No one wants Curtis Martin to go into the Hall of Fame more than I do, but here’s ultimately why I have absolutely zero faith in the voter’s abilities to do the right thing.
In brief, it comes down to a cabal of old-timey media cranks who have assembled no discernible rationale for what players gets into the Hall,and what players don’t.
Vacillate for me, Peter King!
Saturday’s other big meeting. The 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors gather Saturday in downtown Dallas to pick the 2011 class of enshrinees. I expect Deion Sanders to moonwalk in, and from talking to some of my peers on the committee, I’d say the next most-logical guy is Marshall Faulk. After that, it’s the usual maelstrom. My best guess — and that is all it is, because I am consistently wrong on this — is that the other three slots (assuming we elect the maximum five modern-era candidates) will go to Richard Dent, Shannon Sharpe and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol. But if Cris Carter, Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Tim Brown, Curtis Martin, Dermonti Dawson, Willie Roaf or Jerome Bettis have their name called Saturday night on NFL Network when the class is announced, I will not be surprised.
I read that yesterday and my heart sunk.
So it’s clear that one of the most notable personalities, Peter King, who lived in New Jersey for much of his career, has no real opinion on the guy. To me, when Peter King writes about the HOF it reminds me of the guy in front of you at the All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet line who can’t make up his mind over his choices. HEY BUDDY, JUST PICK SOMETHING! YOU CAN COME BACK AGAIN LATER.
I totally get that Sanders and Faulk are shoo-ins, but there’s a logjam of other guys who will vie for those other three spots. A few years ago, King needed to be convinced (!!) that Art Monk deserved being put into the Hall of Fame. Guys like Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Tim Brown have all been waiting, and it’s mostly because of some arbitrary rules that the voters create around positions in one HOF class … to me, this process sounds like Calvinball.
Add onto that that I’ve heard a number of voters say in interviews about the process that the all day meeting often comes down to who creates the most convincing argument on a certain player’s behalf. So basically someone like Martin’s inauguration comes down to what precisely … rhetoric? Slick PowerPoints? Old white guy on old white guy bullying? Cutsies in the all important lunch buffet line today? (Media guys LOVE buffets)
So with that in mind, my hope is going to be that the Jets’ delegate Gary Myers, (to his credit, Myers has been writing about Martin much of this week) is going to convince the world of Martin’s deservingness?
We’re freaking doomed.