Each year, bloggers and writers discuss who should or should not be included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Some inclusions into the Hall are a mystery to some. Here is a list of five players, though they had decent careers, probably should not be enshrined in Canton.
O.J. Simpson is likely to be controversial no matter how he is talked about. On the field, Simpson was one of the best all-around running backs who won the league rushing title four seasons. His best year saw him gain 2,003 rushing yards in 1973. He finished his career with an additional 990 yards on kickoff returns as well as 203 pass receptions in eleven seasons. Not once did he play in a Super Bowl nor did Simpson play as long as other running backs. Many feel that Simpson’s legal troubles later in life, although well after his enshrinement, have tarnished his pro football career. Perhaps his tenure in the Hall of Fame is undeserved despite astronomical statistics.
Warren Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He spent seventeen years in the NFL, mostly with the Houston Oilers and amassed over 49,000 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 80.9 for his career. He never once won a Super Bowl nor did he ever eclipse 100 on his quarterback for a season. If championships are all that matter for enshrinement then by all means Moon shouldn’t be there. However if that were true, then other great quarterbacks such as Fran Tarkenton would be left out of the Hall as well. Moon did play for lackluster teams although his passing skill was extraordinary.
Derrick Thomas played eleven seasons, all with the Kansas City Chiefs before his life was cut tragically short from complications suffered in a car accident at the age of 33. Thomas was inducted posthumously to the Hall of Fame in 2009. Although he is a sentimental favorite, Thomas’ career was shorter than those of his counterparts and perhaps not as well-rounded. As a linebacker, Thomas set a record for 20 quarterback sacks in a season but never made it to the Super Bowl. If Thomas deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, then so should the late Pat Tillman of the Arizona Cardinals who gave his life for his country serving in the Army Rangers.
Jan Stenerud was a placekicker who won a Super Bowl title with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV but his career statistics compared to other kickers may not be so impressive. Perhaps the most outstanding stat that comes to mind is that he nailed 17 field goals of 50 yards or more. His make rate was only 66 percent and he missed 21 PATs over 19 seasons. As the first pure placekicker in the Hall of Fame I applaud his accomplishments but other kickers have better stats for their career before Stenerud was inducted in 1991. Stenerud is still the only placekicker to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Dan Fouts is much like Warren Moon and Fran Tarkenton. He did fantastically his entire career but never won a Super Bowl when he played fifteen seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Fouts only played the entire schedule of games four seasons in his career, so you can imagine how many yards he would have added on to his 43,000 passing yards had he played more games. Fouts lost two AFC Championship games despite throwing 336 yards in the 1981 AFC Championship game against Cincinnati.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame website provided most of the information for this article.