This weekend marks the annual enshrinement of seven new people into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) . The inductees this year will be Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Warren Sapp, Dave Robinson, Jonathan Ogden,and Curly Culp. While all of these men are worthy of enshrinement, there are many more who are equally worthy but did not make the final cut this year. It seems that there is always one or two players who feel shunned by the committee for being left out and the fans also react negatively when one of their favorite players fails to get in. Search the blogosphere and you will no doubt come across any number of players that have eluded the Hall.
Many would argue that in order to get in, you need to win a Super Bowl, be a game changer or innovator on the field or simply have astronomical stats. While all of these are true to some extent, they are not the only reasons for getting inducted. The current selection process is conducted by 46 writers (one from every team city, 13 at large writers and one representative from the Pro Football Writers of America). So what keeps players, coaches, owners and GM’s out of being forever immortalized? Very simply it comes down to a popularity contest. Each writer will present their personal nomination and then go about convincing the other writers that their guys should get nominated and sent on to the next round. I imagine it is a lot like a Survivor episode with many alliances and secret dealings going on. Many fans have said that the process itself should be changed and opened up to the fans. The fans however, do have a say by being able to write any and all of these writers and nominating their selection(s). I too believe the process needs to be changed but I am not sure that it should become fan exclusive, maybe incorporate the players opinions as well. With sweeping changes made to the Pro Bowl this year, I foresee some changes down the road for this process as well.
As it is for other teams, the Raiders have their own set of players, coaches and contributors who many fans feel should be in Canton. Jim Plunkett, Kenny Stabler, Tim Brown, Ray Guy and Tom Flores are among the most popular Raiders that are not in the Hall of Fame. With a team rich in football history, the Raiders boast an impressive 21 players who have worn the Silver and Black but there is always room for more. I would encourage any and all Raiders fans to submit their nominations to all of these writers and hopefully get some of our greats recognized for their accomplishments to our team. For the players that I have watched, I would say Tim Brown, Tom Flores and Ray Guy should be automatic. Charles Woodson and Sebastian Janikowski should also be nominated when their time comes. For more seasoned fans there are even more players that should be in. With the HOF ceremonies in full swing, Raider Nation should take the time to get their favorites on the list for consideration.