By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Last week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made a public case for Rodney Harrison's Hall of Fame worthiness. Longtime football writer Peter King doesn't buy it.
King dedicated a portion of his Monday column to Belichick's commentary on the Hall of Fame, particularly about Belichick's statement that "there's no criteria" for determining whether or not a player belongs in Canton.
King agreed with that assessment.
"Of course there is no criteria for the Hall of Fame. To my knowledge, that is the case with most if not all Halls of Fame," King wrote. "Plus, with all the positions, how would you make minimum criteria for every one? You can't."
With the establishment that Hall of Fame evaluations are inherently subjective, King then ... disqualified Belichick's subjective opinion on Harrison because of bias.
"The bottom line is every coach, every fan base, can point to two or so players who aren't in the Hall and pound fists on the table over them," King wrote. "If Belichick never coached Rodney Harrison, would he be advancing his cause? I doubt it."
Therein lies the issue that most people have with the Hall of Fame and with Hall of Fame voters. On the one hand, you have an NFL coach in his 47th season. His forty-seventh season. He won two Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator, and he's won six Super Bowls as a head coach who also is in control of the roster.
While Belichick's opinions are subjective just like anybody else's, he also has the most preposterously dense résumé the sport has ever seen.
Then there's King, who's reported on and written about the league for a long time, taking offense to Belichick's comments -- even though he agrees with the message -- because the writer's subjective opinion on Harrison differs from the coach's subjective opinion.
Of course, it wouldn't be a conversation involving Hall of Fame voters if it didn't include a little bit of huffing and puffing. That's ... what people do in Hall of Fame debates, and it's especially what Hall of Fame voters do during Hall of Fame debates. Belichick better watch it with that mouth of his, or these kingmakers (no pun intended) may make him wait to get into the Hall on his second or even third ballot.
Let's leave the Hall of Fame opinions to the real experts, Mr. Belichick.
In any event, the bottom line of this current argument boils down to this: Hall of Fame voters obviously make subjective opinions on players, but some Hall of Fame voters clearly believe their subjective opinions are far more objective than those biased coaches who actually were a part of the careers of those players. If the people who play and coach in the NFL know what's best they will just shut their yaps and let the unassailable Hall of Fame voters make their decisions in peace.
Very cool. Love a good Hall of Fame debate on a Monday morning. Looking forward to the next one.
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