Often what we want and what we get are two different things. Our preference for this year for the nominee for the coaches/contributor Hall of Fame nominee is Buddy Parker. The coach of the 1950s Lions that won two NFL titles (and the team he assembled won it in 1957 the year he abruptly resigned and went to the Steelers which is a story of another day).
Parker was an innovator, using zone defenses likely more than anyone, and used nickel defense making use of his talented secondary's call "Chris's Crew" named for Jack Christiansen a Hall of Fame safety and the leader of defensive backs.
The Lions were worse before Parker got there and after he left. The same is true with his tenure with the Steelers. His six years were better than the previous six seasons and better than the six seasons after he left.
Nonetheless, we think this is the year Robert Kraft is named the nominee. It is a fait accompli that Kraft will be a Hall of Famer. he's waited this long because (in our view) his legal trouble stemming from prostitution charges (that were dropped) from charges against him in a Florida massage parlor (called Three Orchids of Asia) scandal. At that time Kraft was one of the people (there were two dozen more) facing first-degree misdemeanor charges for soliciting prostitution at the parlor.
One of the incidents involving Kraft was in January 2019. In December 2020 the charges were dropped since the video of Kraft was ruled inadmissible.
So, we are over two years removed from all that and that is likely enough distance that it no longer delays Kraft's inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
Kraft has been the owner of the New England Patriots for 28 years and his team has the highest winning percentage in the NFL in that time he's had ten Super Bowl appearances and six wins also the most of any NFL team.
He's been a leader among the NFL owners, served on all the right committees the Hall of Fame voters like to talk about and even gets a lot of credit for being instrumental in ending the 2011 lockout.
So he is certainly as or more worthy than Edward DeBartolo Jr., Jerry Jones, and Pat Bowlen, three recent owners who have been inducted so Kraft certainly belongs. According to media reports he was close to being the nominee for the Class of 2022 but lost a close vote to Art McNally.
We'd like to see him wait another year so Parker can get the nod but wheels are churning and calls are being made to voters so that it happens this year. We think it is yet another case of "recentism" where new candidates leap to the front of the line at the expense of history and those who have been forgotten.
To the powers that be it's just too important that this happen now. It can't wait in the name of fairness and equity to earlier contributors like Parker or Coryell and others.
Due to all that it is our best guess that Kraft will be the guy next week and the people from the past will be delayed and possibly forgotten. They deserve better.