The Pittsburgh Steelers, and their fans, are going to have a nice party in Canton, OH this summer when the following members of the Steelers’ organization will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as two classes get inducted due to COVID-19 canceling the festivities last summer.
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
If you listen closely, you can still hear NFL fans and writers complaining about a Steelers bias in the Hall of Fame. They’ve been crying about the amount of Steelers, and contributors from Pittsburgh, getting into the Hall of Fame for years.
But should they be?
Recently, the NFL Stats Twitter account (see below) put out the number of Hall of Fame members per NFL team. The Steelers are tied with the Green Bay Packers with 26 members. They trail only the Chicago Bears with 30 members forever enshrined in the hallowed halls in Canton.
# of HOFers for each NFL Team (2/2)— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) February 23, 2021
Titans - 9
Broncos - 8
Jets - 7
Buccaneers - 5
Patriots - 5
Saints - 4
Seahawks - 4
Falcons - 4
Ravens - 3
Bengals - 1
Jaguars - 0
Panthers - 0
Texans - 0
When I saw these numbers, I wondered if the Packers and Bears hear the same “bias” narrative every year they have a member of their organization up for enshrinement?
If they don’t, why not? They have as many, if not more, members in the Hall of Fame compared to the Steelers.
Some might suggest there are too many Steelers form those 70s teams in the Hall of Fame, but is that the Steelers’ fault? Is it their fault one of their best defensive players, L.C. Greenwood still isn’t in the Hall of Fame? That it took Donnie Shell decades to finally get the consideration for enshrinement?
Is it the Steelers’ fault they won 4 Super Bowls in a decade? Is it their fault Bill Nunn, who will be enshrined this summer, completely revolutionized how teams scout players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?
The answer to all those is a resounding NO.
The Steelers have had tremendous success since Chuck Noll took over the team in 1969, and that shouldn’t need explaining. Likewise, the success the team has had in the past two decades shouldn’t hinder anyone from getting into the Hall of Fame due to the successes of past teams.
The more I write about the Hall of Fame, the more it becomes a dog and pony show. A popularity contest. Players like Alan Faneca having to wait over five years to get in, while watching far less accomplished, and skilled, players get in before him.
Is there a Bears bias?
Is there a Packers bias?
Even if there was, there shouldn’t be. The best players should get the recognition of the Hall of Fame. It’s really as simple as that.