Tomorrow social media will be full of complaints regarding the three senior candidates who will be chosen—no matter who the three turn out to be.
These are the players who are being considered—
- Ken Anderson: Quarterback (1971-1986)
- Maxie Baughan: Linebacker (1960-1970, 1974)
- Randy Gradishar: Linebacker (1974-1983)
- Chuck Howley: Linebacker (1958-59, 1961-1973)
- Cecil Isbell: Tailback/Defensive Back/Halfback (1938-1942)
- Joe Klecko: Defensive End/Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle (1977-1988)
- Bob Kuechenberg: Guard/Tackle/Center (1970-1983)
- Eddie Meador: Cornerback (1959-1970)
- Tommy Nobis: Linebacker (1966-1976)
- Ken Riley: Cornerback (1969-1983)
- Sterling Sharpe: Wide Receiver (1988-1994)
- Everson Walls: Cornerback (1981-1993)
Bengals fans want both their guys to get it. Jets fans are wanting Joe Klecko. Bronco partisans tout Randy Gradishar. And so it goes.
This is proper and to be expected. People want "their guys" to be in the Hall of Fame. However, Hall of Fame fans want the three best players of this group of twelve to be the nominees.
So, you will read "snub" a lot on Twitter and on media sites that cover specific teams. Some of it is venting some of it riles fan bases up.
We're hoping for the best three.
Sure, there is partisanship on the committee of twelve that will do the cutdown votes and will be narrowed to the three nominees—A writer from city A will fight for "his guy" from city A. The same for a writer from city B—he will push for the player from city B.
But lets hope that the committee will be fair, look at the credentials, weigh them and vote for the players with the best resume, not the guy they covered as a beat writer. The Hall of Fame is for the truly great, the best of the best and just because city C or D thinks they do not have enough players in the Hall of Fame should not carry any weight—partisans of city C or city D will disagree but they have to look at the full picture and carer about putting in the best first and put partisan interests away.
Fans and even voters may bring those types of things up, it is only natural but the integrity of the Hall is a higher priority even if fans or voters think it may be unfair to a city to have, in their view, two few representatives in the Hall.
What is fair is putting the best three of the twelve in—regardless of home fan views. The interests of the Hall outweigh the interest of partisans.
How are the best three to be chosen? There we have to trust the voters, who usually do a good job, to be conscientious in their voting. It does get tricky because each voter has varying criteria for what is a Hall of Famer and who is the best. But as long as they don't let their own biases creep too far in then the selections will be very good. And we think that will happen. We as fans then should weigh and measure those chosen through that lens and not with the lens of "My guy from my favorite team got snubbed."
The Hall of Fame is not something that is meant to validate your team. It is for the best of the best and the Senior Committee was created to pick those who have fallen through the cracks not to create bragging rights by adding someone from city A, city B, city C, city D, and so on.