The League

Dan Levy
Sports Media Guru

Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

Openess Yes, Fan Votes No


Fans seem to think they have a right to be a part of the decision making processes in sports, because they root for teams and pay their hard-earned... yada yada yada.

Let's leave important votes to the professionals. Sure, there are a lot of media hacks out there. There are a lot of lazy journalists who watch their NFL highlights on TV and consider themselves experts on the game. But those involved in voting the for Pro Football Hall of Fame are some of the best writers in the country -- and some of the best and most knowledgeable people in the sport. They take the responsibility very seriously. I'm not sure a fan popularity contest is the way to go when inducting players into the Hall of Fame.

Now, is the process too secretive? Probably. It would be nice to see who voted for whom. And sure, the media probably gets too much influence in deciding who is a Hall of Famer and who isn't. So what would be fair?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, or any Hall of Fame, could make the nomination process more public. Rather than becoming automatically eligible after a post-retirement waiting period, fans could nominate players each year for election, as soon as the day after they retired. If a player gets enough fan votes, they could bypass the customary waiting period for eligibility.

To include the current Hall of Famers in more decisions than just the veterans committee votes, all players would go up to vote with a selection committee of media and Hall of Famers, including the oldest living members and the newest inductees, with a selected smattering of players from each generation in between.

Then, because fans will watch anything football related on television -- we watch the combine after all -- the NFL Network could take cameras into the room and splice together a 90-minute selection special when they announce the annual Hall of Fame class, showing highlights of some of the discussion for each elected player (it's not really fair to show deliberation on those who didn't get in).

It'd be more interesting than watching the pre-season games.

By Dan Levy  |  August 9, 2009; 9:28 PM ET  | Category:  Dan Levy , Fans , NFL , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Doing away with the waiting period is a poor idea. The waiting period is a way to insure that the player is truly retired from the game and not just "Brett Favre retired." Secondly and more importantly it provides time to gain perspective on the player's career in the larger context of the era in which he played and the game's overall history.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 10, 2009 10:25 AM

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