This week I would like to discuss the NFL Hall of Fame voting of the Class of 2007. As with any other voting (like sporting polls, All-Star voting, etc.), this years voting has a number of "snubs" and a few selections that make you go "Huh?".
First of all, I still don't know how Ray Guy doesn't get in the Hall of Fame. I think the fact that he was a punter holds the voters back. But, you have to look at the facts. He was the first punter ever drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders in 1973. He had a career average of 42.4 yards per punt. He had only three punts blocked in 1,049 attempts, going 619 consecutive punts without being blocked. He played in seven AFC championship games and three Super Bowls. He was the first punter to hit the Louisiana Superdome scoreboard. Any one who knows football knows that a punters and placekickers are not exactly glamourous positions, but their contributions are a crucial part of the game. I heard ESPN's John Clayton, who is a Hall of Fame voter, say that that Ray did not recieve much support because he was a punter. That punters don't score any points. This way of thinking suggests that punters don't matter. I don't get it! Clearly, he has statistics to suggest otherwise. And for most people, Ray Guy is considered the best punter of all time. He should be in.
Paul Tagliabue should also be in. The NFL Commisioner from 1989-2006, he took over from Pete Rozell and help orchestrate the NFL brandname to being the most popular sport in America. He helped in the expansion of the leaugue to 32 teams. He help insure over 20 years of labor peace with the Player's Association. Under his watch, they were the first major sport to implement extensive drug testing, and secured the largest TV contracts in entertainment history. He also help start the NFL network and created the first leaugue wide internet network. And he didn't get in?
Then there is Micheal Irvin. Grant it, he helped in creating a dynasty in the 90's with the Dallas Cowboys, but his statistics were very impressive, not great. He had a season with 111 catches for 1603 yards. He ended up with 750 catches for 11,904 yards and 65 TD's. Tahts' pretty good. Then you look at another nominee, Art Monk, who was also a wide reciever. He hepled win Super Bowls as well, and he ended up with 940 catches. And he is not voted in before Irvin?
I know that the voting process is never perfect and their will always be some type of arguement of who should get in or who should not get in. Hopefully, these nominees discussed will get their due recognition very soon, but in the meantime, we will rant and debate about the selections for years to come. Especially when it comes to kickers and punters.