Grievance: Whose Hall of Fame is it Anyway?
In case you missed the announcement, which is possible since it was made the day before the Super Bowl, the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced. For now the 5th consecutive year, NFL all-time great wide receiver Cris Carter has not been selected for enshrinement in Canton. In addition, NFL & Raiders great Tim Brown has also missed the cut. At the time of their respective retirements, they ranked fourth and second in career receiving yards and second and third in career receptions respectively.
Let me start by saying how much of a disgrace this is. The fact that both of these men are consistently overlooked year in and year out is absurd. At what point will someone finally say “Enough is Enough”? How much longer will we allow sportsWRITERS, and not former players to decide who is worthy of being among the best of all-time? The selection committee for Canton is made up of NFL sportswriters and NFL team beat writers. NBA candidates must compete with international and collegiate players since the basketball hall of fame isn’t limited to professional basketball. The basketball hall of fame will not even disclose their voters or discuss the process in detail. The Baseball Writers Association of America determines the MLB candidates for Cooperstown. It has been speculated for years that several of the writers purposely didn’t vote for Cal Ripken simply because they felt that no one should be a unanimous pick for the hall of fame. Hockey is the only sport of the four majors that incorporates current hall of fame members and personnel of the sport in the voting process.
Why do three of the four biggest sports in this country not get the input of the guys “in the trenches”? I believe that some of these voters get drunk on a sense of power or entitlement. So what you never liked Cris Carter as a person! Pete Rose bet on baseball as a manager; what about his playing days? It’s not called the MORALS hall of fame. Who really gives a damn if the player was a complete jerk off the field. The hall of fame is about accomplishments. The fact that someone’s eligibility for a career honor is determined by people who weren’t equipped to handle or participate in that chosen field is insane. Until the leagues decide to step in and speak up, guys like Cris Carter and Tim Brown will continue to be at the mercy of the writers.