Why the HOF’s enshrinement limit should be eliminated

Good Morning, Broncos fans! For many of us, this is a bitter weekend. The Broncos are not playing in the Super Bowl, while the team that is, beat them in large part thanks to a 70-yard Hail Mary pass.

The cherry on top is that no Broncos will be entering the Hall of Fame this year - not Terrell Davis, not Randy Gradishar, neither Karl Mecklenburg nor Steve Atwater. Of course, that's old news, since none of them even made it beyond the semifinal round of voting. Gradishar didn't even get that far this time around.

As HOF voter Jim Trotter stresses, there are plenty of major flaws with the Hall's selection process, not the least of which is TD's exclusion. Trotter makes a fine case on Davis's behalf, and we'll again ask - how many eligible men were the best player on two Super Bowl-winning teams but are not in the HOF?

That should probably be enough on its own, but when you throw in a 2,000-yard season, a league MVP, a SB MVP, and by far the best postseason resume of any running back in history, and TD is a no-brainer.

But back to the HOF in general, and Trotter's qualms with its selection process.

Perhaps the greatest flaw is the Hall's restriction on how many players can be enshrined each year. In theory, restricting the classes and sustaining the exclusivity of the HOF sounds great.

But what actually happens, is we go from watching great players every week, thinking and hearing that so-and-so is a "future HOFer," to being told ten years later by some bunch of hacks that the guy wasn't all that special.

In life, distance indeed makes the heart grow fonder.

But for some reason - whether it's the ever-increasing access we all have to seeing today's players, or the passing explosion brought on by more lax rules - time tends to make players' HOF cases weaker.


To wit, anyone who watched Tim Brown play football knew he was a HOFer.

We never needed stats to tell us that, but if we wanted them, Brown had the second most receiving yards, third most receptions, and was tenth in total touchdowns in NFL history at the time of his retirement.

Yet, here we are, eight years after his retirement, with HOF gatekeeper jackasses like Rick Gosselin wagging their fingers at Brown for saying something stupid.

So, Tim Brown may be a little nutso. Perhaps he always was, or perhaps it's something that's developed as he's aged.

That a HOF voter would suggest, without a hint of sarcasm, that Brown's comments about SB 37 and Bill Callahan should enter the mind of a HOF voter for even an instant while considering his eligibility, tells us everything we need to know about how blinded these voters are by their own self-importance.

Tim Brown's comments in 2013 about anything at all should have absolutely no bearing on his HOF eligibility.


If we've learned anyting at all about football in recent years, it's that the men who play it for a living pay for having done so with their quality of life, and for some, they are levied the ultimate price.

That should be reason enough to do away with the limit on HOF classes.

HOFers are HOFers, and the 80% voting threshold is high enough a bar for them to clear.

More so than in any other sport, we have to worry about whether great players will have their wits and faculties about them by the time they're rightfully inducted, if they're even alive to enjoy the honor.

Two years from now, we're likely going to be watching the HOF induction of Junior Seau, a dead man who would have been 46 if not for the demons that were probably brought on by the sport he loved so dearly.

Obviously, death comes to everyone, eventually. It can't ever be ensured that no man will be enshrined posthumously - Derrick Thomas's life and career ended tragically and simultaneously. Chances are, that will happen again to another future HOFer.

But given how much NFL players sacrifice, it's inhumane to make them wait so long for induction.

Cris Carter's tears last night should have been solely about the exhiliaration of having achieved football immortality - not about the torturous pain of his delayed induction.

Broncos

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers awkwardly presented the CPOY award to Peyton Manning (video of acceptance speech). Here's a transcript of Peyton's post-award presser.

Presumably because he's trying to sell books, Mike Klis is continuing his thread that says Tim Tebow somehow opened the door for Colin Kaepernick. Give me a break.

At least his colleague Jeff Legwold offers a reminder that there's nothing at all wrong with having a quarterback who spends most of his time in the pocket.

News

In another laudable step toward improving the long-term health of players, the NFL is beginning a joint initiative with General Electric to develop brain imaging technology to detect concussions and better protect the brains of players.

The Rams want a new $700M stadium to remain in St. Louis, and guess who they think is going to pay for it?

Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw underwent foot surgery recently, continuing a string of operations he's had on his feet and ankles.

The LOLJets are hoping against hope that they can trade the Ultimate Teammate™ rather than cut him outright. But what does he bring to the table that someone can't draft in even the seventh round?

Niners corner Chris Culliver will undergo sensitivity training and will be working with a LGBT crisis and suicide intervention group.

Louisiana - not Texas nor Florida - produces the most NFL players per capita of any state in the country.

Analysis

Chase Stuart previews tonight's game and predicts a San Francisco victory.

Although Cris Carter's HOF election took longer than it probably should have, that's just the way it's gone for wide receivers.

If you've got any non-football fans coming over today, here are some primers for them on watching football, the terminology of the game, and the most trite phrases we're likely to suffer through together courtesy of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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