Yesterday, Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports and Steelers Nation Radio joined me on my critically acclaimed radio show.
He's voting on the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time this year. He said that he's going to vote in the "five best players regardless of position." Good, that's the way it should be.
Not all of Dale's cohorts feel that way, however. Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk joined me on my highly rated program and said that Alan Faneca may not make it this year, because she thinks only one of the offensive lineman will get in.
Whichever way a hall of fame voter goes about it, his/her job is about to get more difficult.
More and more hall of fame caliber players are cutting their careers short and retiring early.
Andrew Luck is a hall of fame talent. He was a four time pro-bowler in six seasons. He retired at 29.
Patrick Willis, a seven time pro bowl player, retired at 29.
Megatron retired at 30. He was a first team all pro player three different times.
Luke Keuchly played 8 seasons in the NFL, made the pro bowl seven times, and was an all pro five times. Compare that to like Ray Lewis who played 17 seasons. Brian Urlacher played 12.
Jerry Rice played 19 years compared to Megatron retiring at 30.
Gronk played eight seasons. People say he’s the goat, yet Tony Gonzalez played 17 seasons and holds every statistical record for a tight end.
How can you compare those modern day players to the all-time greats whose careers spanned a couple of decades? Certainly not by doing a tale of the tape and lining the statistics up side by side.
When each of those modern day players hall of fame candidacy comes up, the voters are going to have to go about things in a different way than in the past.
No longer can it be about statistical analysis or comparisons to the players that are already in the hall.
It will be about the eye test. It has to be.