big89smooth's Blog
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I think few people would disagree that having great players on your team typically leads to success. When i think of success in the NFL i'm talking about the Big Game, the SUPER BOWL. Thats why I was so shocked when I investigated the correlation between Franchise Super Bowl appearances and their number of HOF inductees. I think the bias is largely linked to market size and media exposure. I only counted Super Bowl appearances leading up to the 2001 season, as no one from tems afterward could be HOF'ers, and this really has no bearing on the data anyway. There are HOF'ers for these franchises who played before the Super Bowl era, however this really doesn't affect the data that much either in respect to my primary argument. The Broncos have been so shafted by the HOF it's ridiculous, take a look at the data below and tell me i'm wrong.

Franchise               Super Bowl Appearances            HOF Inductees

Dallas Cowboys                    8                                              10

Denver Broncos                    6                                               1

Pittsburgh Steelers               5                                               17                  

San Fransisco 49er's             5                                               11

Washington Redskins             5                                              15

Miami Dolphins                     5                                                9

Minnesota Vikings                 4                                                7

Oakland Raiders                    4                                               13

Green Bay Packers                4                                               21

Buffalo Bills                          4                                                6

New England Patriots             2                                                3

St. Louis Rams                     2                                                13

Indianapolis/BAL. Colts           2                                                10

New York Giants                   2                                                18

Kansas City Chiefs                2                                                  7

Cinncinnati Bengals               2                                                  1

Philadelphia Eagles                1                                                  9

Chicago Bears                      1                                                 26

New York Jets                      1                                                  4

Atlanta Falcons                    1                                                  0

San Diego Chargers              1                                                   6

Tenn./ Houston                   1                                                   7

Arizona Cardinals                 0                                                  11

Detroit Lions                       0                                                  13

Cleveland Browns                 0                                                  16

The remaining teams are either expansion teams or statistically unimportant.

There are a few things that stick out to me on this list and a couple of mis leading things that should be cleaned up. The majority of the Cardinal, Lions, Browns, and Chicago HOF'ers played before the Super Bowl. The NFC North, Chicago 26, Green Bay 21, Detroit 13, and Minnesota 7, is ridiculously well represented despite winning only 4 Super Bowls. The Dallas Cowboys having gone to 8 Super Bowls only have 10 inductees, The Denver Broncos and Cinncinati Bengals are the only teams with more appearances than players in the HOF.

I don't think the HOF voters have a conscious bias against the Broncos but 1 player from a franchise that has the second most appearances all time is mind blowing. Maybe Elway was alot better than we all thougt and the rest of the team was really that bad. I don't think that's true and neither should the readers. I'll make a case for four players who i believe are clearly worthy of the Hall, but there are more Bronco legends who have been overlooked.

Steve Atwater

Who can forget the bone crunching safety from Arkansas. This guy was a feared player and maybe the best run support safety of all time. Atwater went to the Pro Bowl 8 times, and was voted All Pro 6 times, over his 12 year career. He averaged 130 tackles a season(unbelievable for a safety), won two Super Bowls, and was named to the All Decade Team for the 90's. In researching him i learned that since 1971 only two DB's have been inducted, Ronnie Lott and Mike Haynes. There are only 6 safeties in the HOF, DB is by far the most under represented position. Offensive Players are inducted at a 3 to 1 ratio to Defensive players.

Gary Zimmerman

Perhaps the most amazing feat for Zimmerman was being named to the All Decade team for the 80's and 90's at the left tackle position. Let me clarify that, for two decades he was the best LT in the game. Thats a premiere position taking on the most notable pass rushers from around the league every game, and dominating like no one else over a 20 year period. He earned 7 Pro Bowls, 8 All Pros, and won 2 Super Bowls. Mike Shannahan recently said, If Zimmerman isn't a Hall of Famer than I don't know who is. That coming from a guy who came through the coaching ranks during the 49er's greatest years and 11 HOFer's.

Karl "The Albino Rhino" Mecklenburg

Besides have the best nickname i've ever heard, Karl Mecklenburg was Adalius Thomas before there was an Adalius Thomas. He played and excelled at DE, DT, OLB, and MLB almost every game. Mecklenburg was know as the most versatile defender in the NFL during the 80's. After being taken in the 12 round with 310th pick, Mecklenburg would go on to 6 pro bowls, 5 consecutive seasons with 100 or more tackles, 80 career sacks, and was an All Pro 6 times. He also played in 3 Super Bowls. Considering his versatility and dominance during the 80's Mecklenburg has a chance to get in, but since it transcendant play such as Elways for a Bronco to get in, i doubt he'll ever have his name called.

Terrell Davis 

This one is clearly the toughest to argue for. In my opinion what TD did over his first four years in the league was unbelievable, but i don't think the voters will ever put him in due to the short time that he played. For your consideration, Only Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Earl Campell ran for more yards over their first four years than TD. No player has scored more touchdowns than TD's 56 over their first 4 years. In that time he ran for 6400 yards, was the NFL MVP, NFL Offensive P.O.Y., Super Bowl MVP, had a 2000 yard season, and was named to the All Decade Team of the 90's. The other All Decade runners of the 90's, Thurmond Thomas, Emmit Smith, and Barry Sanders, are all in the Hall of Fame. He has more career rushing yards than Gale Sayers. The league has seldom seen a more dominant runner over a short period of time. What he did during the two Super Bowl years is Hall of Fame worthy.

I'm not saying the Broncos have 15 guys who deserve to be in the HOF but they deserve more than 1. San Diego has been to 1 Super Bowl but have 6 guys in, The Giants have been to 2 Super Bowls and have 18 guys in, and Chicago has been to 1 and has 26 guys in. For a team thats been to 6 in the the last 28 years, had one of the most legandary defenses in the Orange Crush, and most prolific offenses through the eighties and ninities, 1 player is unacceptable.

I think that the true fault lies within the system of HOF election. To much power is given to the writers from big markets instead of to the old players who actually played the game and played against some of these legends. It's not only Broncos players who are getting the shaft. Look at Art Monk, He held every major recieving record when he retired, what more do you have to do? 3 to 1 offensive players to defensive players? 2 DB's since 1971? Call me crazy but are these voters watching the games or only looking at the stat sheet of offensive players when they write their columns.

 

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