6 New Busts in Canton

Will carry the likenesses of Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Rod Woodson, Randall McDaniel, Bob Hayes, and Ralph Wilson.  I guess I can’t really argue with the worthiness of any of those six men.  But with the possible exceptions of Smith and Woodson I can’t help thinking there were some more deserving snubs.

1. Shannon Sharpe: At the risk of sounding inartful, how the hell do you not put him in the Hall ASAP?  He only retired holding the all-time record in just about every major statistical category amongst tight ends.  He was also a solid blocker for the likes of Jamal Lewis and Terrell Davis when they had great seasons.  He played on 3 championship teams.  I don’t mean to suggest he is better than Ozzie Newsome or Kellen Winslow, and some of his records have since been eclipsed by Tony Gonzalez, but he ranks with them and that he is a Hall of Famer should be undeniable.

2. Cris Carter: Left out for a 2nd year, and I haven’t the foggiest idea why.  Even if it were true that all he did was catch touchdowns, he caught a lot of those.  But he caught a lot of passes for a lot of yards and has to be one of the best wide receivers of all time.  Of course so does Art Monk, and he was made to wait a lot longer than 2 years.  Some might say its because of some of Carter’s off-field issues, ie, drug abuse.  Its a real shame if that’s the case, seeing as how O.J.’s bust is still in Canton on display.  Also, that was 20 years ago!  By all accounts, Carter has been a model citizen for decades now.

3. At least Carter and Sharpe were finalists IIRC.  Ray Guy and Jim Plunkett can’t even get on the damn ballot.  Guy was the best punter of all time, with the possible exception of Sammy Baugh.  There are a lot of football people that get off ridiculing punters and kickers and that is why Guy never gets serious consideration.  In related news, there are also idiots in this world.  In professional football, the quarterback is the single most important player on a team.  However, the kicker and the punter are the 2nd and 3rd single most important players.  The Hall is incomplete until guys like Guy, and when his time comes Adam Vinaterri, are enshrined.  As for Jim Plunkett, he is a perfect example of the vagaries of Hall voting.  I dare someone to look at his career numbers, the nature of the arc of his career (rough start with one team, great finish with another), and his Super Bowl success, then do the same thing with Steve Young, and then give me a rational explanation of how one was a 1st ballot enshrinee and the other has failed to get in for almost 20 years of eligibility now.  It can’t be done.  Plunkett and Young are the same person, save the fact Plunkett won 2 SBs to Young’s 1 and Plunkett has the better personal story (not that that should matter).

4. Russ Grimm and Bob Keuchenberg:  Sometimes I wonder what a great lineman has to do to get in, also.  It is possible (see Randall McDaniel) but its probably too hard for linemen to get in.  In general, I would say its too easy (Plunkett aside) for quarterbacks and running backs and too hard for everyone else.

5. Dick Lebeau: He should get consideration for his coaching being the inventor of the zone blitz.  But I actually speak of his playing career.  He was one of the greates defensive backs of all time and retired as the leader in career interceptions.  Indeed, he played when the ball was not thrown much and still ranks high on those lists.  But I don’t hold my breath on this one.

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