PDA

View Full Version : GRETZ: Final Thoughts on DT & HOF


Bob Dole
02-16-2007, 07:38 AM
Is anyone going to take Blob up on his offer? Maybe we should work on a communal letter.

The late sports columnist Red Smith once wrote that three letters from readers on a subject was a great outpouring of public sentiment. That was in the days before e-mail. Red would have to increase that number a bit in this wired society.

In all the years Iíve covered the game of football Ė a task that began on a part-time basis in 1977 and a full-time basis in 1979 Ė nothing has generated as much mail as the Hall of Fame. Whether itís before the annual selection meeting on Super Bowl Saturday, immediately after that yearís class is announced or over the 11 months in between, the Hall stirs up passion.

After the annual vote and Super Bowl in Miami, I snuck away for a few days of vacation. Back less than a week I still havenít gotten through all my e-mail on this yearís events.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of questions and comments about another disappointment for Derrick Thomas. As the voting member of the committee from Kansas City, I feel compelled to educate and inform Chiefs fans on the process and what happens in the meeting room. By rules of the Hall, actual discussion must remain confidential. At no time are vote totals revealed even to the committee. This yearís group was 40 voters, including the first two women to be part of the process.

Let me explain how I prepare for this vote each year. When I get an opportunity to ask a veteran player or coach, or an ex-player or coach about nominees, I do. I take notes. I research during the year. When the list is cut to 17, I do as much investigation as I can muster. By the time I get on the plane to the Super Bowl site I have made up my mind on how Iím going to cast my ballots.

In 12 years, Iíve heard a lot of presentations in those meetings. Some were very good. Some were awful. Most were informative. None changed my vote. Some solidified my thinking. Others made me recalculate theories or numbers I had come up with, but none convinced me to change my vote.

In each of the three votes that D.T. has been eligible I have gone into the meeting room with different feelings. The first year I was sure he would be a first-ballot entrant, obviously revealing a bit of naivetť on my part. The second time I knew he had no chance based on the rest of the finalist group and the way the winds were blowing before the Saturday morning meeting.

This year, I thought his chances were good. Not great, but good. I was getting strong feedback from the other selectors. Some of the more knowledgeable members of the committee told me it looked good. My presentation of D.T. was the best of the three that Iíve done. Following me came four more members of the committee who rose and spoke of his qualifications for induction. Not a single negative was expressed by anyone, something that was also different from the previous two years.

There were 17 finalists and the committeeís first vote was to reduce that number to 10. Because of a tie, 11 names moved into the second round of voting. Thomas made that cut, but thatís when I sensed trouble. Also making the cut were defensive ends Richard Dent and Fred Dean and linebacker Andre Tippett. That meant four of the last 11 were pass rushers and that was going to split up a lot of the vote.

The next cutdown was to the final six and sure enough all four pass rushers were gone. As one selector said ďthey sacked each other.Ē All of the remaining players got enough yes votes on the third ballot for induction: Bruce Matthews, Charlie Sanders, Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin and Roger Wehrli.

And with that final announcement of the class of 2007 began the avalanche of mail. The Art Monk fans in Washington are very well organized and they can fill up an e-mail box faster than Monk could run pass routes. They were especially irate given Irvinís induction, citing all of the Cowboys receiverís off-field problems and Monkís clean slate. Which leads to the reminder that the Hallís rules to the voting committee state that we are to consider only on-field efforts.

Some fans, and more than a few league officials, were upset that former commissioner Paul Tagliabue didnít even make the cut to 11. Tagliabue did a lot for the NFL, but whatís the hurry on punching his ticket to Canton? There are a logjam of players who canít get in.

Obviously, the bulk of my mail was about D.T. I would put the tenor of those into three categories. The majority wanted an explanation of how D.T. did not get in. Others began with ďyou guys are idiots if you canít see that he should be in the Hall.Ē The third group are the ones fanned by some of the tin-throats in sports talk radio that believe somehow Bob Gretz is holding up D.T.ís induction.

For the majority, I hope Iíve explained a little more about the process and what happened. What does this mean for Derrick Thomas and his chances of becoming a Hall of Famer? Right now, D.T. is among a group of about five or six players that is hovering right on the cusp on induction. That group includes Bob Kuchenberg, Gary Zimmerman, Richard Dent and Art Monk. Heís going to make it. I just canít tell you when.

What are the negatives effecting D.T.? There are voters who consider him a one-dimensional player. There are others that think he did not produce in the playoffs. There is also an unspoken bias against defensive players. As I mentioned earlier in the week, in the seven induction classes in the 2000s, there have been 42 men inducted and only 10 have been defensive players. In the last three classes (since Thomas has been eligible) there have been just three defensive players among 16 inductees.

For the ďyou guys are idiotsĒ group, I must simply say I agree. I think D.T.ís a Hall of Famer and I canít believe his bust isnít already in Canton.

I should ignore the third group, but I know the talk show mumblers always need something to get them through another show.

[Speech deleted because it's too long to post without an error.]

Hereís my challenge to the talk show babblers, newspaper columnists and fans that have all the answers: write your own presentation and send it in. Let me see what you would tell the committee. How would you highlight D.T.ís strengths? How would you handle discussion of his weaknesses, real or perceived? There are limitations in what I can do, but you have none.

Send your presentation to my attention. Click here to submit your presentation http://www.kcchiefs.com/feedback and it will land in my mailbox.

There are no rules, no restrictions. Go for it.

Source (http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2007/02/16/gretz_final_thoughts_on_dt__hof/)

Bob Dole
02-16-2007, 07:39 AM
And here's the speech section.

What follows is my presentation in Miami. Itís not a transcript, but an outline that I carried into the room:

ďWeíve talked about some great players here this morning and Iíve got another one to introduce into the mix. Derrick Thomas was the impact defensive player of his generation. The numbers and testimony are there to back up that claim. Over his 11 seasons, he was a factor to be accounted for on every play. He was a defensive player that changed the games he played in. And it wasnít just the games on Sunday or Monday night. He affected the weeks leading up to games, because he had to be accounted for on each snap.

Iíve quoted before and will again if anybody would like to hear, the comments from coaches like Marv Levy, Dan Reeves, Mike Shanahan, Tom Flores, Art Shell, Jim Fassel and Bill Cowher, along with quarterbacks like John Elway, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Dave Krieg and Steve Young about the effect Thomas had on game preparation.

Despite that attention, despite the efforts to control him, Thomas still produced on the field. He was the game changing defensive player of the 1990s. Thatís why he was voted into nine Pro Bowls and was seven times 1st or 2nd team All-Pro by media voters. He holds the NFL record with seven sacks in a single game; that came during the 1990 season, his second year in the league. His six-sack game came during his 10th season Ö this guy was a top pass rusher throughout his career, from start to his unexpected finish. Thatís two of the top three sack games in NFL history.

There were his 126.5 sacks in 169 games. But it wasnít just the sacks, it was what came from those plays and thatís takeaways. He caused 45 fumbles, recovered 19 fumbles, and scored four touchdowns and three safeties. Thanks to the research of Rick Gosselin, I want to focus on those 45 fumbles caused. That number ranks him at the top of pass rushers in the league over the last 20 years when it comes to knocking the ball loose.

It was not just the sack with Derrick Thomas; it was the takeaway. Rick has more of these numbers but the key is this: the only other defensive player who could match the mayhem Thomas created with his 45 fumbles caused was Bruce Smith, who also forced 45 fumbles. But Bruce Smith did that in 110 more games than Thomas played. Again, Thomas caused 45 fumbles in 169 games. Smith caused 45 fumbles in 269 games.

Said John Elway: ďHe was always grabbing with his left arm, while chopping at your arm with his right hand. He had more in mind than killing the quarterback, he wanted the ball.Ē

Said Jim Kelly: ďIf I was a coach today, I would show my pass rushers a highlight tape of Derrick and teach them that style, going for the turnover.Ē

Added Art Shell: ďThe sack with a turnover, thatís as devastating a play as there is in the game and that was Derrick.Ē

In his 11 years, the Chiefs made the playoffs seven times, and had just one season with a losing record. In that time, the Chiefs defense ranked among the best in the NFL. The Chiefs ranked on average: 9th in yards allowed, 9th in sacks, 7th in takeaways and 5th in points allowed and 10th in rushing yards allowed. He was the catalyst behind those numbers. To get to the third and long downs and the pass rush, he had to help stop the run on first down. Thatís something the Chiefs defense did quite well over the 1990s. Again, he was the catalyst.

Derrick Thomas was a true impact player. It was Hall of Famer Jackie Slater who gave me the definition of an impact player as one who effects the 11 guys on the other side of the line of scrimmage, and the 10 guys playing with him. That was Derrick Thomas.

A player who was the best of his generation and by the acclimation of his opponents was a dominant factor in any game he played deserves a place in the Hall of Fame.Ē

BigRedChief
02-16-2007, 07:42 AM
So it doesn't matter how good the presentation is you already have your mind made up before hand? So why not just send them in via snail mail like the baseball HOF does?

I still say you can't rule out some backlash from writers. How many of those are pissed at King Carl for something? They know as well as we do that Gretz is not an independent journalist but a tool of King Carl and his marketing department.

Bob Dole
02-16-2007, 08:02 AM
So it doesn't matter how good the presentation is you already have your mind made up before hand? So why not just send them in via snail mail like the baseball HOF does?

I still say you can't rule out some backlash from writers. How many of those are pissed at King Carl for something? They know as well as we do that Gretz is not an independent journalist but a tool of King Carl and his marketing department.

You bring up an excellent point.

Board of Selectors

Enshrinees are selected by a 39-member committee, largely made up of sportswriters, officially known as the Board of Selectors.

The Board consists of one media representative from each NFL city, with two from New York (as two NFL teams, the Giants and the Jets, play there). Usually, the representative is a beat writer for the major newspaper in that city, although this is not always the case; for instance, the Atlanta Falcons are represented by ESPN.com senior writer Len Pasquarelli (who lives in Atlanta and formerly wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), while the Seattle Seahawks' vote belongs to Pasquarelli's ESPN.com colleague, John Clayton (a former Seahawks beat writer for the Seattle Times who still lives in Seattle).

Bob Dole doesn't think anyone in their right mind would consider Blob to be anything other than a Carl Peterson Puppet. He's hardly a "media representative" in the traditional sense.

StcChief
02-16-2007, 08:23 AM
He Fatlock. Call STL Post Dispatch. Get Bernie Michlaz on the phone to do strategy for 2008. He got Werhli in, though, he deserved it as much as DT.

KCTitus
02-16-2007, 08:27 AM
Art Monk is a HOF player. The problem is the 'board of selectors' are POS sportswriters and not HOF players themselves. There are enough members of the HOF to have a 'board' to select new members. Sportswiters like Gretz, King, 'DR' Z, and Pastabelly aren't even qualified to elect people to the dunkin donuts HOF, let alone the real Hall.

I know DT making it is going to be tough, but Irvin going in before Monk is a travesty and makes the HOF nothing more than a 'pro bowl' type place.

siberian khatru
02-16-2007, 08:56 AM
So it doesn't matter how good the presentation is you already have your mind made up before hand? So why not just send them in via snail mail like the baseball HOF does?



I think that's the way it should be. You shouldn't be influenced by some political dog and pony show. A guy shouldn't get in because of emotional appeals, or be left out because of the bias of the presenter or the presenter's lack of flash and dash.

To me, a guy is either a hall of famer or he's not. You should be able to know right away just looking at him and his stats. If you have to make a case for someone, he's not a hall of famer.

To me, DT is a hall of famer. He was a dominant, game-changing player at his position. That's all I need to know.

ChiTown
02-16-2007, 09:28 AM
Art Monk is a HOF player. The problem is the 'board of selectors' are POS sportswriters and not HOF players themselves. There are enough members of the HOF to have a 'board' to select new members. Sportswiters like Gretz, King, 'DR' Z, and Pastabelly aren't even qualified to elect people to the dunkin donuts HOF, let alone the real Hall.

I know DT making it is going to be tough, but Irvin going in before Monk is a travesty and makes the HOF nothing more than a 'pro bowl' type place.

Wow, that was awesomely put. :clap:

Direckshun
02-16-2007, 09:39 AM
Just send in JoPo's article, for crying out loud.

the Talking Can
02-16-2007, 09:44 AM
the bias against defensive players is not a shock, and reveals how little imagination and common ****ing sense the voters have....

offensive players are easier to capture quantitatively...plus, they are more high profile in marketing by design...the make more of an impression during their careers for reasons having nothing to do with their innate talent.....if you watched football and didn't understand that DT was UNIQUE then you are a moron in need of a good skull ****ing....

these guys are clowns with ZERO sense....

PastorMikH
02-16-2007, 09:48 AM
Gretz, if you REALLY want to help DT next year, post the email addresses of ALL of the HOF voters for next year here a couple of months before voting.

We'll take care of the rest...

PastorMikH
02-16-2007, 09:54 AM
Art Monk is a HOF player. The problem is the 'board of selectors' are POS sportswriters and not HOF players themselves. There are enough members of the HOF to have a 'board' to select new members. Sportswiters like Gretz, King, 'DR' Z, and Pastabelly aren't even qualified to elect people to the dunkin donuts HOF, let alone the real Hall.

I know DT making it is going to be tough, but Irvin going in before Monk is a travesty and makes the HOF nothing more than a 'pro bowl' type place.



Honestly, the whole Irving getting in thing bothers me. The guy didn't just get busted for ephedrine or steriods, it was coke. IMO that right there should have kept his name out.

DJJasonp
02-16-2007, 09:57 AM
What really pisses me off is this...

WHy is it that in year one or two....negative things are brought up about DT's game....but as the years pass, no one in the meetings mention anything negative?

It's a bunch of crap...it's as if people are saying "Yeah, he's a HOFer, but since he's not first-ballot material, we're going to make some sh*t up to delay his entry a few years".

That's the biggest, most pompous bullsh*t I've ever heard.

As I've said before...Michael Irving getting in in his first year of eligibility made the whole HOF process lose it's credibility with me.

ROYC75
02-16-2007, 10:04 AM
Gretz, if you REALLY want to help DT next year, post the email addresses of ALL of the HOF voters for next year here a couple of months before voting.

We'll take care of the rest...


:clap: :clap: :clap: BINGO :clap: :clap: :clap:

htismaqe
02-16-2007, 10:26 AM
Nobody will take him up on his offer because they can't do it any better.

The sooner people realize that Bob Gretz isn't keeping DT out of the Hall, the better.

ROYC75
02-16-2007, 10:34 AM
Nobody will take him up on his offer because they can't do it any better.

The sooner people realize that Bob Gretz isn't keeping DT out of the Hall, the better.

Agreed, Gretz was never the problem as many Chiefs fans wanted to lay the blame.

crazycoffey
02-16-2007, 10:37 AM
Gretz, if you REALLY want to help DT next year, post the email addresses of ALL of the HOF voters for next year here a couple of months before voting.

We'll take care of the rest...

this has already been seconded, and probably thirded and so on, but I want to jump on that bandwagon. I've sent PK an email, no response - didn't really expect one, but we can get a few of the emails.


I may have a new project. :) Watch out Grandpa Z

HemiEd
02-16-2007, 10:54 AM
Honestly, the whole Irving getting in thing bothers me. The guy didn't just get busted for ephedrine or steriods, it was coke. IMO that right there should have kept his name out.


Wasn't he busted as recently as the last two years? That was after he became a "journalist."

BigRedChief
02-16-2007, 11:07 AM
As I've said before...Michael Irving getting in in his first year of eligibility made the whole HOF process lose it's credibility with me.
He didn't get in the first year of elgibility but it was because of his off the field "stuff" not on the field. Hedeserves the HOF for what he did on the field. Besides Jerry Rice he was the best WR during his time and won 3 Super Bowls.

htismaqe
02-16-2007, 11:14 AM
He didn't get in the first year of elgibility but it was because of his off the field "stuff" not on the field. Hedeserves the HOF for what he did on the field. Besides Jerry Rice he was the best WR during his time and won 3 Super Bowls.

What did Irvin do to LIFT that team to those Super Bowls? Aikman and that offensive line made ALVIN HARPER into an all-pro and once you took them away, he was a bust.

Irvin took advantage of a great team to elevate himself to a status a player of his caliber doesn't deserve.

shaneo69
02-17-2007, 10:00 AM
What did Irvin do to LIFT that team to those Super Bowls? Aikman and that offensive line made ALVIN HARPER into an all-pro and once you took them away, he was a bust.


Uh, Alvin Harper had 20, 33, 35, and 36 catches in his 4 seasons with the Cowboys. Hardly All-Pro caliber.

Irvin deserved it. The triplets were the catalysts of their 3 Super Bowls, and all three deserve to be in.

In Irvin's last full season (1998), he had 74 catches and over 1,000 yards receiving. Irvin got hurt during the 1999 season, and coincidentally, the Cowboys didn't make the playoffs again after Irvin retired (while Aikman and Emmitt continued playing).

shaneo69
02-17-2007, 10:14 AM
And here's the speech section.

"There were his 126.5 sacks in 169 games. But it wasnít just the sacks, it was what came from those plays and thatís takeaways. He caused 45 fumbles, recovered 19 fumbles, and scored four touchdowns and three safeties. Thanks to the research of Rick Gosselin, I want to focus on those 45 fumbles caused. That number ranks him at the top of pass rushers in the league over the last 20 years when it comes to knocking the ball loose.

It was not just the sack with Derrick Thomas; it was the takeaway. Rick has more of these numbers but the key is this: the only other defensive player who could match the mayhem Thomas created with his 45 fumbles caused was Bruce Smith, who also forced 45 fumbles. But Bruce Smith did that in 110 more games than Thomas played. Again, Thomas caused 45 fumbles in 169 games. Smith caused 45 fumbles in 269 games.


As long as Gosselin is doing all of the research for Gretz, maybe Gosselin should be the one doing the presentation.

Deberg_1990
02-17-2007, 11:16 AM
What did Irvin do to LIFT that team to those Super Bowls? Aikman and that offensive line made ALVIN HARPER into an all-pro and once you took them away, he was a bust.

Irvin took advantage of a great team to elevate himself to a status a player of his caliber doesn't deserve.


Irvin deserves to be there. Period. I hate the guy personally, but he deserves it.


Hating on Irvin is NOT the way to get DT into the Hall. There are far more less deserving players in the Hall that Michael Irvin.