HOF Committee Not Worthy to Vote

By PFC Writer James McMurtry

The day before the Super Bowl the hopes of former NFL players were on the line the announcement of the inductees into the2009 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was made Saturday morning.  One player who was  supposed to be a lock, Tight End Shannon Sharpe did not make the cut in his first year of eligibility.  To be honest as a fan there is a long list of Denver Broncos that I feel should be in the Hall. I understand that most of them won’t make it, but one player that was head and shoulders above everyone else at his position was shunned by a committee of bias homers that just have their favorites.
What does a player have to do to get in the Hall of Fame?  Apparently it has more to do with the city you play in than what you did on the field.  In regards to Shannon Sharpe’s accomplishments there were no tight ends that ever accomplished as much.  That includes Tony Gonzales who has yet to make a Super Bowl Appearance.  Sure there are positions that hold more weight than others such as quarterback over long snapper, but I don’t think that tight end qualifies as one of the lesser positions to be excluded from the
HOF.   Looking at Sharpe’s career and accomplishments there is zero reason to deny him as he defined the position for over a decade.

Shannon Sharpe TE -1990-2003
. 8x Pro Bowl selection (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001)
. 4x Associated Press First-team All-Pro selection (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
. 1x Associated Press Second-team All-Pro selection (1995)
. 3x Super Bowl champion (XXXII, XXXIII, XXXV)
. NFL 1990s All-Decade Team

Year in the top 3 Statistically for TE’s in NFL:

Yards            92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 01, 03
Receptions   93, 95, 96, 94, 97, 98, 03
TDs                93, 95, 96, 98, 03

(In 2003 Shannon Sharpe missed his 9th Pro Bowl despite having better
overall numbers than Todd Heap. Sharpe was second among TE’s in: Receptions 62, yards 770, and third in TD’s 13.
He was beat out of the Pro Bowl by Todd Heap who was third among TE’s in:
Receptions 57, Yards 693 second in TD’s 14.)

The process is what puzzles me the most.  I would think that they would define what makes a HOF player at any given position and then match that definition to the nominee.  If the player matches the definition then he should get in. If a player held every single career record at his position, won multiple super bowls, and was able to play his position at a different level than any of his peers for 8-12 years, he would be worthy.  This is the criteria that Sharpe has met and yet did not get voted in.  What it appears to come down to is a less mature process of a,” my daddy can beat your  daddy”,  type of discussion amongst men with bias of their favorite players and teams growing up.  This does not only hold for Sharpe, but other players
such as Defensive End great Richard Dent, Quarterback Ken Stabler, and Wide Receiver Chris Carter.

The reason I am sure the committee doesn’t want to define anything is because they know their hometown hero wouldn’t meet the criteria for getting in.  The process should have peers included and have basic guidelines that define a shoe in Hall of Famer to keep bias opinions where they belong.  One immediate suggestion would be that if a player held every career record at his position when he retires he gets in, period.

I have lost all respect for HOF committee.  They deny greatness when the last name doesn’t appear on the same jersey their dad’s favorite team.
Here is the list of HOF selectors for 2009 pulled from the HOF website.