Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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My Love/Hate Relationships With Hall Of Fames

Michael Irvin Hall of FameI know it has been awhile since I have blogged, and I apologize, but now that MLB pennant races are in full swing and the NFL is back, and WWE is starting to become a little more interesting, I hopefully will be able to blog more. As this Saturday will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, I have decided that in this blog I will be discussing my love/hate relationship with not just the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but pretty much Halls of Fame in general.

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Halls of Fame. There are athletes who are good. There are those who are excellent. However, there are those who go WAY ABOVE being excellent, and perform at a level of legendary status, and had a huge impact on the game.. Those athletes, or in the case of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, musicians are in a class by themselves, and are enshrined in their respective Halls of Fame. Every year, a select group of experts in their respective fields be it baseball, football, music, etc go through a voting process, and a then a “class” of Hall of Famers is announced.

The 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class is TE Shannon Sharpe, CB Deion Sanders, Founder of NFL Films Ed Sabol, RB Marshall Faulk, DE Richard Dent, LB Chris Hanburger, and LB Les Richter. Congrats to them and their families. They all have contributed greatly to this great sport of pro football, and deserve to be Hall of Famers. Seeing these guys go in and seeing them get such a great honor after years of contributing to the game is what I LOVE about Halls of Fame in general.

[adinserter block=”2″]Now, I will get to what I really HATE about Halls of Fame. This applies to all of them: NFL, MLB, NHL, and especially , even though it isn’t a sports Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As I said previously, the decision as to who gets into said Hall of Fame goes through a voting process. Therein lies my problem. My basic problem is that we are all humans, as are the voters. The voters have personal biases, and agendas, and I feel that a lot of times, they use their biases and and agenda, and , in my opinion, outright pettiness to vote for or vote against a player as far as that player’s (or musician) qualification for the Hall of Fame.

I could go on endlessly about players and musicians who have been, in my opinion snubbed by voters in various Halls of Fame. However, I will just talk about one . This particular snub is so petty that it drives me up the wall. I am not even a fan of the team he played for, but I realize that he was a fantastic player, and that he should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, he wasn’t, and 30 plus years later, he is still not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he really should be, in my opinion. This Pro Football Hall of Fame snub that has bothered me is former Minnesota Vikings DE Jim Marshall. Over his nearly 20 year career, he played 282 consecutive games, 270 of those with the Vikings, never missing a game.

He was part of the famous “Purple People Eaters” along with Carl Eller, and Allan Page. That Defensive Line was a holy terror in the 60’s and 70’s. He should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame like Page and Eller are. The reason he is not, in my personal opinion is because every time his name comes up, voters seem to want to remember him for that “Wrong Way Run,” as that play has been replayed over and over. Well, if you want my opinion, I think that is a very petty reason to hold a guy out of the Hall of Fame. His work on the field which is what I THOUGHT was supposed to be the criteria , I think overshadows that mistake. Now, I realize that “wrong way run” was on the field, however, all the great plays he made, and his legacy is much bigger than that one mistake that is replayed. He’s been retired for over 30 years. It’s about time he gets in. This is the example of the pettiness that Hall of Fame voters can have.

That was just one example. As I said, I could write a tome. What really bothers me in both the MLB and the football Halls of Fame is that writers who never swung a bat or played a down are the ones decided who is a Hall of Famer and who is not. Writers with their own biases and prejudices and politics and such can be really petty. A lot of times, in my opinion players were being “punished” for stuff they did off the field. The criteria is supposed to be ON THE FIELD. Mike Florio of www.profootballtalk.com has this idea that “Off the field” antics SHOULD be considered in voting. In my opinion, while that may be a noble idea in that the Hall of Fame should have character guys, this is a HALL OF FAME, not a HALL OF ANGELS.

Considering off the field antics is , in my opinion, a slippery slope that I don’t think voters should go. It’s bad enough that they use their biases as it is. I don’t want to see the voters being the Moral Police as well. It is bad enough already that voters on the Pro Football Hall of Fame do ridiculous things like preventing WR Michael Irvin from being a first round Hall of Famer due to his off the field issues despite the fact he was an impact player. Defensive coordinators FEARED Irvin. These voters for years were in love with WR Art Monk , who in my opinion is just a stat compiler. Great player, mind you, and was finally enshrined, but Irvin was an impact player. Great teammate. Hard worker. However, the voters had to throw their weight around. It is bad enough even this year, the voters had a 45 minute discussion about whether Deion Sanders should be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Really? Deion Sanders is one of the best CBs ever since Mel Blount, and should have been a no brainer, unless the voters had a problem with his flamboyance on the field, and his association with rappers off the field. I just think off the field issues should not be considered.

Of course, there is the usual stupidity in various Halls of Fame. I still don’t understand why Yankee great Roger Maris is not in MLB’s Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said he would never voter for another Steeler. Steeler greats L.C. Greenwood, and Dermontti Dawson are still not in. You have voters being silly saying there are too many Packers, too many Steelers, too many Raiders. If said athlete is a Hall of Famer, he/she (Halls of Fame do induct women, of course), who cares what team they played for, and what does it matter the amount of players on said team are in? This petty stuff makes me crazy.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame could be the subject of a separate blog, but even that Hall has its politics and pettiness. Besides the usual suspects one would suspect would be enshrined, (Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin, etc) Hall of Famers include acts like Madonna, and ABBA, who were first ballot Hall of Famers. Other Hall of Famers are AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Blondie, Van Halen, and FINALLY after years of eligibility, the Grandfather of Glam Rock, Alice Cooper. With the exception of ABBA, Blondie,and Madonna, these bands I listed are hard rock bands.They all had their own styles, and they all were of different generations. Where they are interrelated is that just about all the hard rock bands, and even ABBA and Blondie is that they all were popular at some point in the 70’s. This is just my opinion, there is a major band that thanks to the pettiness of a one Jan Wenner, the Editor of “Rolling Stone” Magazine will NEVER get in as long as Mr. Wenner has anything to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Bass player of this band discovered Van Halen in an L.A. Club in fact. Eddie Van Halen shows NO GRATITUDE to this guy either. Nice. Of course, maybe it’s the drugs, huh Eddie?

[adinserter block=”1″]This band, influenced by the Who, Zep, Beatles, took Alice Cooper’s stage show, and took the New York Dolls Glam act and made their shows a rock spectacle, and they are still going at it. Yep. That band is KISS. Gene Simmons discovered Eddie’s band in a club in 1977 , and wanted to manage them, but the rest of the band wouldn’t allow him to do so. Jan Wenner , Rolling Stone Editor hated KISS from the get go because KISS didn’t write songs about flowers and puppy dogs. Wenner’s Rolling Stone magazine likes to tell his readers who are supposed be “intellectual” what is good music and what is not. As long as Jan Wenner is in charge. KISS doesn’t get in. I mean, all the aforementioned hard rock legends are in. No KISS? ABBA and Madonna are in the Hall of Fame, and KISS is not in the Hall of Fame? Why Mr. Wenner? I mean, ABBA? SERIOUSLY? If it weren’t for Mr. Simmons, Mr. Eddie Van Halen and his band would not be in the Hall of Fame, so why can’t Gene and his band get in? Legendary guitarists like Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton are in. Why can’t the great Ace Frehley get in? Plenty of guitarists have considered him an important influence. Soon the Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block and Justin Beiber will get in before KISS.

One suggestion I have for just about any Hall of Fame would be to have players who were already enshrined to join in on the voting. I mean, I would not kick out the writers and know it all editors. I would add players who PLAYED THE GAME. These players would know who is worthy of enshrinement and who is not. I would have it 60% writers, and 40% players. Another suggestion I have would be a term limit on voters for players so fresh voices so to speak can be expressed on the voting process. I think at least there is some input from athletes and there would different voices heard every once in awhile.

In closing, I really do love seeing deserved athletes and musicians get their just due, and seeing them honored for their achievements. It is a wonderful thing to see. I just hate the politics, and the messiness behind the scenes.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Gene Simmons produced a demo for Van Halen, failed to get them signed and released them from any obligations, and check the liner notes, Gene Simmons and the guys from KISS are thanked on Van Halen first album

  2. the rock and roll hall of fame is a joke and I will never visit it until RUSH is voted in. how can a institution that calls itself rock and roll induct rappers and lip sychining dancers like maddona and ignore KISS and RUSH? you may not like them but there is no denying their contributions and longevity.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I could not agree with you more. I don't get the rappers and Madonna and ABBA induction either to be honest. I don't know why RUSH isn't in either. Great band as well.

  3. Hall of Fames can be maddening, for sure. I'll agree there.

    A couple things — specifically calling them the NFL, MLB Hall of Fames etc. In regard to the Baseball Hall, it's an independent entity from MLB. Though the MLB supports the Hall, it's not part of the MLB. It's a non-profit organization. They have battled with the MLB before (see when the Hall of Fame Game was permanently canned) and stay independent of anything MLB. I believe that to be so about the other Halls, but I can't say for sure. For baseball, I know that to be a fact and it's frustrating when you see MLB Hall of Fame as it's factually incorrect.

    I'll take people's words for it when it comes to football players, basketball, Rock and Rollers, hockey and whatever else, but as a baseball junkie, I am big into that Hall (and I grew up a short distance from Cooperstown).

    There are players who baffle my mind of how they get in and how some don't.

    Roger Maris is not a Hall of Famer.

    If he had hit 57 homers in 1961, nobody would ever argue that. He has two MVPs and four All-Stars. That's a good start. But he doesn't even have 1,500 hits or 300 homers. He.s a career .266 hitter (the closest he ever came to .300 was .283 in 1960). His numbers don't merit a Hall of Famer. One could argue there are comparable people in the Hall. That's possibly true (I could list probably 10 Hall of Famers who shouldn't be IN the Hall), but that isn't a reason to throw Maris in the Hall. Neither is 1961.

    I agree on a lot of what you say about these Halls. But I would have preferred to see you make a case for some of the names you threw out there, other than just saying they belonged. Tell the readers why so you can maybe get some supporters, outside of hardcore nuts (like me with baseball) who will pore over stats to agree or disagree!

    • Hey P.J,

      Thanks for the feedback, and the suggestions. My blog was really meant to be a general blog about my love/hate relationship with Halls of Fame, actually more like a rant, but you made a great point, and great suggestions. I probably should have mentioned why some whom I listed should have been in. However, that wasn't this particular blog's purpose, but thanks.

      I disagree with you about Maris, and I feel that 1961 is a reason, but it's all good.

      Why should L.C Greenwood be in the Hall? 4 Super Bowl Rings. Member of the Legendary Steel Curtain. Member of the Legendary Steeler Defense in the 70's. NFL, despite what the fantasy and Madden nerds say, is an impact sport, not a stat sport like baseball is.

      Why should KISS be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? KISS Alive sold 4 million records. KISS has sold close to 100,000,000 records over a near 40 year career. KISS , despite the lack of those "classic" songs like Zep's "Stairway", and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", and the Eagles "Hotel California" produced such rock anthems such as "Rock and Roll All Night." , "Shout it Out Loud," and "Lick it up," plus the hit ballad "Beth." Alice Cooper is the forefather of Glam/Theatrical Rock, but KISS took Cooper's act and took it to a whole other level. They also produced guitar legend, Ace Frehley. Need I say more?

      Thanks for reading

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