Hall of Fame makes dramatic change to the rules for the 15-person centennial mega-class

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Faced with the prospect that the Hall of Fame selection committee will revolt against an all-or-nothing vote on a 15-person centennial mega-class of enshrinees for 2020, the Hall of Fame has solved the problem.

The Hall of Fame selection committee will not vote on the 15-person centennial mega-class.

In a memo dated November 1, a copy of which PFT has obtained, the Hall of Fame selection committee is informed that they won’t be voting on the 15-person centennial mega-class.

Instead, a so-called “blue-ribbon panel” will choose 10 senior candidates, three contributor candidates, and two coaching candidates — and the choices of the blue-ribbon panel will be final, with no vote at all by the selection committee.

It’s an astounding outcome, one that bastardizes the entire process. Since the inception of the Hall of Fame, a selection committee has determined the candidates that do, and don’t, get in. For the 15-person centennial mega-class, the usual process will be turned on its head.

The reason for this grossly unconventional approach is obvious: It prevents the selection committee from scuttling the all-or-nothing process, to which many of them have objected, by voting “no” to the entire class. And it likewise ensures that people who otherwise would have a very hard time getting past the selection comittee (e.g., former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue) will have a chance to get in.

So, basically, the 48-person selection commitee will now be disregarded, with the judgment of the blue-ribbon panel supplanting the usual process.

The blue-ribbon panel consists of Ernie Accorsi, Bill Belichick, Jarrett Bell, Joel Bussert, John Clayton, Frank Cooney, John Czarnecki, Rick Gosselin, Elliott Harrison, Joe Horrigan, Ira Kaufman, Dick LeBeau, Jeff Legwold, John Madden, John McClain, Gary Myers, Ozzie Newsome, Sal Paolantonio, Carl Peterson, Bill Polian, Dan Pompei, Charean Williams, Chris Willis, Barry Wilner, and Ron Wolf.

Thirteen members of the blue-ribbon panel have Hall of Fame votes, but this new process shuts out the other 35, supplanting their will with Accorsi, Belichick, Bussert, Harrison, Horrigan, LeBeau, Madden, Newson, Peterson, Polian, Willis, and Wolf.

Regardless of the qualifications of specific members of the blue-ribbon panel, this procedure takes the normal authority away from the 48 duly-appointed members of the selection committee and gives it to a group that consists of 13 members of the selection committee and 12 people who have been gathered together for a one-time effort to trump the year-in, year-out work of the selection committee.

It’s wrong. It’s embarrassing. It’s an obvious effort to ram the 15-person centennial mega-class through without regard to the will of the committee that has been painstakingly (or not) selected to determine who does and doesn’t get it.

And, frankly, it should be enough to get one or more of the folks who usually vote on the Hall of Fame classes to vote with their feet.

128 responses to “Hall of Fame makes dramatic change to the rules for the 15-person centennial mega-class

  1. I would have preferred that they lowered the up and down vote to simple majority vote. Leaving it up to the selection committee with no approval vote is wrong. However, I don’t think anyone should vote with “their feet,” as you have suggested, Mike. They should realize that this once in lifetime opportunity will occur with, or without them. In addition, leaving only allows for someone else to help make the permanent selection(s) moving forward.

    Better to stay and try to help make the Hall of Fame Class(s) as good as possible.

  2. I like how at every choice along a decision tree the NFL manages to make the wrong one. Honestly, it’s amazing. It’s like if I had 100 people think of either the number 1 or the number 0 and then guessed what they picked, and was wrong every time. The odds are just as long on that as guessing everyone right. That’s the NFL, they get it wrong every time somehow. It’s like they’re inverse-savants.

  3. If this bastardized process ends up selecting Art Modell to the HOF, you can expect riots in the streets of Cleveland.

  4. Some of those panel members are highly suspect, who may have “covered” the game for a long time without any actual knowledge about the game. However, others like Ozzie, Bill, Polian, etc are 1000x more qualified than some of the hacks that decide the Hall now. So frankly, I don’t see this as being a problem.

  5. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is supposed to be about football first, not fame. Too many members of the Committee don’t get that. I’m not crazy about this decision by the HoF, but there are so many great players from the past who have been overlooked because they didn’t play on Monday nights, or because they didn’t pander to the media.

  6. Its a good idea. Art Modell for instance I hope is eligible, and the Cleveland media voters have had a blockade up against him forever. Would love to see some news eyes look at the fact that he helped create MNF and the modern TV deals before there was a commissh and he served as president or whatever.

  7. There’s people out there with cancer, broken finances, lost loved ones, and family overseas in harms way.

    This is far from a “travesty” or anything to get appalled over.

  8. The best thing about the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the selection process. It is SO difficult to get in – there are only 5 tickets per year. It makes the football HOF an honor over all of the others HOFs because it’s a numbers game. The candidates who only qualify for the “Hall of Very Good” don’t make it in. Not like baseball, where career stats carry the day even if you were never the best.

    So I hate this process. Different voters, different standards. The members of this class will carry an asterisk, and it’s a shame.

  9. After what these voters did to Terrell Owens they deserve it. This committee couldn’t even get that one right, year in and year out, year after year. Then some of these committee members even got upset at him for not wanting to go to that awkward green jacket ceremony you have to do.

    A committee full of trolls and whiners. Yet, this is the type of people whom you want players and coaches to be getting selected from?

  10. Goodell wants in. He knows he can’t get in. Solution: Devise a process to get Tagliabue in. Then, either Goodell gets in on “precedent,” or the same process can be repeated in 15 years.

  11. The path to enshrinement in Canton is now — and always has been — through a series of deals made in smoke-filled rooms.

    Cant0n is full of people with clout, and astonishingly short on people with merit. Especially in recent years.

  12. Watching the NFL bungle its way through things that should be obvious is like watching the TV broadcast of a game with a head coach that sucks at clock management.

    “CALL A TIME OUT YOU IMBECILE. HOW CAN I, A CASUAL FAN, POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND THIS GAME BETTER THAN YOU DO?”

  13. So basically the Hall of Popular has become the a bigger joke. At this point Brady should say pass if they run this class in. Manning however does belong there. Heck, wouldn’t surprise me if they put Mahommes or Minshew in there.

  14. So, why not just name the inductees and be done? It’s obviously the end game of this blue ribbon panel or “kangaroo committee”. Instead of a bust, will these inductees get a bronze kangaroo holding an asterisk?

  15. While I do empathize with the writer’s concerns, I also believe it never hurts to get a fresh set of eyes on everything from time to time.

    There have been complaints over the years of some very deserving players NOT getting in due to the very subjective nature of the selection process as well. Perhaps long forgotten personal vendettas held by voters against guys they just…didn’t…like for whatever reason.

    Hey, the addition of guys like Bellichik, Wolf and Madden … guys who are admitted NFL history junkies can only be a good thing.

  16. The Hall has lost credibility in the last 15 years or so without doing this. All the enshrinees have been good players with wonderful careers, but I wouldn’t say the selections have been exclusively all-time-great, generational players. This further serves to injure the credibility of the Hall selection process.

  17. Hopefully, this will be a permanent change.

    The Hall of Fame selection committee’s blacklisting of the late Art Modell, whose significant contributions to the NFL’s collective TV contracts help make the league a multi-billion dollar industry, will hopefully be overturned posthumously by the blue-ribbon panel.

  18. I cant believe it but I like this idea. The voters help create this log jam by putting in a punter, kicker, and owners over actual football players for decades. If the Hall wants a bigger class and the voters dont, well get new voters.

  19. Just let Belichick alone decide. He knows more about football than all the rest combined, and with the exception of Brady (with good reason), it is clear that he does not play favorites.

  20. It’s the Art Modell shortcut. He would never get in otherwise. Ozzie Newsome will but the final dagger in the heart of Browns fans.

  21. I’ll be disappointed if we see anymore 70s era Steelers or Raiders get in. Enough!!! There are so many deserving players from the 70s and 80s who weren’t on tv regularly who are more deserving.

  22. This will probably get to be known as the Art Model rule. It’s the only way they can get him in. If you let him in, I will NEVER watch another NFL football game again. Go Buckeyes!

  23. Bill Polian? They guy who gets credit for drafting Peyton Manning and Jim Kelly but has only one Super Bowl win between the both of the “teams” he constructed. Or the Bill Polian that had Brady as a first rounder but never drafted him in the first 5 rounds and used him as trade bait?

  24. Does it even matter? The last group put in Terrell Davis, a marginal RB who took money under the table to help the Broncos circumvent the salary cap so they weren’t perfect either.

    Is the NFL going to become an amalgam of the flaws of other leagues? The cheap HOF entrances will rival MLB (Alan Trammel?); the players (Jalen Ramsey) whining out of contracts is just so NBA, etc.

    Wait, the NBA fight last week was pure NHL (which has cut fighting down to almost nothing compafred to the good old days). What is happening? All sports are morphing into each other.

  25. Bill Billichek gets a vote??!! What a sham! If Air Coryell and Steve Tasker get in I can live with it tho. Air Coryell revolutionized passing offense and Tasker did the same for Special teams.

  26. I realize that anybody who is in the Hall Of Fame is a very good player but what they are doing is basically diminishing the value of the HOF. The HOF needs to be reserved for the best of the best. It means nothing if you are putting in 10-15 people every year.

  27. Having the HoF selection handled by the some of the best coaches and front office personnel in NFL history makes more sense to me than giving it to journalists, many of whom have a tenuous grasp of the nuances of the game and have repeatedly demonstrated their own petty biases over the years.

  28. The selection committee has mostly been an embarrassment to date. I’m not sure they would have ever let 15 people go in at once and there are many deserving senior candidates but the committee is too arrogant to let them in. I’m hoping they let Ken Anderson in, his numbers are better than many of his HOF contemporaries.

  29. past HOF voting has been a crock, why limititations on number of entrants, I get that we dont need to open the floodgates and just let every Tom, Dick or Harry in but too many deserving players get bypassed in a league that has grown since the early days, either your a HOFer or your not,

  30. Now maybe the all-decade guys who were snubbed before will finally get recognized – Stabler, Gilchrist, Speedie, Carmichael, Coates, Tyrer, Budde, Cliff Harris, Drew Pearson, et.al. How first team all-decade guys dont get in is a shame.

  31. I believe the nfl is coming out with the biggest game changer list or something like that. Paul Brown might be at the top, #1. The guy who fired the games biggest game changer is…. yes, you guessed it art modell.

  32. Just let BB run the whole thing. He is only the greatest GM and Coach in sports history.

    Get arrogant Polian out of there. He is a walking disgrace who is a blowhard.

  33. I would take this new panel over a panel of reporters any day, the media’s involvement in the process cheapens and diminishes the outcome anyway.

    Most of the media is very unaware of the intricacies of playing professional football and either turn it into a cult-of-personalty contest or fall back on the “numbers” and “statistics”. Those who choose the entrants should be either coaches or players, period.

  34. Better move the HOF. Northeast Ohio will throw in the Browns team for free. It’s an NFL team in name only for the past 20 years but so is the Hall of Fame.

  35. Steve Atwater needs to be in there, folks. This is ridiculous. He’s a champion and one of the best from his era.

  36. accipiterq says: “I like how at every choice along a decision tree the NFL manages to make the wrong one.”
    ——————————-

    EXCEPT THE NFL DOESN’T OWN OR RUN THE PRO FOOTABALL HALL OF FAME…

  37. Don’t we get stories every year about how the HoF voting process is bad and a lot of current voters shouldn’t have votes because they are voting for the wrong reasons? Now we are supposed to be outraged when the process we deemed broken is subverted? It seems like trying to have it both ways a bit.

  38. oldbrowndawg says:
    November 1, 2019 at 11:38 pm
    If this bastardized process ends up selecting Art Modell to the HOF, you can expect riots in the streets of Cleveland.

    ——————————

    Jeeze, get over yourself. Move on.

  39. This is just a bad idea as the selection committee, who constantly ignore deserving players like Ottis Anderson. Rookie of the year, Superbowl mvp, over 10,000 yards in his career at a time when defenses were killers and it was more of an achievement. So why isn’t he in? The entire way of selecting is a joke.

  40. Brownout says:
    November 2, 2019 at 1:46 am
    Could this be a plan to get Art Modell in?
    —————————————————–

    No way in hades Belichick supports a Modell vote. Not even with a gun to his head

  41. Who is Zach Thomas? The Dolphins guy? C’mon.

    What about RB Fred Taylor from the Jaguars? I’d vote no actually, great career and on the HOF cusp, a SB appearance/title would do it for him, otherwise HOVG like Tony Boselli (and Zach Thomas, I guess).

  42. Just let BB run the whole thing. He is only the greatest GM and Coach in sports history.
    Get arrogant Polian out of there. He is a walking disgrace who is a blowhard.
    —————–
    Polian is indeed grossly incompetent as are many of the media blowhards currently on the committee. the best solution would be to let BB pick the class, run it by the regular committee on the outside chance he’s overlooked anything before making his final selection. bill also has the authority to conduct a 100-year review of the HOF membership and eject the ones that don’t belong – Polian, OJ, etc can display their busts at his house, prison cell, whatever.

  43. Who cares? The HOF Committee voting isn’t exactly a flawless process either. Not surprised that Florio gets worked up about it because he’s friends with HOF Committee voters, but I honestly couldn’t care less.

  44. Here’s a wild idea, how about instead of leaving the decision of who gets immortalized in the HOF to certain uppity/over-opinionated journos you open the voting to the fans at large? Guarantee then you don’t see another disgraceful event like Jerry Kramer having to wait 50 years to get in or Kenny Stabler not getting in until after he died.

  45. Might as well make it a fan poll every year, eliminate the committee. The process just lost all credibility anyway.

  46. Hopefully this gets people in who the committee was obviously biased against. There are plenty of players more deserving than some that are in, but aren’t because of the team they played for.

  47. I do not agree with everyone on that panel but what do I know? Not much frankly, but I do know that given some of the barely Hall of Very Good that have been voted into the HOF by the 48 member panel over the last decade or so, I am happy to see the HOF try something different.

  48. Totally disagree with virtually everything in this article.

    First off the current HOF selection committee should be ashamed of itself for letting it’s own members like Paul Zimmerman influence Ken Stabler being kept out of the HOF (until both Snake and Zimmerman passed on) all due to a longstanding grudge Zimmerman had against Stabler. This is absolutely unforgivable for all on the committee who kept Snake out for all these years. There are a host of other qualified players that the committee continues to leave out year after year based on their lack of knowledge of the games history. So spare us all the “committee is insulted” garbage. The committee is complete crap for the most part.

    Second if the NFL is going to do this. Then the 15 member committee should be made up of former players-coaches and at the very least fervent watchers-reporters who were actually around to see multiple seasons of the 10 senior candidates. So no johnny come lately reporters should be included in the 15 member committee. They don’t belong, period. Neither should any current members on the HOF selection committee. As they have shown how easily they can be swayed (see Stabler-Zimmerman above).

    So no problems with the Belichick’s, Ron Wolf’s, Ozzie Newsome’s etc. As these are the individuals who should actually be voting on HOF players due to their qualifications and integrity.

  49. Art Modell:

    – Bought Cleveland Browns in 1961 (on credit)

    – Fired Paul Brown

    – Fired Bill Belichick

    – Drove Browns franchise – perhaps the most successful team in the NFL when Modell bought them – into the ground.

    – Moved Browns to Baltimore in exchange for $$ to stave off personal bankruptcy

    – Was forced to sell Ravens to Bisciotti anyway, to stave off personal bankruptcy.

    Great HOF resume right there.

  50. I like it. The original voters are a joke. When they can keep a first ballot hof like terrell owens out and make him wait a few years because clowns like skip Bayless who has a vote are butthurt unprofessional divas that want to get payback against some players because they didn’t kiss skip Bayless behind or suck up to the media. The hof voting panel was broken and needed to be changed.

  51. Based on the way this stuff has gone down since the beginning of a “super class”, I am left with one question…

    Who is buying their way into the hall of fame?

  52. The NFL HOF is too easy to get into. It has become the Hall of very Good. There isn’t a log jam of people, there are just people who fans want to see their guy get in. The HOF should be exclusive not inclusive.

  53. Now? Now you’re upset with the HOF selection process?

    It’s been a joke for years. They might as well let Tony Dungy and Terrell Davis make the selections. Jerome Bettis can be the tie breaker.

  54. One was first ballot HOF. One hasnt been voted in for nearly 10 years

    6X Pro Bowler
    5X First Team All Pro
    1,727 Comb Tackles
    17 INT
    20.5 Sacks
    ————
    8X Pro Bowler
    4X First Team AP
    1,354 Comb Tackles
    41 Sacks
    22 INTS

    First is Zach Thomas
    Second is Brian Urlacher

  55. And regarding this John Czarnecki guy on the committee, I am assuming it’s really Roger Goodell using this name as a pseudonym yes? (If you want to really corrupt the process, I would assume Roger Goodell has to be involved somehow.)

  56. 1). Henry Ellard. #3 all time in receiving yards when he retired in the 1990’s (before the league went pass crazy – he’s still #15 and the Rams used him as a special teams guy the first few years), top 25 in all-purpose yards, and #1 all time in LA Rams receiving yards (pre St. Louis). If he doesn’t get in the HOF is a joke.

    2). Brian Mitchell. #2 all time in all-purpose yards. Who cares how you get them. He got them.

    3). John Brodie. Brodie played in the run ball era of the 1950-70’s. When he retired only Unitas, Tarkenton, Tittle had more passing yards. Definitely a hall of famer.

    It is also high time the HOF looks at tackles made. It’s tackle football, right? It’s not stand around and look scary football. Jessie Tuggle, Clay Matthews Jr (the father of the current Ram), Kyle Clifton are ranked 1, 3 and 5, respectively, all time in solo tackles (and all are in the top 10 of combined tackles). All three have more than 500 solo tackles more than the next active player (who has 14 years of experience). We know the names of Michael Strahan, Richard Dent, Kevin Greene, Derrick Thomas. Each of these three have more than twice the number of tackles as these “HOFers”. HOF for these three is way over due. 1,000 tackles is like 3,000 hits in baseball. These guys are way beyond a grand.

  57. This is the decision and has been needed for a very long time. The selection committee has been full of themselves for to many years. The God complex has got to their head and some of the stories the last few years coming out of that room is just plane disgusting. So I normally hate everything the NFL does but it was time for them to slap down that committee. To tell them it’s not about you. It’s about the players that play the game. The smart butt way you judge and kick out those that deserve to be in there has gotten out of control. So I pray everyone of them walks or that is gives some a humble Perspective of what it’s really About. If that doesn’t work I pray this new committee becomes permanent.

    So make no mistake this was the NFL taking back this process for the players and reminding everyone of those members who they work for!!!

  58. I didn’t think they would need this since Jerry Jones already bribed his way into the HOF a few years ago.

  59. The HOF means nothing to me. When my kids ask me if a guy is a HOFer, I tell them yes or no based on whether or not they’re actually HOFers, not based on who’s actually in or out of the HOF. I figure the majority of the voters don’t know half as much about football as I do (and that’s not necessarily saying a lot). If you’re a voter, and you start talking about stats, that means you know nothing about football. If you have to prove a guy’s value based on stats, then he’s probably not a HOFer. And do you expect guys like Ron Wolf and Bill Polian to go to bat for players they gave low grades to? Just look at the players that dominated the NFL. Those are the HOFers. The key work is “look”. You have to use your eyes, not your ears. Most voters spend a lot of time on the phone.

  60. Realistically – the NFL & the HOF are private clubs, and neither you nor the rest of us – are in them.

    You need to brush up on your George Carlin and get over the small things.

  61. “And, frankly, it should be enough to get one or more of the folks who usually vote on the Hall of Fame classes to vote with their feet.”

    Rex Ryan has entered the chat.

  62. I left an important item off the Modell HOF resume:

    – 1965: drove Jim Brown to premature retirement.

    So, to recap:

    – 1961: bought Browns on credit

    – 1963: fired Paul Brown (during newspaper strike – courageous guy, Modell)

    – 1965: fired Jim Brown

    – 1973-1994: landlord (slumlord, actually) of Cleveland Indians and one of principal reasons the Indians were so bad in those years

    – 1991: dropped out of Gateway Project, which would have gifted him a taxpayer funded new stadium (the same one, incidentally, in which the new Browns currently play. Why did Modell do that? Because Gateway was also going to provide the Indians with their own stadium (Jacobs Field)…so Modell tried to torpedo the deal in order to keep the Indians from getting out from under his Cleveland Stadium lease.

    – 1995: Moved Browns to Baltimore in exchange for $50MM in cash, plus all revenues from taxpayer funded new stadium, and a $25MM annual subsidy (i.e. a cash allowance) in order to stave off personal bankruptcy. Note #1: Browns were in the top 5 in attendance every season for over a decade leading up to 1995. Cleveland was such a sure bet, the NFL awarded an expansion team to the city almost immediately after Modell abandoned it. Note #2: Rather than move, Modell could have sold the team…see below.

    – 1996: Fired Bill Belichick

    – 2002: despite the $50MM cash payment from the State of Maryland, 100% of revenue from a stadium that was 100% funded by taxpayers, and a $25MM annual subsidy (!!) Modell was so incompetent & corrupt that the NFL still forced him to sell his majority interest to Steve Biscotti. The NFL did this because they were (rightly) worried that Modell might move the team yet again in order to stay a step ahead of his many creditors…the NFL was not going to let Art Modell burn them twice and break the hearts of another fan base.

    Baltimore fans: Modell is no hero. He did the same thing to Cleveland that Irsay did you you. And he may well have done it again had the NFL not stepped in and forced him to sell to Biscotti.

    Modell does not belong in any Hall of Fame – that is plain as day.

  63. charliecharger says:
    November 2, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    And do you expect guys like Ron Wolf and Bill Polian to go to bat for players they gave low grades to?

    —————————-

    If you’re gonna question another individuals integrity then you should at the very least provide examples for your reasoning. And I am specifically referencing Ron Wolf.

    Al Davis told the Los Angeles Times, ““Ron Wolf is just excellent. Ron Wolf became my eyes and ears while I was coaching and later my co-worker and close friend. He’s one of the guys who built this organization. He knows how to put the pieces together.”

    “Al Davis took the time to train me,” Wolf says in declining to take a bow. “I was very fortunate to have that opportunity. Everything I know about this game is directly attributable to what I learned working with Al Davis. I still think when it comes to every facet of the game of football, he’s the best there is in the National Football League.”

  64. vecchiaio says:9-2-2019-12:28am
    “The greater travesty: Accorsi, Belichick, and Newsome clinch the deal for Art Modell’s admission.”

    =============

    Modell fired Belichick so not sure he’d get BB’s vote.

  65. directdriver says:
    Modell fired Belichick so not sure he’d get BB’s vote.
    —————————————————-

    Correct he fired BB for having a losing record as he should have. As a head coach, BB has only won with Brady. And….either way….no on under RK and BB should be inducted for obvious reasons. Hopefully this will be the final verdict in terms of legitimacy and any shred of integrity. Note, Bonds (MLB GOAT) has been denied induction to the MLB HOF.

  66. accipiterq says:
    November 1, 2019 at 11:37 pm
    I like how at every choice along a decision tree the NFL manages to make the wrong one.
    ——————————
    You realize the HOF is independent from the NFL….right?

  67. I believe there are some changes that need to be done on the committee. First if all, why are they all football writers for the most part? These guys cover one team, so that gives the ability for boas to come into play. Second, they are covering one team, so how so they judge other players on other teams?
    I believe there should be more front office people in the process, as well as some scouts. These folks have watched much more film on the people being voted on than the reporters.
    Also, it is hard to believe with all the influence he has on the game, someone like Don Coryell is still waiting to be put in.

  68. @nflhofcounts

    The last HC to win a playoff game with the Browns was the same Bill Belichick that has won many playoff games with the Pats.

    Tom Brady was not on that Browns team

    Therefore, BB has won without Brady.

    Look before you leap.

  69. Maybe Kenny Anderson can finally get in. I’ve basically refused to acknowledge the hall for years now due to the omission of so many deserving players. If this is what it takes to get done of these guys in, then Florio can shove his faux outrage up his you know what.

  70. When I look at the reports Peter King gives about the normal selection process, I kind of like this idea better. And the names listed are people who would know. I think it’s a good idea and maybe a signal the HOF is moving on.

  71. Can they do worse than the normal Hall voters? I’m a Steelers fan, but Lynn Swann and John Stallworth? And look how long Kenny Stabler was kept out, and Don Coryell still isn’t in! Look how long them took to elect Art Monk. They’ve elected a lot of guys who were very good, and kept out guys who made the game what it is today.

  72. Perhaps Jerry Smith will finally get in. Jerry Smith was VERY well known during his playing days with the Redskins (60’s/70’s), totaling 60 TD receptions in a brutally tough age to be a receiver, a record that stood for 27 years until Shannon Sharpe broke it. You just don’t hide that kind of production.

    There has been a lot more attention given to Smiths sexual preferences than to his game play though….and its a travesty. Point in case: despite being arguably the best TE of his era, Jerry Smith has never been a serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. Not even a nomination. Not a single one. And when the players of his generation are questioned about it, everyone of them supports Smith accomplishments and points to his production, including his opponents. (excerpt NFL Network)

  73. Uh…I understand some of the sentiment regarding Art Modell. But when a founding AFL owner…Bud Adams hasn’t been inducted yet…it makes less & less sense to me.

  74. I’d like to have more sympathy, but that committee has made a lot of terrible choices over the years from how long it took guys like Tim Brown and Kenny Stabler to get in to how they kept T.O. out for spite when he was clearly a first-ballot talent. No sympathy for that committee from me.

  75. There is such a huge backlog of deserving HOFers that the annual class size for seniors should have been expanded a long time ago.

    Its a travesty they aren’t in yet, here’s a shortlist

    Roger Craig
    Joe Klecko
    Joe Jacoby
    Mark Gastineau
    John Brodie
    Henry Ellard
    Brian Mitchell
    Charley Conerly
    Lester Hayes
    Ken Anderson
    Boomer Esiason

    and there are still a lot more players that were named to all-decade teams that haven’t even gotten a sniff.

  76. If they vote Modell in this will devolve from an honored ceremony into a shameful disgrace. Cleveland fans will picket, they will boo during the ceremony, and remember how OJ’s bust was stolen? Do you honestly believe that Modell’s won’t disappear? Someone will melt it into a urinal or some such. Leave the process alone, just expand the class.

  77. whywerule says:

    Losing record with the Browns and fired for that. Speaks for itself, nothing else to see there, sport.

  78. – oldbrowndawg says:
    November 1, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    If this bastardized process ends up selecting Art Modell to the HOF, you can expect riots in the streets of Cleveland. –

    So?

  79. nflhofcounts says:
    November 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Correct he fired BB for having a losing record as he should have. As a head coach, BB has only won with Brady.
    *************************************

    Huh, i didn’t know that TB12 was playing for the Browns in 1994 when they went 11-5 and won a playoff game. Maybe someone should alert the media and make sure that all of his stats are updated to included the time he played there…

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