Interesting article from the folks at Football Outsiders (which was inspired by an interesting article from Mile High Report) that compares how many players teams have in the Hall of Fame relative to their "accomplishments." They kicked off Part 2 of their story with the Beloved Purple, and the results are pretty interesting.
There's not a lot of mention of Cris Carter, probably because it's obvious he's going to get into the Hall in the very near future. But they have plenty of other names that are up for debate.
For starters, both of the writers involved seem to agree with Jim Marshall's exclusion being fairly ludicrous, and they're both absolutely right. The NFL's real Iron Man with 282 consecutive starts (a number that's over 300 if you count post-season games), an anchor of one of history's all-time great defenses. . .and, unfortunately, no longer on the Hall of Fame ballot, since he managed to go 20 years without getting elected, which is re-damn-diculous. It's really sad that the only thing Marshall seems to be remembered for is running the wrong way with a fumble, because he truly was one of the NFL's all-time greats.
They bring up Chuck Foreman as well, but they're pretty correct in deeming his career to be too short to get in. Heck, Foreman played in 5 fewer games than Robert Smith, and nobody's clamoring for Robert Smith's inclusion into the HoF. STAY IN BOUNDS!!
Sorry. . .that's my natural reaction every time I see Robert Smith or his name.
Moving right along, the next name they discuss is Chris Doleman. Doleman was a great player for the Vikings, but sometimes it can be forgotten just HOW great he was. The man is fourth on the career sack list with 150.5. The only names on the list ahead of him are Bruce Smith (200), Reggie White (198), and Kevin Greene (160). He came back to the Vikings in 1999 when he was 38 years old and STILL notched 8 sacks. But he hardly gets remembered when it comes to Hall of Fame consideration. Shoot, I don't think he's ever gotten any serious consideration, which is an absolute shame.
One name that's not brought up in the article but does get brought up in the comments section of it is Randall McDaniel. McDaniel was one of the most dominant interior linemen in the National Football League from the moment he took the field as a rookie. He made the All-Decade teams for both the 80s AND 90s. He was named to every All-Pro team for 11 straight years. I can't think of an eligible interior lineman at the moment that deserves to get in before McDaniel. . .
. . .with the possible exception of Mick Tinglehoff. Tinglehoff also put together a great streak of games started, particularly for a center, and was the rock of the Vikings' offensive line in their glory days (along with Hall of Famer Ron Yary). I never got the opportunity to see Tinglehoff play. . .he was a bit before my time. . .but I've never heard anyone say that he was anything but outstanding. I've never heard anyone say that he shouldn't be in the Hall, either.
Another interesting case is John Randle. Randle is actually sixth on the all-time sack list (behind the three guys listed above, Chris Doleman, and Michael Strahan). He's one of the best undrafted players in NFL history, and had a few years where he was simply dominant from the defensive tackle position. However, he was hurt a little bit by being bounced back and forth between tackle and end. He was also hurt by the fact that he was pretty awful against the run. . .and that assessment might be a little generous. I'm not sure if he merits a lot of consideration, and I certainly think he has to get in line behind Doleman, but he's an interesting case in any event.
You'll see that there's a poll attached here, so please cast your vote. . .and if you feel I left somebody off that should be included, feel free to leave a comment so that they can be brought up for discussion. That's all for now, but hopefully we'll be back for more later!
Which former Viking that's not in the Hall of Fame is most deserving of a trip to Canton? (Cris Carter not included because he's a mortal lock.)
Chris Doleman (76 votes)
Chuck Foreman (57 votes)
Jim Marshall (397 votes)
Randall McDaniel (226 votes)
John Randle (85 votes)
Mick Tinglehoff (39 votes)
Other (please leave comment) (6 votes)
886 total votes