Josh Freeman

First HOF List Includes A Bunch Of Filler, Seven Bucs

October 29, 2008 at 10:56am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

The Hall will just never appreciate what Williams meant to the Bucs during those times.
The preliminary list of candidates for the Class of 2009 Hall of Fame Inductees is out, and you may want to check it because there is a non-trivial chance that you are on it. Holy shit, they really set the bar low for the first pass. Boomer Esiason? Kent Hull? Frank Wycheck? Wasn’t Wycheck in a professional wrestling match a while back? I think that should disqualify him immediately.

There are seven players on the list that had suited up for the Buccaneers.

Lomas Brown: Brown was an excellent tackle for the Lions, but really only started getting noticed around 1989 when Barry Sanders started running behind him. So did he suddenly get better, or did he just look better because he had possibly the best running back ever on his team? He was a high first round pick in 1985, and you could argue that he lived up to his draft status. But that doesn’t make him Hall material. His role on the Buccaneers was mostly as a veteran presence.

Joey Browner: Browner was a playmaker at safety with the Vikings, but his career was pretty much done when he was with the Bucs in 1992. If production and numbers are what is necessary for the Hall, Browner might have them. He tackled with authority and caused fumbles all the time. But he didn’t really do anything to revolutionize the position.

Randall McDaniel: McDaniel was the prototypical guard and blocked for some of the most explosive offenses in football. McDaniel could play just about any position on the line and was an elite lineman for most of his career and still had a little juice left in the tank when he came to Tampa. Remember that touchdown pass he caught? McDaniel should be in the Hall this year.

Hardy Nickerson: Really, the only guy on this list whose prime playing time came as a Buccaneer. Nickerson was a tackling machine and, more importantly, may have had the single most important role in completely re-shaping the Bucs into one of the league’s best defensive teams. He should be one of the first guys in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor, hands down. But is he a Hall of Famer? I see other linebackers on the list that should probably go before him.

Marvin Powell: Powell’s career will be judged on his time with the Jets and not the shitfest that was the Buccaneers from 1986-1987. He was definitely good, and he made guys like Freeman McNeil, Johnny Hector, Richard Todd and Ken O’Brien look better than they were. But his was not even close to a Hall of Fame career.

Reggie Roby: Roby made his mark with the Dolphins and I guess if you’re going to induct punters, Roby has as good a shot as any other good punter. I seem to remember he had a knack for landing them inside the 20 pretty often. He made it to a lot of Pro Bowls, I suppose. I dunno… until Ray Guy gets in, it’s a moot point.

Doug Williams: If you can get in the Hall of Fame based on your performance in one quarter of a Super Bowl, he’s in. Williams was tough and smart and underappreciated during his time with the Buccaneers, but taking into account the entirety of his career, I don’t see the Hall. One Super Bowl, regardless of how many barriers you break, isn’t enough.

So, there you have it. McDaniel might make it, but a lot of these first-timers are sliding in with little or no resistance, so it may be a while even for him. For example, I would bet that Bruce Smith and Rod Woodson get in on the first try. John Randle and Shannon Sharpe also have a shot at it; it depends on how many other guys got denied over the last couple years (Derrick Thomas should be a no-brainer) Again, Ira Kaufman of TBO.com is the local Tampa voter if you’d like to share your opinion with him on which Buccaneers should get in.

5 Comments to “First HOF List Includes A Bunch Of Filler, Seven Bucs”

Matt Price

Matt Price (October 29, 2008 at 11:44am:

I want to see Williams in the HOF. I’m not a believer that stats or Superbowl victories should be the qualifier for induction into the HOF. I think the HOF should be about guys who made a difference to the game or were notable or were part of compelling stories (i.e. football legends) — not just about guys with good numbers or lots of wins. It is the Hall of Fame after all, not the Hall of Successful Players.

I think when they reduce it to “production”, as they often seem to do lately, they lose touch with the thing that made football great — the stories, the legends, the unlikely successes and the dramatic failures.

Take Williams, he may not have the stats or the victories that other HOF quarterbacks had, but he turned the worst team in football into one of the best and brought them within an inch of a Superbowl. If you throw those kinds of stories out, you’re left with a pretty bland HOF.

Slow Joe

Slow Joe (October 29, 2008 at 02:29pm:

Matt: I love Williams, but I disagree. Players in the Hall of Fame should be Hall of Fame Players. No exceptions. And Williams’ resume does not even come close to qualifying.

They DO have stories and records in the Hall. A great example is Cadillac Williams, who already has a pair of cleats in the Hall, which were the ones he wore when he broke the record for most consecutive 100-yard games to start a career. There are probably mementos of Doug’s accomplishments in the Hall as well.

But if you throw everyone in the Hall that was a “good story”, you will seriously trivialize the accomplishment of making the Hall of Fame. Having a bust in there should mean you are one of the truly greats. The Joe Montanas, the Mean Joe Greenes, the Barry Sanders. And Williams, as much as I like him, just did not come close to those guys.

Matt Price

Matt Price (October 29, 2008 at 08:03pm:

Slow Joe, I see your point, but in this polarizing election year I am forced to conclude that you are only saying that to hide the fact that your views kill children and old people, and that you aren’t really a Bucs fan. ;p (just kidding)

Seriously, I understand your point, but it seems to me the Hall of Fame either needs to be more inclusive or less inclusive. Whenever I see the list of new inductees, I always feel like there are one or two guys who NEED to be in the hall (truly “significant guys”) and a couple who got there just because they had good stats or were solid players. I think it does a disservice to let in guys who were good (had good stats) but who really weren’t all that important to the team, the league, or the game.

Let me give you an example: Gary Zimmerman. I lived in Denver when he played for the Broncos. He was good, sure, but he was not the guy who drove that team in any way shape or form. He didn’t change the way the game was played, he wasn’t dominating (in fact, Elway spent most of his time running for his life), and he wasn’t even the leader of the team. But because he played in 169 straight games and the Broncos led the league in offense during some of his years, the Hall voters let him in.

If he can get in, guys like Williams should certainly be able to get in.

Scott

Scott (October 31, 2008 at 10:15am:

Hall of Fame players should have it all. The story and the stats. Vince Papale was a great fucking story, but to put him in the same hall as Deacon Jones is an insult to all of football. To your point, it might need to be less inclusive. I still think Troy Aikman was an accurate passer who was in the right place at the right time. On any other team, he would have had Brad Johnson’s career.

Matt Price

Matt Price (November 01, 2008 at 01:31am:

Scott, I agree completely. It would be an insult to put these guys together, but, to me at least, that’s kind of what’s happening now. They are combining the legends with the pretty darn goods.

Aikman is a great example. He had good stats, won lots of games, has Superbowl rings, BUT, I never once got the feeling that he was the driving force for that team or that he would have been able to elevate a team with less talent. The comparison to Johnson is perfect. Johnson is a servicable guy who could have duplicated Aikman’s career in Dallas, and Aikman would have duplicated Johnson’s career in the shitholes where he played. By comparison, Elway could have made any team he played for a contender (and I assure you I was not a Bronco’s fan growing up — they were orange, but the wrong kind of orange!).

From what I read from the electors, they seem far too focused on career numbers. When I hear Douchebag King or Crazydipshit “Dr.” Z talk about how they like a receiver but aren’t sure his yards after catch average was high enough, I cringe. It strikes me as the same nonsense as drafting guys because of their 40 yard dash speeds.

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