Beyond The Mic: No First Year Candidate Is Deserving Of the Hall Of Fame
The 2012 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their 103 candidates today. Among the newly eligible are former coaches Bill Parcells, Bill Cowher, and Marty Schottenheimer. Some of the new player candidates include Keyshawn Johnson, Tiki Barber, Rod Smith, Stephen Davis, Will Shields, and Drew Bledsoe. Taking a look at the list of first year eligible players, I don't see any of them being enshrined in Canton, except one. More on him in a minute.
Looking at the list of first year eligible players, I'd be shocked if any are inducted next August, much less ever. Willie Roaf, Sterling Sharpe, Andre Reed, Jim Plunkett, Cris Carter, and Charles Haley are just a few of the players that deserve to be in the HOF but aren't yet.
If one player from this year's first time candidates has a good argument to be in Canton it's Will Shields. For 14 years straight, he was arguably the best guard in football. A 9 time All-Pro who was voted to the NFL 2000's all Decade team, Shields is one of the greatest guards in NFL history. However, Roaf deserves enshrinement first. It's not that I don't think Shields will be in the HOF, he most certainly will. It's just that he may have to wait an extra year.
As for the rest of these first year player candidates, there were plenty of good players, but not Hall of Fame worthy. It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of good.
And when it comes to the first year coaching candidates, Parcells appears to be a lock, and if Cowher isn't inducted in August, it won't be long before he makes it to Canton.