The 2011 Hall of Fame class was announced last Saturday night at the site of Super Bowl XLV. There were some that I agreed with, and some that made me go “what the f—?!”
Let’s start with the ones who I agreed with: Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, and Shannon Sharpe.
Sanders and Faulk were no-brainers as first ballot Hall of Famers. Sanders redefined the cornerback position. He was the first true cover corner the game had seen. He had the speed to cover ANY receiver and rarely got beat. If it was not for his aversion to tackling, he’d be that much greater a player.
Faulk revolutionized the running back position in that he was a threat running AND catching the ball. Hell, defensive coordinators game-planned more for Faulk than Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams’ wide receivers! As great as Faulk was running the football, no one could cover Faulk out of the backfield. He made linebackers look slow, and safeties could not stay with him either. Faulk was essentially a third receiver who played running back.
Sharpe should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I have no idea why the voters on the committee left him off their ballots until his third try. I mean, he only broke every NFL tight end record (before Tony Gonzalez did it not too long ago). As much as I love Gonzalez, Sharpe was hands-down the best tight end I have seen. He could do it all: block, get open, and score touchdowns. The fact that it took Sharpe this long to get this recognition is just plain pathetic.
Now here are the ones I have beef with: Chris Hanburger and Les Richter.
First of all, God bless these guys in finally making the Hall of Fame cut. However, it took them this long to get in for a reason. If they were not good enough for several years to make the cut, why consider them at all? They should not have a Veteran’s Committee for ANY Hall of Fame. Most of these old-timers were merely very good players. They should not take the place of more deserving players.
Finally, here is the one that I really had a problem with: Ed Sabol.
How a dude who created NFL Films qualified for the Hall of Fame is beyond baffling. What’s next, his son Steve getting in a few more years? How about the dude who created Monday Night Football? How they let this guy in over Cris Carter and Jerome Bettis is downright disgraceful.
Memo to the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee: LEAVE THE HALL OF FAME TO THE PLAYERS, COACHES AND EXECUTIVES.