Going by the popular analysis, Deion Sanders is a no-brainer. Little thought is necessary beyond applying a “yes” to the flashy cornerback as an automatic inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Going by the popular analysis, Deion Sanders is a no-brainer.
Little thought is necessary beyond applying a “yes” to the flashy cornerback as an automatic inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But take a moment to unplug the neon. Disengage the brain from automatic pilot.
Perhaps — probably — Sanders is worthy of a bronze bust in the enshrinement gallery. But should he be elected out of hand before other richly deserving candidates who have been waiting go in?
What about Cris Carter, who is in his fourth year of eligibility? Why wasn’t HE a no-brainer the year he became eligible? Why should Sanders or any other first-year-eligible finalist possibly bump Carter into another year of waiting?
So what if Carter came along in an era when wide receivers were catching passes like trick or treaters were bagging Tootsie Rolls?
Should Carter apologize for retiring as the NFL’s second-leading receiver of all-time, with 1,101 catches for 13,899 yards? Were the six seasons in which he caught at least 10 touchdown passes a mirage?
What’s keeping him out? He played for Ohio State. Is Mark May in charge of the voting?
Actually, there may be legitimate reasons, but ... .
Such questions make for lively discussion as the Hall of Fame prepares to pick its Class of 2011. I am in Texas for Sunday’s Super Bowl and will cover the HOF election Saturday.
Steve Doerschuk writes for the Canton (Ohio) Repository.