O.J. Anderson: “I don’t see why I shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame”


New York Gaints Ottis "OJ" Anderson making a play in a game verse the San Diego Chargers on Sunday October 22, 1989. (AP Photo/Kevin Reece)

 

New York Giants running back Ottis Anderson (24) catches a pregame pass during the NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 12, 1986 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won the game 35-3. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)
New York Giants running back Ottis Anderson (24) catches a pregame pass during the NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 12, 1986 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won the game 35-3. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)
(O.J. Anderson photos courtesy of N.Y. Giants)

Talk of Fame Network

Running back O.J. Anderson was an NFL Rookie of the Year, a Super Bowl MVP and a two-time Super Bowl champion. What he’s not is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though he’s one of the 94 modern-era candidates on the ballot for the Class of 2017.

That’s the good news. The bad is that Anderson has never made it as a Hall-of-Fame semifinalist, which means he never made the cut to 25, and he doesn’t get it. In fact, as he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, he not only thinks he belongs; he thinks he belongs in Canton, too.

“Absolutely,” he said. “My stats are worthy of me going there. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be in there. I don’t know why I’m not going in there. But, then again, I saw how Harry Carson was treated and how long it too for him to go in. So I just figured maybe one day they’ll figure it out and say, ‘OK, maybe this guy is worthy.’ ”

New York Giants running back Ottis "OJ" Anderson (24) runs the ball during the NFL football game against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 24, 1989 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won the game 34-17. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)
New York Giants running back Ottis “OJ” Anderson (24) runs the ball during the NFL football game against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 24, 1989 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won the game 34-17. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)

Anderson has the resume to be considered. He ran for 1,000 yards in five of his first six pro years – with the lone exception the strike-shortened 1982 season when he ran for 587, a pace that would have put him over 1,000 — and he was the first rookie to average 100 yards rushing per game. But he was not an all-decade choice and ranks 28th on the all-time rushing list – two considerations that can hurt his candidacy.

“Unfortunately, for me,” he said, “in the era that I played most of the writers who really saw me play are probably passed away by now. And the new-school writers don’t know a lot about old-school players … other than a name here or there … so they’re looking at these new-school players.

“They forget one thing. I had two strikes where we stopped work during my seven years in St. Louis and in ’85 I got hurt and missed nine game. So, if you put my stats up where I played a full season every year … my stats equal Marcus Allen, equal Eric Dickerson, the late Walter Payton. All you’ve got to do is pull them, ladies and gentlemen.

“Pull the comparison for every game that I played a full season… not counting the strike in ’82, not counting the strike in ’87 and don’t count the fact that I got hurt in ’85. But look what I did the first four years … three years … of my career. You line me up with any guys who are in the Hall of Fame, and you will see where I am equal to or better.”

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7 Comments

  1. October 3, 2016
    Reply

    All Giants Fans and all Football Fans know that OJ Anderson belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    • October 3, 2016
      Reply

      O.J. makes a strong case on our latest broadcast. Going to be difficult, though. First has to graduate to top 25 semifinalists.

  2. Steve Louro
    October 3, 2016
    Reply

    If OJ Simpson is in the Hall, Oj Anderson should be in as well. Compare their accomplishments and statistics….and while your at it, compare OJ.Anderson accomplishments and statistics against all the running backs in the Hall….PUT HIM IN!!! PUT HIM IN! His record stands for itself. 2 Superbowls, Superbowl MVP, Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, record longevity playing in NFL for a running back….just to name a few….PUT HIM IN! PUT HIM IN! PUT HIM IN!

    • October 3, 2016
      Reply

      You can make the presentation. Sounds as if you would make a good one.

  3. bachslunch
    October 4, 2016
    Reply

    Steve, comparing raw stats for Simpson and Anderson doesn’t work because they weren’t contemporaries — you need to period adjust somehow. And none of this changes the fact that Anderson has a comparatively short peak (two years to Simpson’s five) and wasn’t an elite level compiler. Anderson was a very good player, but one of the better RBs who likely won’t get in.

  4. October 5, 2016
    Reply

    THE IRON CLAD CASE FOR O.J. ANDERSON’S HALL OF FAME CASE

    On a recent Talk of Fame radio interview, former NFL running back Ottis “O.J.” Anderson emphatically made his case that he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
    “Absolutely,” said Anderson. “My stats are worthy of me going there. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be in there. I don’t know why I’m not going in there. But, then again, I saw how Harry Carson was treated and how long it took for him to go in. So I just figured maybe one day they’ll (the sportswriters) figure it out and say, ‘OK, maybe this guy is worthy”.
    To all the sportswriters who may have overlooked Anderson’s nomination the last twenty years, former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes referred to O.J. as a “wrecking machine” as he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first five out of six NFL seasons—the lone exception being the 1982 strike shortened season. It was during this time period that O.J. established himself as the greatest player in St. Louis Cardinals history.
    After being traded to the NY Giants in 1986, he reinvented himself and became the final piece of their championship puzzle. From 1986 thru 1988, he wasn’t the feature back and as productive as he was the first half of his career, but even as a role player, he caught the attention of a young assistant, Bill Belichick, who said that O.J. was “a selfless competitor” and a “consummate team player” during those years.
    When fate brought O.J. back into the starting lineup the following year, O.J. responded with his sixth 1,000 rushing yard season and winning the 1989 Comeback Player of the Year award.
    Even though Father Time was catching up with him, in his twelve season, he lead the Giants in rushing and when their starting quarterback went down with a late season injury, the Giants coaching staff relied heavily on him to carry the load the rest of the way to winning Super Bowl XXV, in which Bill Parcells called him a “deserved” Super Bowl MVP winner who most epitomized his version of what he called “Smash Mouth” football.
    So, in summation, here’s O.J. Anderson’s Hall of Fame case that is endorsed by Bill Parcells, Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick—an unprecedented backing of eight Super Bowl head coaching championships, not to mention the longest reign as Heavyweight Champion of the World in the modern era: In the first half of his career, O.J. Anderson was the greatest St. Louis Cardinals player of all time. During the second half of his career, he reinvented himself as the “consummate team player” and did whatever he could to help lead the Parcells
    era Giants to two Super Bowl titles, along the way eclipsing the 10,000 yard lifetime rushing yard mark, despite losing nearly two full prime seasons due to injury and work stoppages.
    Here’s my question to the members of the Professional Football Writers Association of America that I’d like them to ponder when they sit down to discuss O.J. Anderson’s nomination:
    Is this man who was referred to as a “wrecking machine,” a “consummate team player,” Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, two-time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP who finished #8 on the all-time rushing list and is staunchly backed by a legendary trifecta of the greatest coaches of all time who saw him in action, is he a Hall of Famer???

  5. Evelyn Hensel
    October 5, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! I agree 100 percent! How anyone can not vote for him for the HOF is beyond me! The vote should be an unanimous!

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