

  3. For decades the media has complained about certain players not making it into the HoF.
    Now when the NFL HoF proposes to right that wrong, the media find fault with it.
    Clearly the media cannot make up its collective mind.
    I see no problem with Tags being elected because he brought the NFL into today’s corporate/private sector using capitalist concepts.
    If voters hold this brain injury research issue against Tags, then that is ridiculous because common sense dictates that players KNEW before signing with the NFL that football involves collisions that would most likely affect them later in life.
    Yet these same players accepted the risks in exchange for the money, perks, and fame.
    The same voters that rip tags refuse to acknowledge that the PLAYERS made a CHOICE to play and accepted the risks.

  4. So they took a great idea – the expanded HOF class to relieve a backlog of deserving candidates – and instead are using it as a cynical way to sneak Tagliabue and Modell into the Hall of Fame. Now 2 otherwise deserving players will still be left out so the owners can pat each other on the back and induct 2 of their friends.

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