Jason Whitlock does not think too highly of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process. Before the vote, he foreshadowed his displeasure if Willie Roaf did not get in this year. After the selections came out, he took the process to task.
It would have probably died right there with 24 hours, written off as a Big Sexy Tantrum by Jeff George’s biggest fan and replaced by the next story of labor strife, except that some Hall of Fame selectors have brought it to life. In doing so, they ignored the maxim “better to keep silent and let them think you fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
There’s been enough from idiots like Jason Whitlock who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, criticizing the process and the fact that Willie Roaf didn’t get in. “Let me ask you this: In his championing of Willie Roaf . . . how is he any less subjective, for instance, than the people who voted for Richard Dent? Isn’t it his opinion and nothing more? There’s no criteria by which he goes. Isn’t it his opinion that Willie Roaf should be a member of the Hall of Fame? What does he have to go by that’s concrete about that?”
Oh boy. I think Pasquarelli just said they don’t use objective criteria to determine Hall entry.
I also don’t think he wants to go down the path of comparing Roaf and Dent, who the committee has passed over many times in the past. Willie Roaf played in 11 pro bowls and was selected as a first team all pro in seven different seasons. How does that compare to the 24 offensive tackles in the Hall? The pro bowls ties him for first with Anthony Munoz.
In contrast, Richard Dent was selected to 4 pro bowls and was a first team all pro twice (1984 & 1985). Compared to the defensive ends already in Canton, that ties him for last. Pasquarelli really should not act like there is no difference between their candidacies. If the selectors had followed the precedent of who was in the Hall at the respective positions, then it was a clear cut objective choice.
Then Tom Kowalski, another Hall voter, wrote in support of the current process. In regard to Roaf, he said:
Some people are outraged that Willie Roaf wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer and that only morons would fail to see that. And I agree — partly. If Roaf had been up during last year’s class, he would’ve made it on the first ballot.
That makes no sense. Last year’s class included two of the best of all-time in Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, and three others (Randle, Jackson and Grimm) who were selected ahead of Richard Dent. This year, Dent was selected ahead of Willie Roaf.
I don’t agree with everything Whitlock said in those articles, but he has struck a nerve with touching on the transparency of the process and the politics in the selection process. So far, the transparency that has come out in the form of selectors responding hasn’t alleviated those concerns.
[photo via Getty]