Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

Who Is, But Maybe Shouldn’t Be, In The Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Posted on August 07, 2009 by Dean Hybl
In the opinion of the author, no member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is less worthy of the honor than Lynn Swann.

In the opinion of the author, no member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is less worthy of the honor than Lynn Swann.

It has been quite interesting over the past two months analyzing the best players at each position who have not yet earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It has reaffirmed my belief that there are a heck of a lot of deserving football players who have yet to get a bust in Canton. It also has made me scratch my head over a few of the players that have received football immortality.

Overall, I will say that for the most part, the Hall of Fame voters have done a very good job of selecting top players for the Hall of Fame. While I believe there are as many as two dozen deserving players who have been overlooked, the number of players in the Hall of Fame that I question is significantly less.

In fact, while I planned to have a top 10 list of players in the Hall of Fame that I think you could argue don’t belong, I actually was able to only come up with nine players from the modern era that I really questioned whether they belong in the HOF.

Now, I did not analyze any of the players from the pre-1950 era who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. My reasoning being that the game during that time period and selection process in the early days of HOF is so different than today that trying to argue for or against certain players from the pre-modern era made little sense.

Instead, players had to have played a majority of their careers after 1950 to be considered for this list.

The one player that this rule may have saved was Bob Waterfield, the former Rams quarterback. I have seen a number of articles in recent years questioning if his numbers justified being in the HOF or if he got in primarily because he was married to Jane Russell.

So, here is my list of nine players whose Hall of Fame status I think could be questioned. In some cases it isn’t necessarily that I think they don’t belong, but rather question how they could have been inducted before other players from their era or who played the same position.

However, there are a couple that I think were selected purely because of politics and the “scratch my back” network. I’m sure there will be strong disagreement to some of my choices, but remember, these are my opinions and the great thing about having opinions and living in the United States is that everyone is entitled to one and encouraged to share it.

I have given mine, and now I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions.

Click Here to read more and see pictures of each player in the top 9.

9. Bob Griese – Miami Dolphins – 1967-1980

8. Fred Dean – San Diego Chargers/San Francisco 49ers – 1975-1985

7. Rayfield Wright – Dallas Cowboys – 1967-1979

6. Dan Dierdorf – St. Louis Cardinals  – 1971-1983

5. Frank Gatski – Cleveland Browns – 1946-1957

4.  Charlie Sanders – Detroit Lions – 1968-1977

3. Roger Wehrli – St. Louis Cardinals – 1969-1982

2. Jan Stenerud – Kansas City Chiefs/Minnesota Vikings/Green Bay Packers – 1967-1985

1. Lynn Swann – Pittsburgh Steelers – 1974-1982

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