Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Irvin Cheated?

Did Michael Irvin get the shaft from the Hall of Fame? It appears everyone in Dallas thinks so. But did he really?

I believe in the Anti-Cowboys bias if that means I believe Cliff Harris, Rayfield Wright, and Drew Pearson deserve to be in. But I do not believe that Irvin is a victim of this. Separate issues. He will get in, but this is about many voters (and I tend to agree) who suggest that to be a first-ballot hall of famer, you must live in a near-perfect manner off the field. Or, at the very least, do not bring shame to your sport and your franchise off the field.

Since finding people who think Irvin was ripped off is not difficult, allow me to show a few other opinions. Here is Peter King

Is there a Cowboys conspiracy? Call me naïve. I don't see it. I don't ever hear a peer in that room talking crap about Dallas players, or saying the Cowboys don't deserve the credit they get in league history. But let's remember seven guys from their nine-year run of five early Super Bowls are in the Hall, and I'm not counting short-timers Herb Adderley, Mike Ditka and Forrest Gregg, even though they played for the Cowboys in Super Bowls. The seven: Tom Landry, Tex Schramm, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Randy White and Tony Dorsett. To give this some perspective, the 49ers were in five Super Bowls during a 14-year span, and have had four guys (Bill Walsh, Montana, Ronnie Lott, Young) make the Hall. Remember, Troy Aikman and Smith will certainly get in during the next five Hall votes, and Irvin is likely to get in someday. That would be 10 Hall of Famers for one franchise, and except for the largesse of the Steelers' Hall contingent, I don't see how the Cowboys are getting jobbed.

Also, Profootballtalk.com has a similar rant on this:


Although Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin wisely had opted (so far) to go Sgt. Schulz on ESPN's Super Bowl pre-game show regarding his first-ballot Hall of Fame snub, we've got a little more to add to our take from Saturday as to why Irvin shouldn't have expected to get in.

Our initial focus in putting Irvin's failure to qualify on the first try was on the other receivers who have made it and, more importantly, when they made it.

If Irvin had climbed the wall this year, he would have joined Raymond Berry and Steve Largent as the only receivers to get in on the first try. But Berry and Largent, unlike Irvin, retired with most of the career receiving records in their back pockets.

Irvin supporters might have assumed that Michael's combination of solid career numbers plus three Super Bowl rings would be enough to enable him to join Berry and Largent. If so, they failed to take into account another guy who could make the same argument -- and who is still knocking on Canton's door.

Art Monk. Redskins.

Monk has more catches than Irvin.

Monk has more yards than Irvin.

Monk has more touchdowns than Irvin.

Monk also has three rings.

And while Irvin got his triple blingage as a member of the so-called triplets, with Troy Aikman throwing the passes and Emmitt Smith moving the chains, Monk earned his trio of trophies with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien throwing the passes, and John Riggins, Timmy Smith, and Earnest Byner/Gerald Riggs moving the chains.

And as Irvin was bypassed on his first try, Monk retired nearly a full decade ago.

In our view, Monk's wait likely has been fueled by the fact that he kept a low profile, during his career and after it. Monk wasn't showy or flashy -- or coked up or ho'ed up. Today, Monk isn't on the television screen wearing $5,000 suits, flashing a million-dollar smile, and using two-bit verbiage.

So Monk waits. And if Monk ends up waiting longer than Irvin, the irony will be that Monk's downfall was his decision to live his life in a manner that upholds the values that any Hall of Fame is supposed to endorse.

What's the message that this sends to all current and future players? Be loud and controversial. Sin big. Repent even bigger.

Because while guys like Joe Buck always will rant about wideouts with look-at-me tendencies, the sad reality might be that, if a receiver doesn't bring attention to himself, no one else is going to do it for him.

Again, I find Irvin to be a great player who will be in Canton soon. But, I am just trying to get the point across that #1) it is not a cinch and #2) outside of Dallas, Irvin and Monk are comparable and #3) what you do off the field matters.

People then ask, if what you do off the field matters, what about Lawrence Taylor? To which I answer, in that case, if you are the greatest to ever play your position, we might be able to overlook a drug scandal. If this is Jerry Rice, ok. But Irvin, while being a great player, will never be confused as the greatest WR ever.


Gosselin on Owens, Eagles 2 minute drill

Tuesday Fraley bitterness

Eagles have a few changes to consider

Jen Floyd asks how far away are the Cowboys?

Grieve on Canseco

"It's so obvious what's going on," said Grieve, now the color analyst on Rangers TV telecasts. "Canseco has squandered a fortune. His public life has become an embarrassment to him and everyone who knows him, and he's down to the point where he has to come out with a book like this to make a living.

"The fact that he would even bring the president into it is proof. That's just tossed in there to help publicize the book. This is what the character of Jose Canseco is all about. He's not doing this for the good of the game or to expose the dangers of steroids. It's all about selling books and making money."

Cuban says the NHL players are nuts

Hating the Patriots

A British TV review of the Wire

The Norm Sound board …It is greatness, but needs more drops!

Liverpool says they will never sell Gerrard …Let’s hope not, but after selling Michael Owen, you can never say never….

Robben out 6 weeks for Chelsea

Red Wings take jobs

The NHL lockout led Hatcher and fellow Wings forward Kris Draper and defenseman Chris Chelios to sign with the Fraser-based Mechanics (11-30-6) on Tuesday.
Chelios didn't make the trip Wednesday, and Draper sat out because he's still working out an insurance snag.

Some players and fans find the situation ironic; NHL players who refuse to play under a salary cap have come to play in a league with a strict one, while taking playing time and roster spots from other veterans.

Fox pulled the Godaddy.com spot

World Soccer Racism lives

USA soccer players on the same topic


SMU Football Blog said...

Not that it is too important, but I find it interesting that you ommitted the part where Peter King said that he voted for Irvin and against Art Monk.

I also think that Dale makes a good point that there are twenty-two members of the NFL All 70's Team and twenty of them are in the Hall of Fame. The only two ommissions happen to be Cowboys.

Anonymous said...

The true test to see if there really is a Cowboy bias will be next year. If neither Aikman nor Irvin get in, I don't see how you can deny that one exists. I would think Aikman is clearly more of a lock for the HoF than Irvin. How could they possibly put in 2 Cowboys in the same year?

It makes absolutely no sense as to how the Steelers have 12. The problem with King's argument about the 49ers is that they won their championships over a 14 year period. Alot of guys went through that team over the years and so they didn't have as many guys that won multiple championships. Rice will also get in, so that will make 5 for them. I don't think there is much outrage there.

Gravypan said...


Show my a bylaw in the Hall of Fame that shows what a player does off the field matters? You won't find such a bylaw because none exists.

big smooth said...

I think it's absurd to compare Art Monk to Michael Irvin as a player. Monk wasn't flashy, but that's not what is keeping him out of the HoF.

Monk may have better numbers and the same number of rings, but Irvin had the intangibles to make his team one of the greatest ever. Monk played 16 seasons (224 games), so yes, some of his numbers are better because Irvin only played 12 seasons (159 games). Had Irvin's career not been cut short due to injury, his numbers would be better too. Irvin averaged 74.9 yards/game for his career to Monk's 56.8. Irvin also had only 3 fewer TDs 65 to Monk's 68. And yes, the Cowboys did have Emmitt Smith, and therefore the passing game was not as big of a part of the offense as it was for the 80s Redskin's teams. Irvin made 5 Pro Bowls to Monk's 3.

Monk did have longevity and played on some good teams, but Irvin is clearly a top 3-4 receiver of the 1990s. He may not be worthy of first ballot in the minds of most, but he is not a sure thing HoFer b/c he keeps himself in the spotlight. He is more worthy of being inducted then Art Monk. Besides, who would you rather have lining up for your team?

Jer said...

9 points and closing

Sturminator said...

To Dallas Sports Blog:
I have previously linked King's views on Monk, so it was not a cover-up on my part. Also, Dale is right, with the exception of Rick Upchurch, Ray Guy, and Garo Yepremain (all specialists) only Harris and Pearson are not in the HOF yet. This is a crime, but I already admit that. I just don't think Irvin applies yet. He will be in, but I suspect in considerably less time than Stallworth (8 years) and Swann (14 years) who are supposedly part of the Pittsburgh team that gets "everybody in"-