The Centennial Soapbox
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Dear Mr. Sharpe,

The Hall of Fame voting committee regrets to inform you that you have not been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2009. We understand that, at the time of your retirement, you held ever single significant personal record that a tight end could possibly hold. Your 815 receptions, 10,060 receiving yards, and 62 career touchdowns put you in a class all your own.

Furthermore, it was difficult to look past your 8 Pro Bowl selections in 14 years, as well as the facts that you were selected as a first-team All Pro 4 times, a 2nd-team All Pro once, and a member of the All-Decade Team of the 1990's. These numbers would certainly warrant a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. Also, yes, we are aware that you were a member of three Super Bowl Championship teams, as well as being the record holder for playing in and winning the most consecutive playoff games in NFL history.

Generally, people that transform and revolutionize their positions in the way that you did are elected to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. However, that rule only applies if those players happen to play in cities such as Pittsburgh, Dallas, Chicago, or Washington, D.C. You played 12 of your 14 NFL seasons in Denver, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame isn't in the habit of electing players that played for the Denver Broncos. How else could we explain the fact that there are only two Denver Broncos in the Hall of Fame? Since Gary Zimmerman was inducted last year, we just couldn't justify putting another Bronco in this year.

Out of 32 NFL franchises, only 9 - Baltimore, Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinatti, Houston, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Seattle, and Tampa Bay - have fewer Hall of Famers than Denver, and we intend to keep it that way. Granted, the Baltimore franchise has plenty of inductees under the Cleveland Browns moniker. New Orleans, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Cincinatti all have never had much success. Jacksonville, Carolina, and Houston have all come into the NFL in the past 15 years. We know that the Broncos have been around since 1960, and have been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL since the merger with the AFL in 1970. Denver's 2 Super Bowl wins, 6 AFC Championships, and 8 appearances in AFC title games definitely put that franchise a cut above most, but we just don't want to have too many Denver Broncos in the Hall of Fame. Had you elected to go in as a Baltimore Raven, you probably would have been elected this year, since that team plays on the East Coast. However, we simply could not justify putting in another Denver Bronco. Thank you for your understanding.

Respectfully,

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Voters

P.S.
Don't worry, Cris Carter is getting a letter similar to this one.

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