The Reluctance To Elect Special Teamers To The HOF - Featuring Brian Mitchell & Darren Sproles

The NFL is king. Feel free to pay your respects.

Elephant

The Commissioner
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
24,626
Reaction score
295
Points
1,113

Florida State

2nd most in all purpose yards in NFL history but because a lot of them were on Special Teams plays that doesn’t count? That’s just a bad take man. I don’t disagree that the vast majority of honorees should come from offensive and defensive stars. But there are exceptions. You’re being stubborn in not admitting it.
I'm not the one voting, but the standard that appears to be in place supports what I am saying...special teams aces don't get into the Hall of Fame because they spent their careers as backups.

Of course Extreme wants to introduce a straw man by saying Gayle Sayers. OK, what is the difference between Gayle Sayers and Brian Mitchell? Brian Mitchel was never a full time starter at tailback...and he fumbled a lot. That's the difference. But yeah, Gayle Sayers.

Bottom line? As Henry pointed out, it may not be a valid excuse for excluding certain players from the HoF. However, if they were the type of player who deserves a bronze statue, they'd have been full time starter on offense or defense. They were good, some great as a special teams player...but they couldn't become full time starters so why should they get in?

One of the other things about Mitchell, and something I will credit him for...he was tough son of a bitch. He would catch the ball on the 5 and get it to the 35 out of sheer toughness just about every kickoff...that is where the bulk of those yards came. He was not the type to break it to the EZ frequently like Devon Hester, but would definitely get good field position. Hall of Fame worthy? Nah...just tough.
 

Boone

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
39,731
Reaction score
849
Points
1,944
Location
Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

I've referenced it twice and this will make the 3rd time....more than 23,000 all-purpose yards. 23,000! 2nd all-time in the NFL and almost tops. EVER.

How in God's name do you not put him in the HOF on that stat alone?

As Henry said, we are aware of the current paradigm which you just keep re-stating. Who the hell cares if Mitchell was on the field with the offense 35 plays a game? He didn't need to be. He made his impact as a special teamer. And it was the 2nd most productive impact of any player in NFL history. Had a team decided that they wanted him on the field 35 plays a game on offense, I have no doubt he'd have matched that production or exceeded it. He'd likely be a no-brainer HOF inductee already. That wouldn't make his stats more impressive.... So how does the fact he had that impact as a special teamer diminish the accomplishment?
 

Elephant

The Commissioner
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
24,626
Reaction score
295
Points
1,113

Florida State

I've referenced it twice and this will make the 3rd time....more than 23,000 all-purpose yards. 23,000! 2nd all-time in the NFL and almost tops. EVER.

How in God's name do you not put him in the HOF on that stat alone?

As Henry said, we are aware of the current paradigm which you just keep re-stating. Who the hell cares if Mitchell was on the field with the offense 35 plays a game? He didn't need to be. He made his impact as a special teamer. And it was the 2nd most productive impact of any player in NFL history. Had a team decided that they wanted him on the field 35 plays a game on offense, I have no doubt he'd have matched that production or exceeded it. He'd likely be a no-brainer HOF inductee already. That wouldn't make his stats more impressive.... So how does the fact he had that impact as a special teamer diminish the accomplishment?
And I've said it 4 times now, he is not in the HoF because he was never a starting tailback. It's really that simple.
 

Boone

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
39,731
Reaction score
849
Points
1,944
Location
Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

You know Brian - there really IS a difference between an opinion and a fact. I acknowledge everything I've said in this back and forth is an opinion. Except for one thing.

23,000+ all-purpose yards, 2nd all-time in NFL history.
 

Boone

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
39,731
Reaction score
849
Points
1,944
Location
Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

And btw - like Henry, I really don't care about NFL decisions like this. God knows there are a lot of things the NFL does and decides that I think are pretty boneheaded. I just thought it was an interesting argument. I started out relatively ambivalent, but having been forced to look a lot more closely at Mitchell's pretty incredible career, I do think it does him and the NFL a disservice that he hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves, purely because of a historic bias.

He's not just another Guy (or maybe he is - pun intended) :)

Here's an interesting article on this subject from 2010, regarding another epic ST player - Steve Tasker

For Special Teams Legend Steve Tasker the HOF is Still Out of Reach
 
Last edited:

Beetlejuice

Dogaholic
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
5,486
Reaction score
53
Points
128
Location
Norfolk, VA

Army

Special Teams players play special teams because they just aren't good enough to start on offense or defense.
Gale Sayers. He was their primary return guy, not just a part time one like Desean Jackson. The fact he was also a starting running back shows your statement has holes in it. That's why I mentioned him.

Of course Extreme wants to introduce a straw man by saying Gayle Sayers. OK, what is the difference between Gayle Sayers and Brian Mitchell? Brian Mitchel was never a full time starter at tailback...and he fumbled a lot. That's the difference. But yeah, Gayle Sayers.
Not a straw man, I was using your own words to show how you were contradicting yourself in your disdain for Brian Mitchell. The other difference is all purpose yards. Brian Mitchell played 14 years to Gale Sayers 7. Gale Sayers was a full time returner and full time running back. If you double all of his career yards as a returner and a running back, you'd still have to add 5,000 yards for him to surpass Brian Mitchell. That's how dominant he was at his role.

For the record, the NFL is the only sport that doesn't elect so-called backup players into their hall of fame. Cooperstown has relief pitchers......do you believe Dennis Eckersley wasn't a good pitcher because he wasn't a full time starter? How about Mariano Rivera? Many people agree they're among the greatest pitchers in MLB history. But by your definition they'd be a backup that just wasn't good enough to be a starter, so they should be unworthy of the hall of fame.

The NBA elects great sixth men to the HOF. John Havlicek is one of the all time NBA greats, and a HOF member. Are his accomplishments somehow less because he's a "backup?" No they aren't. It's the same argument I use for the NFL. Regardless of your position, if you are the best at it, you deserve recognition.
 

Beetlejuice

Dogaholic
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
5,486
Reaction score
53
Points
128
Location
Norfolk, VA

Army

23,000+ all-purpose yards, 2nd all-time in NFL history.
The craziest part about that is Jerry Rice only finished 216 yards ahead of him and played 5 years longer. If Mitchell had played 5 more seasons, his all purpose numbers would be unapproachable. He would've been in the neighborhood of 30,000. Not bad for a backup.
 

Elephant

The Commissioner
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
24,626
Reaction score
295
Points
1,113

Florida State

Gale Sayers. He was their primary return guy, not just a part time one like Desean Jackson. The fact he was also a starting running back shows your statement has holes in it. That's why I mentioned him.

Not a straw man, I was using your own words to show how you were contradicting yourself in your disdain for Brian Mitchell. The other difference is all purpose yards. Brian Mitchell played 14 years to Gale Sayers 7. Gale Sayers was a full time returner and full time running back. If you double all of his career yards as a returner and a running back, you'd still have to add 5,000 yards for him to surpass Brian Mitchell. That's how dominant he was at his role.

For the record, the NFL is the only sport that doesn't elect so-called backup players into their hall of fame. Cooperstown has relief pitchers......do you believe Dennis Eckersley wasn't a good pitcher because he wasn't a full time starter? How about Mariano Rivera? Many people agree they're among the greatest pitchers in MLB history. But by your definition they'd be a backup that just wasn't good enough to be a starter, so they should be unworthy of the hall of fame.

The NBA elects great sixth men to the HOF. John Havlicek is one of the all time NBA greats, and a HOF member. Are his accomplishments somehow less because he's a "backup?" No they aren't. It's the same argument I use for the NFL. Regardless of your position, if you are the best at it, you deserve recognition.

Just so you know, the fact that you cannot differentiate between Gayel Sayers starting at tailback, as well as special teams, and Brian Mitchel never being a starter is all I need to know about your argument...it's terrible weak.

You asked why the Special Teams players weren't considered, I told you why. You want to clump one of the very best RUNNING BACKS in with these guys because he happened to be more than just a RB...it doesn't help your argument as you think it does. In fact, it supports mine. He was a STARTER ON OFFENSE!!! That's what got him into the Hall of Fame.

FFS, are you being intentionally obtuse?

As for the rest of your long winded argument, I didn't even bother since you're incapable of differentiating between one of the best RB's to ever play the game, and Brian Mitchell...a RB who could never establish himself as anything more than a 3rd string RB.
 

Boone

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
39,731
Reaction score
849
Points
1,944
Location
Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

Let's keep the arguments/discussions friendly folks. This isn't an impeachment hearing :)
 

SkinsOrlando

Searching for the 6 fingered man
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
1,797
Reaction score
39
Points
48
Location
Orlando, FL

Kent State

Should groups be considered for the hof? Greatest show on turf as a group? The Hogs, the Posse, The purple people eaters, the steel curtain? A lot get individual accolades but the group may not, should we have hof teams? Special teams by name acknowledgement is a group.
 

Boone

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
39,731
Reaction score
849
Points
1,944
Location
Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

I have mixed feelings. Yes - there were 'groups' that were absolutely hugely impactful on the game where the 'sum was greater than the parts'. But how do you define that kind of category? Maybe they could create a separate category for this kind of thing. 'NFL Legends' or something like that. They could recognize groups, those involved in historic individual plays, etc... It would just be another way to celebrate the guys who have made the NFL incredible over the decades. I think if you stroll through the actual HOF you'll see references to those groups and some of the electric plays that changed the course of NFL history. They just don't base 'awards' on those kinds of things.
 

Om

GM
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
8,944
Reaction score
169
Points
219
Location
Montclair, VA

Virginia Tech

This is silly to me.

The NFL goes out of its way to find ways to let people into the HOF. They have any number of categories of "Contributor" they've created to justify many of them. They create "senior" entries for guys who they always wanted to push.

Bob Hayes is in because he was ... fast.

Dan Rooney is in. Not Art. Dan.

Jerry Jones is in.

Of course Brian Mitchell should get in.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Private conversations
Help Users
    You haven't joined any rooms.
    Chat 0
    Top