This is my first post here at BTSC (or for that matter, first post
anywhere), this is something that I have been thinking about extensively
since the season ended.
So, what makes a Hall Of Famer?
In my opinion, there are 4 items on the HOF checklist. A player who hits 3
out of 4 has a good chance to get in, while somebody who has all 4 on his
resume should be a lock. Without further ado....
1. Stats: Obviously, any conversation starts here. A player must be an all
time great numbers-wise to qualify. The Case For Hines: This has been
mentioned many times on this site and elsewhere. The 1,000 receptions, the
12,000 yards, the 80 plus TD's. There is no debating that Hines is an all
time great statistically.
2. Rings: The simplest item of the 4. This is what they play the game for. Not having a ring can
seriously hurt your chances of getting in. The Case For Hines: He's got
2, with a trip to a third, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XL.
3. Memorable Moments: This is an important part of the game as well.
Players are remembered primarily by individual moments in their careers.
When you say "Santonio Holmes", I don't think "Thousand yard receiver", I
think "Tampa toe-chdown". The Case For Hines: Hines has too many moments
to list here. 43 yard strike from Randle El. Running shoeless across the Georgia Dome. The epic block on Keith Rivers. Numerous clutch playoff receptions. His battles with Ed Reed. The list could be it's own post, I could go all day.
4. Singular Accomplishments: In other words, doing things or making types of plays that have rarely or never been done before. Here I am thinking of Lynn Swann's agility. Bruce Smith's ability at rushing the passer. Barry Sanders' cutting on a dime. Jerome Bettis' shear power. Tom Brady in the 2 Minute Drill. Troy Polamalu's heat seeking missile style tackling. The Case For Hines: Call him clean, call him dirty, like him or not, friend or foe, everybody knows and agrees that Hines blocked better than any receiver ever has. He took on Linebackers and Defensive Ends on every running play....and won more often than not. He was a far cry from the Randy Moss/Terrell Owens breed who literally watch the game when their number isn't being called.
1, 2, 3, 4, check, check, check, check. Hines hits all 4 categories, and should be in the Hall Of Fame.
And lastly, while I wouldn't list it as a qualifier, his passion and love of the game, showcased with his legendary Cheshire cat grin, and the fact that he was a leader, not a locker room diva, can surely only help his case.
With the number of receivers due up in the next few years, I do it see it being awhile before Hines gets in. But I believe he will be there one day for us to celebrate his career one last time.