Thursday, August 2, 2007

Too Many Quarterbacks?

Are too many quarterbacks being picked for the Hall of Fame? You couldn't be blamed for thinking that lately. Eight QB's have been inducted in this decade so far, six in the last three years alone! But really, Hall of Fame voters have been putting in quarterbacks at the same rate as they always have. If you assign each QB to a specific decade you get the following:

1950's: Otto Graham, Bobby Layne, Y.A. Tittle, Norm Van Brocklin
1960's: Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Namath, Len Dawson
1970's: Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Griese
1980's: Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino
1990's: Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon

There were some judgment calls to make. Several guys straddled decades so in those cases I generally went with the decade the player had his best years. And with Marino and Elway counting as 80's guys I had to put Kelly there too since they all turned went pro the same year. Anyway, Brett Favre will surely join the 90's group if ever actually retires (big assumption, I can see Zombie Favre continuing to play long after the rest of us are all dead), and nobody else is on the horizon after that. The only two active QB's besides Favre right now are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and they'd have to be considered 00's. So we can see the Hall has selected four or five quarterbacks per decade. Maybe that's too many but at least the voters have been consistent. The reason for the recent "surge" has been the retirement of so many great QB's in a relatively recent time period. Elway in 1998, Marino and Young in 1999, and Moon and Aikman in 2000 (plus the old-timer selection of Benny Friedman in 2005). Again making the huge leap that Favre stops playing football in the next few years, he'll go into the Hall in the mid-2010's. And it will be a long wait for another QB. If Manning and Brady look like they could keep going for years, so I doubt we see another QB elected after Favre until near the end of the next decade, 2017 at the earliest. Looks like all the other positions will have their chance for recognition in the coming decade.


Mike said...

Will Donovan McNabb be considered? (assuming he ever stays healthy and/or wins the big one)? What about Kurt Warner? The guy was insane for a few years. And Steve MCNair had some great numbers.

Rob said...

McNabb seemed to be on his way until he started getting hurt all the time. Losing that Super Bowl will really hurt him as well if he never gets back there. He still has time but he needs to stay healthy and off the Chunky Soup labels. I'd count him as a 2000's guy if he does get in though. He was drafted in 1998.

Warner was only briefly great. He got started too late and flamed out too early. Basically he was Dan Marino for 3 years (though he did win a ring).