I should have known that suggesting a Cowboys star might not have been shafted by the Hall of Fame would be about as popular as Bruce Willis wearing an offensive sandwich board in Harlem in Die Hard: With a Vengeance , but that is what I do, so I can take it.
To reset my views, Irvin is a Hall of Famer. And yes, there is a Anti-Cowboys HOF bias. But, the bias does not apply to Irvin, and he likely is not a first-ballot player. Incidentally, I failed to mention Bob Hayes yesterday on my list of the deserving Cowboys who are not in Canton.
Now, on to some feedback and further discussion of Irvin: Hall of Fame or NO!
This from Brian:
I have compared his stats to hall of famers.
Please explain why he didn't make it?
Michael Irvin: 750 receptions, 11,904 yards, 65 TDs
Lynn Swann stats: 336 receptions, 5,462 yards, 51 TDs
John Stallworth stats: 537 receptions for 8,723 yards, 63 TDs
Charlie Joiner stats: 750 catches, 12,146 yards, 65 TDs.
So, I did a little of my own research to explain this:
I also took the liberty to compare a hall of famer's stats with a few modern day players.
- HOF - 11,849 yards - 97 TD's 128 INT's - 50% completions
- not quite HOF - 17,031 yards - 95 Td's 105 INT's - 55% completions
- not quite - 20, 063 - 114 Td's - 108 INT's - 51% completions
- not quite - 22, 771 - 136 Td's - 90 INT's - 58% completions
My point is not to disagree with you about Irvin, but rather to point out that to compare players from different decades or eras with stats is misleading- too many rule changes, strategy changes, and all around football changes (length of season from 12 games to 14 and then to 16) to compare number for number- Give me Lynn Swann over Brett Perriman any day of the week, even though Perriman has better numbers...
Irvin will get in, but let's not forget it took Stallworth 8 years, and Swann 14. I suspect it will take Irvin less than 4.
Again, I understand that this will not help me with the Cowboys fans. But, if you can, please examine Irvin’s stats against other receivers in his era who you might not think are HOF caliber players:
The following numbers are the rankings among all-time WR’s:
Reed - 4th recepts - 6th yds - 10th TD’s – 227 games/87 TD’s - 13.9 per catch
Irvin - 16th recepts - 11th yds - 34th TD’s - 159 games/65 TD’s - 15.9 per catch
Ellard – 11th recepts – 5th yds – 34th TD’s – 228 games/65 TD’s – 16.9 per catch
C. Carter – 2nd recepts – 4th yds – 2nd TD’s – 234 games/130 TD’s – 12.6 per catch
I think I would take Irvin over all of these players except Carter, but couldn’t you make a debate for any one of them? Are they all HOFers? 1st ballot? Incidentally, I would also take Irvin over Art Monk (as I said yesterday), but you cannot tell me it is an absolute no-brainer.
Not at Irvin’s level statistically, but close enough to at least mention are Andre Rison, Sterling Sharpe, Drew Hill, Issac Bruce, Jimmy Smith. Has anyone even mentioned Irving Fryar? Take a look at his numbers sometime. In this era, many WRs have great numbers. That is why we think what separates Irvin from the field is leadership and rings. We have no way of measuring leadership. For instance, wasn’t Carter a great leader in handling Randy Moss? Wasn’t Art Monk a leader in his locker room?
And rings are what break the ties. Only Monk has similar jewelry, while Ellard, Carter, and Reed never won a ring. Of course, this is a very simplistic debating tool, as Reed can only wonder how many rings he might have if Scott Norwood could kick a clutch FG. Is it Reed’s fault he missed it? Apparently, if you think rings settle all debates.
Also, because I am really into this topic, I took the liberty of researching how long it generally takes a Wide Receiver to get into the Hall. There appears to be a lot of talk about Irvin not being admitted on his first ballot appearance, so let’s take a quick look at the 17 modern-era WR’s:
1st Ballot: Alworth, Berry, Fears, Largent, Mitchell, Pihos, and Warfield
2nd Ballot: C. Taylor and McDonald
3rd Ballot: Lofton
5th Ballot: Biletnikoff and Joiner
6th Ballot: Lavelli
8th Ballot: Maynard and Stallworth
14th Ballot: Swann
No record: Hirsch
So, of the 17, 7 went in on the first ballot. And some very impressive names waited 5 years or more. And don't forget, Stallworth and Swann have rings, too. 4 of them.
Mark sent this in:
So you mean to tell me that 750 catches 12,000 yards and 65 tds and 3 super bowl rings doesnt get you in the first time?? That includes missing 10 games in 89 for a knee injury and only playing 4 games in 99 before his career came to an end.
Is Brett Favre going to be penalized a year or two for being a drunk and being addicted to pain killers? Doubt it.
Mark is not the only one to play the Brett Favre card with me. I guess some suspect that I am a Packers fan who cannot bear to see Irvin in the Hall of Fame or something. Of course, that doesn't explain how I campaign for many Cowboys' induction into the HOF on a regular basis, but oh well. Here is my response:
do you seriously equate the two? one was arrested, and one turned himself in for becoming addicted to a drug prescribed by his team's trainers- I know you might be attacking my allegiance, but are you serious?
Maybe that was a little off base but is Randy Moss going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Probably so. Is Ray Lewis?? Almost a guaranteed lock. Lawrence Taylor gets a pass because he was more dominant at his position. That is a crock! His rap sheet is alot longer than Irvins was or is. I just get sick that there is always an excuse to keep a Cowboy out of the hall of fame. Next year it will be Aikman didnt throw for enough yards or enough td's. And if by a miracle they let Aikman in ( he was a Cowboy you know) then that will just delay Irvin getting in. The again if you have ever just driven by Three Rivers Stadium you get inducted. I know Irvin will get in someday. It is just another way for the Hall to stick it to a Cowboy by making him wait.
And this from P1 Mike:
You have shown me a different view of the Irvin omission and I am coming around just a bit. The attached link shows the 15 finalists each year since 1970 and also shows how many times each person has been in the final 15.
First, it is interesting to note who got in the first time they were a finalist. The biggest of the big - Sanders, Elway, Dorsett, Staubach, Dickerson, Singletary, etc. Does Irvin's name really belong in the same conversation as those people? Probably not.
Second, take a look at the number of times some people have been a finalist. Some have been finalists year after year and still haven't gotten in while others were surprisingly finalists more than once before getting in - see Namath, Newsome (wweeeeelllllllll), Webster, Winslow, Riggins, Lofton, Biletnikoff, Csonka, etc. I'm not saying these guys should have been in the first time - it's just interesting to note that big names don't always get in right away.
Finally, in the last 10 years (not including this year) only 15 players (doesn't include coaches or old-timers) that were elected were finalists for the first time. Irvin's time will come. And for everyone that thinks he can't possible get in next year because of Aikman, 2 Cowboys have gone in together before (White, Dorsett in '94).
Judging from my mail, I think this is a topic that gets people going...
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