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Sports Then and Now



Are These Players Really Deserving Of Being In The Pro Football Hall of Fame? 16

Posted on August 04, 2010 by Dean Hybl

While Lynn Swann made some of the most spectacular catches in Super Bowl history, his play during the rest of his career is hardly Hall of Fame worthy.

Over the last two years I have spent a significant amount of time analyzing the players that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and those who have Hall of Fame caliber credentials, but have not been inducted.  It has reaffirmed my belief that there are 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 at least 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, when I originally created my list of the top 10 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. However, the selection this year of Dick LeBeau provided the 10th name for my list.

In creating my list 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 then pinup girl Jane Russell.

So, here is my list of 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. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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