Friday, August 3, 2007

ESPN screwed the pooch with this HOF list

Normally, I love a good list. They're great fodder for discussion and debate. But when common sense is thrown out the window, a bad list can bring up the type of bile that is only reserved for the Yankees and your mother-in-law. Such is the latest "Hall Of Fame-Bound" one from the minds of Thomas Neumann and Scott Symmes of the World-Wide Leader. Here's their requirements for this list of 50 NFL players who have the likelihood of making it into Canton:
We rated players on a 20-point scale in five categories. Details are found in the ratings key on the right side of the page.

Before you post a snarky comment at the bottom of this page … understand that these are predictions. Very few active players would be locks for the Hall of Fame if they retired today. That leaves the door open to interpretation on who else will fill the field of 50 -- even a couple players who have yet to take a regular-season snap.

OK, now check our list -- and post that snarky comment.

Well, I'm going to give them the pleasure of reading my snarkitude on ESPN's website, I'll just post them right here. Even better, I'll provide all of the 50 players in increments of ten and provide my always clear but not concise comments. Let's start with #1-10:

1. Brett Favre
2. Tom Brady
3. Peyton Manning
4. Larry Allen
5. Ray Lewis
6. Richard Seymour
7. Jonathan Ogden
8. Marvin Harrison
9. LaDainian Tomlinson
10. Adam Vinatieri

Britt's comments: Nothing wrong with the choices here. But this first ten is kinda like spelling your name right on the top of a Scantron sheet for you SAT. You might get some points for it but challenging, it is not.

11. Brian Urlacher
12. Orlando Pace
13. Michael Strahan
14. Junior Seau
15. Tony Gonzalez
16. Dwight Freeney
17. Champ Bailey
18. Derrick Brooks
19. Warren Sapp
20. Torry Holt

Britt's comments: Not much to complain about in the second ten right until number 19 hits you smack dab in the face. Sapp as a HOF in football not eating? I'm not seeing it. I know he won a defensive POY (Player of the Year) . But he's only got one ring and there's no reason to believe he'll get another one as a meaningful contributor. There are others much more deserving like a certain Taylor in Miami. If this was a fantasy football draft, making Sapp #19 would be a Mr. Fantastic-sized reach

21. Shawne Merriman
22. John Lynch
23. Alan Faneca
24. Steve Hutchinson
25. Brian Dawkins
26. Walter Jones
27. Jason Taylor
28. Shaun Alexander
29. Julius Peppers
30. Antonio Gates

Britt's comments: The third ten starts the downward spiral for this list. It is almost criminal that the aforementioned multi-dimensional Taylor, the former total TDs in one season record holder and the premier end in the NFC are bunched together near the bottom of this list. Nothing against Faneca, Hutchinson and Jones but they should trade places the the first trio in my opinion.

31. Troy Polamalu
32. Randy Moss
33. Ed Reed
34. Reggie Bush
35. Ty Law
36. Terrell Owens
37. Edgerrin James
38. Carson Palmer
39. Vince Young
40. Calvin Johnson

Britt's comments: More head scratching here on the last ten before the end of this list. Reggie Bush, with his one NFC Championship under his belt, ahead of one of the best lock-down corners in the league, Ty Law? Calvin Johnson, who hasn't played one down only four places behind Owens and only 8 behind Moss? I realize that not all of the selections will have qualifications at this time but rookies should never be in the mix for this list. For example, if this list was made in 2000, Tom Brady wouldn't have been even close to the screen to be on radar (and for good reason) and they would've been hyping up the absolute dominance that LaVar Arrington would have created as he marched his way to Canton. Even if hindsight is 20/20, enshrining rookies just isn't a good idea.

41. Matt Leinart
42. Rod Smith
43. Hines Ward
44. Chad Johnson
45. Lofa Tatupu
46. DeMarcus Ware
47. Larry Johnson
48. Steven Jackson
49. A.J. Hawk
50. Adrian Peterson

Britt's comments: And here continues the total discrediting of this list with the last 10. Leinart ahead of SB MVP and soon to be top Steeler career leader in catches and yard Ward? Including a second year player like Hawk and another rookie in Peterson just shows two things: 1) the list should have been shortened to 30; and 2) the salary cap has affect the career life of its players as more than a couple of these players have been victimized by back-loaded contracts and a bigger/cheaper talent pool that continues to grow every year. I would've rather seen a tight and sensible list of 30 players whose facts were more solid than this mess of upside and possible inductees.

And it doesn't end here, the players listed below are considered "On The Bubble":

Anquan Bolden
Drew Brees
Issac Bruce
Rodney Harrison
Willie McGinest
Donovan McNabb
Steve McNair
Tom Nalen
Simeon Rice
Steve Smith

Britt's comment: The questions here abound as to why these guys were not included. Leinhart is on the list while his top WR is not? Three-time SB winners Harrison (the hardest hitter in the NFL for most of his career) and McGinest are on the outside looking in? McNabb, the QB behind a five-year run atop the NFC East with three consecutive NFC Championships and one SB, not good enough? "Air" McNair, co-MVP and one SB game while changing perceptions of what a Black QB should be, sitting on the sideline? And burner Steve Smith won't be able to continue his current run of success because his upside is weak? And why is Mr. Consistent Zach Thomas nowhere to be found on this list? Stop me before I start frothing at the mouth.

And here's a list of players that were tabbed as being not HOR-worthy:

Eli Manning
Clinton Portis
Brady Quinn
Ben Roethlisberger
Tony Romo
JaMarcus Russell
Jeremy Shockey
Michael Vick
Mario Williams
Charles Woodson

Britt's comments: Most of these players I don't have a problem on this list. Although I find it funny that the two highest rated QBs from this past draft don't get the benefit of the doubt like the fellow Class of '06 draftees. And saying that Super Bowl winning QB Roethlisberger is already toast is way too premature, even with the bike wreck and terrible season he had last year.

I know that I spend way too much time overanalyzing a list of possible Hall of Famers compiled by some guys that aren't even covering the NFL for ESPN. But, as I stated above, I love a good list. And sometimes, I love a bad list even more.

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