Contributor countdown: A change Hall should consider


Photo courtesy of Talk of Fame Network

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s contributor committee on Friday emerges with one nominee for the Class of 2018, and it’s a reasonably safe bet it won’t be Bucko Kilroy.

And that’s OK. There are plenty of worthy candidates, including former GMs Bobby Beathard and George Young, Cowboys’ personnel chief Gil Brandt and owners Robert Kraft and Pat Bowlen.

But Kilroy’s resume differs from the others in that he excelled on the field as a player as well as off the field as a scout and front-office executive. He played 13 seasons in the NFL, missing only one of 203 games because of injury, and was not only a three-time Pro Bowler but a member of the 1940s’ all-decade team.

Nice, huh? It gets better.

He then went into coaching and scouting, where he was instrumental in the drafting of Roger Staubach and was credited not only with playing a major role in the modern-day draft but in making the Super Bowl what it is today.

He would go on to become GM of the New England Patriots in the 1980s when they went to their first Super Bowl and, later, as head of the scouting department, would play a significant role in the drafting of players who led the Patriots to numerous Super Bowl wins. Kilroy not only dedicated his entire adult life to the NFL; he excelled at virtually everything he did.

Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

Which brings me to a complaint I have with the Hall-of-Fame process. Candidates like Bucko Kilroy are only to be considered as players or as coaches or as contributors … and not as a combination of the three. So Kilroy is a Hall-of-Fame candidate either as a player or as a contributor. That he was outstanding at both shouldn’t … or can’t … matter to voters because they’re allowed to consider only one set of criteria.

So when Dick LeBeau, for instance, was a candidate in 2010 he had to be considered on his record as a player for the Detroit Lions. Forget that he devoted most of his life to the NFL and is one of the best defensive assistants in the history of the game. When he was considered by Hall-of-Fame voters, it was going to be either as a player or as a coach.

But not as both.

The same goes for John Madden. He was to be considered as a coach, period. Forget that he made enormous contributions as TV broadcaster and creator of the Madden video games. He was to be evaluated solely as a coach … though, let’s be honest: Voters had to be thinking of his post-coaching history when they voted.

And they should.

I understand it can complicate things by putting one guy in two places at the same time, but so what? If Dick LeBeau was an outstanding player AND an outstanding coach, why shouldn’t he be considered on the merits of both? And if Bucko Kilroy, say, was outstanding as a player and front-office executive, why can’t he be judged on his entire history?

Instead, we have LeBeau admitted to the Hall solely on the basis of his record as a defensive back with the Detroit Lions … which he should have been … but doesn’t his history as a coach the past 45 years strengthen that candidacy? The answer, of course, is yes. Someone who was that good at what he did for over 50 years in the NFL should be in Canton.

But that won’t help someone like Bucko Kilroy.

Maybe he gets into the Hall; maybe he doesn’t. All I know is that so often we’re told to “look at the body of work” when judging the accomplishments of individuals … except, that is, when it comes to a division of labor in the NFL. If you played, you’re judged on that alone by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If you coached, you’re judged on that alone. And if you ran a team or scouted players or were an owner or personnel director, you’re judged on that alone.

But why can’t you be judged on your complete resume? Why can’t you be judged on “your body of work?” You could. And you should.

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2 Comments

  1. Sports Fan
    August 24, 2017
    Reply

    Clark “Here Come The Judge” Judge

    STANDING OVATION!

    “WHICH BRINGS ME TO A COMPLAINT I HAVE WITH THE HALL-OF-FAME PROCESS”

    “BUT WHY CAN’T YOU BE JUDGED ON YOUR COMPLETE RESUME? WHY CAN’T YOU BE JUDGED ON “YOUR BODY OF WORK?” YOU COULD. AND YOU SHOULD”

    Which reminds of of another Individual somewhat different but Not any less deserving then Mr. Kilroy!

    (I HOPE he gets Inducted too, then it can be said
    Kilroy IS HERE!)

    Comments from previous posts:

    February 25, 2017

    ATTN: 48 PFHOF Selectors/Voters – (Dan Fouts – James Lofton HOF Players)
    PFHOF
    NFL
    Talk Of Fame Sports Network

    GREAT Post Mr. “Here Come The Judge” ! – GREAT Post!
    THANK YOU!

    Re: “Tom Flores
    AFTER T. Flores, I’d then look at all the other Coaches eligible
    T. Flores will turn 81 yrs old for the PFHOF 2018 Class
    All those other living Coaches aren’t getting any younger either
    Don’t let what happened to “Snake” & Stanfel happen to Tom Flores”
    OR ANYONE!

    Clark Judge notes:
    “HEARING … (HOF) BILL POLIAN … ‘A FRESH LOOK AT HOW EVERYTHING IS DONE’ … ONLY RENEWED MY INTEREST — AND POLIAN’S, TOO — IN HAVING THE HALL MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE

    AND DOING IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.

    … GOT IT? ME, NEITHER, BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES …

    … CORYELL’S FAILURE TO GET INTO CANTON IS SYMPTOMATIC OF A LARGER PROBLEM. AND THAT PROBLEM IS THAT COACHES HAVE A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT TIME COMPETING WITH PLAYERS FOR ADMISSION …

    … THE CURVE IS STEEPER, MUCH STEEPER, THAN IT SHOULD BE …

    (BILL POLIAN) ‘IF WE’RE GOING TO RECORD THE HISTORY OF THE GAME, IF WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT EXCELLENCE IN THE GAME, GOING TO TALK ABOUT PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE GAME, TURNING PEOPLE DOWN AND HAVING COACHES COMPETE WITH PLAYERS … IN EFFECT, CONSIDERING ONLY COACHES WHO’VE ONLY BEEN IN THE SUPER BOWL … IT JUST DOES NOT TELL THE STORY OF THE GAME AND REWARD THE PEOPLE WHO’VE CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO THE GAME.’

    I’LL SECOND THAT.

    CONSIDER TOM FLORES, FOR EXAMPLE. HE’S A HOT-BUTTON TOPIC WITH RAIDERS’ FANS, AND I GET IT. THE GUY WON TWO SUPER BOWLS AS A HEAD COACH, ONE AS AN ASSISTANT COACH AND ONE AS A BACKUP QUARTERBACK. MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE WAS A PIONEER — THE FIRST HISPANIC STARTING QUARTERBACK AND THE FIRST MINORITY HEAD COACH TO WIN A SUPER BOWL.

    BUT HE CAN’T GET A SNIFF … YET HE HAS FOUR SUPER BOWL RINGS. BAD ENOUGH THAT HE CAN’T REACH CANTON, BUT WHAT’S WORSE IS THAT FLORES HASN’T BEEN A HALL-OF-FAME FINALIST (ONE OF 15 FINAL CANDIDATES IN A GIVEN YEAR) OR SEMIFINALIST (ONE OF 25), EITHER, AND THAT MAKES NO SENSE.

    AND THE EXPLANATION IS THAT CORYELL, FLORES, SHAUGHNESSY AND TOO MANY OTHERS CAN’T POSSIBLY MAKE IT TO CANTON UNTIL OR UNLESS THE PROCESS IS CHANGED, AND WE CONSIDER COACHES APART FROM PLAYERS.

    WHILE THERE IS NO RULE IN PLACE, THERE IS AN UNDERSTANDING THAT WE MEASURE OUR COACHES AS WE DO OUR QUARTERBACKS — WITH JEWELRY. WELL, FLORES WON TWO SUPER BOWL RINGS AS A HEAD COACH.

    … THE CONTRIBUTOR CATEGORY IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR SOMETHING EXACTLY LIKE A CORYELL OR A SHAUGHNESSY …

    IT SHOULD BE FOR SOMEONE LIKE A FLORES, TOO, A GUY WHO BROKE NEW GROUND AND MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW.

    SO PUT HIM … AND OTHER COACHES, INCLUDING ASSISTANTS … IN WITH THE CONTRIBUTORS, AND LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS. AS POLIAN RIGHTLY POINTED OUT, THE CONTRIBUTOR CATEGORY HAS BECOME MORE LIKE ‘AN OWNER’S CATEGORY,’

    BUT IT SHOULD BE MORE … MUCH MORE … THAN THAT.

    SO MAKE IT MORE. MAKE COACHES CONTRIBUTORS, TOO, NOT ONLY TO GIVE THEM A FAIRER SHOT BUT TO DEEPEN A POOL THAT IS DOWNRIGHT DRY COMPARED TO THE BACKLOG OF SENIORS. MAYBE THEN THE INDIVIDUALS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF THE SPORT BY DOING MORE THAN JUST WINING GAMES CAN BE AND WILL BE REWARDED.”
    =
    =
    Specifically Coaches (Although each and every category is as important):
    – The NFL, PFHOF, & its past/present Selectors/Voters have Truly…Truly done a Tremendous job thru all these many years

    – Damned if you Don’t!
    – Damed if you Do!

    – For All the complaints you’ve received, each of you also deserve High Praise!

    – I respectfully urge All of you to please get Tom Flores, who’ll turn 81yrs old for the PFHOF 2018 Class Inducted while he is ALIVE!

    – 1ST eligible 30yrs ago & has NEVER made it out of the Preliminary Ballot process which is your first “List”, first stage in the process
    
– “Never made it passed the First Preliminary Ballot process!

    – & Thus, Never made it as a Semi-Finalist OR Finalist!

    – SERIOUS OMISSION!”

    – That Speaks Volumes to the ripple affect of numerous items that need to be overhauled by the NFL & PFHOF

    – Please learn from what happened to “Snake” Stabler and Dick Stanfel and others
    – It was painful as a “Fan” to see these Inductions “After The Fact”
    & Cannot even imagine what Family/LovedOnes/Friends thought/felt!

    Twitter:
    The Great:
    Jeff Pearlman Verified account‏
    “Congrats to Hall of Fame voters for making Ken Stabler’s dream come true … after he’s dead. Simply a mean thing to do, SANS REASON.”

    “SANS REASON”….!!!!!
    =
    Re: PIONEERING BLACK QB DIES QUIETLY IN CANADA
    Great story by Ron Borges, Steve Simmons & others who wrote about the passing of The Great: Bernie Custis

    On social media a person had been writing from early Feb. 2017 Several News/Sports outlets to do a story on Mr. Custis!
    Even as of yesterday 2/24/17 he was still urging them to do a story about him, his Life … this person did not know Mr. Custis passed away on 2/23/17!
    This individual had the right idea

    I Truly Hope Mr. Custis’ Life Story is told in a book and also a movie because His Story needs to be told/heard by Everyone!

    Tom Flores is still waiting for:
    – NFL, NFL Network “A FOOTBALL LIFE” Interview

    – ESPN 30 For 30 to do at least a One (1) Hour Program

    – BRAINSTORMIN’ PRODUCTIONS Hannah Storm Interview

    – FACE TO FACE Hannah Storm Interview

    – BE HONEST Cari Champion Interview

    – REAL SPORTS Bryant Gumbel Interview

    – 60 MINUTES SPORTS Interview

    – Jeremy Schaap Interview

    – Outside The Lines Bob Ley Interview

    – Undeniable Joe Buck Interview

    – E:60 Interview

    – THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE Interview
    and Other … to name a few…

    Like Mr. Custis and the individual urging News/Sports outlets to do a story about him
    Tom Flores deserves to have his Life Story told too
    Both “TRAILBLAZERS” in their own right
    and really Hope they don’t wait until they cannot interview Tom Flores
    =
    =

    (previous Comment):
    February 15, 2017
    ZIP & Mr. Judge,
    re: “Flores not getting in PFHOF any time soon, why: 105–90 (.538)”

    – I am a Huge Hank Stram fan, he finished up with his last team at
    .250
    which is lower the T.Flores time in Seattle
    Coach Stram is in the PFHOF

    – On this Website Mr. Borges makes an Excellent
    “STATE YOUR CASE: TOM FLORES”,
    read all of that plus all the Comments to that post

    Also, listen to the Mr. Borges’ audio for his presentation too

    – Also on this Website
    FLORES ON FAILURE TO REACH CANTON: “CONFUSING & FRUSTRATING”
    read all of that plus all the Comments to that post

    – Also on this Website
    FIRST WOMAN, FIRST HISPANIC TALK COACHING & TRAILBLAZING IN NFL
    read all of that plus all the Comments to that post

    All of Tom Flores’ “Firsts” along with Everything else, Cannot & Must not be overlooked
    =
    =
    Mr. Judge
    re: “Really believe the stint in Seattle hurt him badly. NEVERTHELESS, CAN MAKE THE CASE FOR HIM.”
    Thats the Spirit!
    =
    Please “MAKE THE CASE FOR HIM”
    he’ll turn 81 for the next PFHOF 2018 Class
    thanks
    SF

    ———————
    From another Post

    August 19, 2017
    August 2, 2017

    “THE KNOW HUDDLE”
    Ron Borges
    “Bogus or Borges”
    Rick Gosselin
    “Dr. Data”
    Clark Judge
    “Here Come da Judge”
    TOF Network
    &
    All Readers

    Respectfully,
    Induct anyone that is alive
    Do not wait until they pass away

    DO NOT WAIT

    Have a Special Induction for anyone that has passed

    ———————

    “TIME IS NOW FOR HALL TO RECONSIDER ELECTION OF COACHES”

    Link:

    http://www.talkoffamenetwork.com/time-now-hall-reconsider-election-coaches/

  2. bachslunch
    August 24, 2017
    Reply

    It’s indeed an interesting problem — how to deal with folks who essentially have composite careers. There aren’t a lot of them (Dick LeBeau, Walt Kiesling, Richie Petitbon, Howard Mudd, Bucko Kilroy, a few others), but they cause a dilemma. Their HoF cases are iffy when looking at one criterion (LeBeau and Kiesling are in but arguably among the Hall’s weakest members when taking one category into consideration), but they might be seen to have enough of an argument to get in when taken as combo candidates. Not sure what to do about such folks, myself, and it’s especially hard to justify vaulting them ahead of the tons of Seniors and other folks who have a HoF worthy career in their main specialty. A tough question.

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