Look, I'm as pissed off as the next person about Andre Reed not being inducted into the HOF. We all know it stinks. He should be in there. End of the story. The fact that he may have lost to a film maker is an even bigger travesty. Don't get me wrong. I love NFL Films. However, why can't their be a separate vote for contributors. Ed Sabol beat out Andre Reed? Eh. Not to mention, where the hell has Sabol been the last 20 years when it came to the HOF Vote? All of a sudden, this guy's name gets brought up this year? Something tells me that the NFL hierarchy kind of hinted to the voters that this guy should get in. It's kind of like what happened with Ralph Wilson a couple of years ago, when there was talk that some wanted him in because the league was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NFL.
Anyways, back to Reed. It has been well documented why Reed should get into the HOF. However, there are always two sides to a story:
5) Bickering Bills: If you want to get an idea about how the Bills of the 90's acted in public and towards the media, just ask Jerry Sullivan in one of his chats. Immaturity seems to get mentioned quite a bit. I remember when Thurman Thomas didn't get into the HOF on the first ballot, Sullivan wrote that he suspected it was payback for being a moody player. From what I remember, Reed was kind of moody when it came to dealing with the press. He use to throw temper tantrums when he didn't get the ball and would voice his displeasure. Now, I'm not saying he was a jerk . However, maybe being associated with those moody teams, may have cost him with the press. Now, I can't prove it, but I totally feel that the HOF voters hold grudges against players who were di#$s to them during their playing day. There's a reason why Charles Haley isn't in the HOF.
4) Tripplets don't get HOF respect: If you were to look at some of the offesnive teams that have won multiple Super Bowls, the majority of them seem to have triplets on offense. Of course, I mean a QB, a RB and a WR. The Cowboys had Aikman, Irving and Smith. The Steelers had Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Lynn Swan. The 49ers had Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Roger Craig. The St. Louis Rams had Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Issac Bruce. Want to know the one thing in common with the triplets? There seemed to be a black sheep amongst them when it came to HOF recognition. Everyone knows that it took a while for Michael Irving to get into the HOF and it had become a big discussion during the enshrinement process. It took Lynn Swann 20 years to get into the HOF, while Bradshaw and Harris were first ballot HOF. Before there was Thurman Thomas, Roger Craig was Mr. All-purpose yards ball carrier, but he never gets any respect for having three 3 rings and scoring three TDs in One Super Bowl. I don't think Issac Bruce is getting in with the Rams. If you noticed, 3 out of the 4 triplets I mentioned have had issues getting their wide outs in. I think a lot of that has to do with voters thinking that a specific player from the trio benefited from being surrounded by star players. "Oh, well the offense in Dallas was about Emmitt Smith. Issac Bruce became a player because of Marshall Faulk. The Bills offense was about Thurman Thomas."
3) Is Reed's career about longevity, rather than stats?: Everyone knows about Andre Reed's accomplishments: 7 pro bowls, 87 touchdowns and 951 catches. However if you look at Reed's yearly stats, if you compare them to where he ranked with his peers, he really didn't fair as well as you might think. The following is where Reed ranked in catches per season:
1985: Tied for 45th 1986: Tied for 37th 1987: Tied for 8th 1988: 13th
1989: 2nd 1990: Tied for 10th 1991: Tied for 5th 1992: 16th
1993: Tied for 50th 1994: 6th 1995: 154th (Missed 10 games)
1996: 25th 1997: Tied for 32nd 1998: Tied for 36th 1999: 57th
DAMN! I really hope none of this info gets back to the HOF voters. Frankly, I'm not exactly blown away where Reed ranked against other WRs on a yearly basis. Only once, did Reed rank in the top 5 in catches. For half of Reed's career, he didn't even rank in the top 20 in catches. You could make the case that Reed gained a lot of his catches because he played for so long in the NFL (16 seasons).
2) Losers never win: Last week, I wrote an article detailing how some Bills players might have made the HOF...IF the team had won a couple of Super Bowls. Mark my words: If the Bills won SB XXV, Reed would be in. The prevailing sentiment seems to be how can you have so many HOFs on a team that never won the big game? If Reed gets inducted, the Bills would have 7 HOFs representing those teams (Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, James Lofton, Marv Levy and Ralph Wilson). I mean, the 49ers of the 80's only have four HOFs ( Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Bill Walsh). Hell, Young wasn't even the starting QB in the 80's. Even if the Cowboys can get Charles Haley and Larry Allen in the HOF, they would only tie the Bills for representatives for that team. As I wrote, winning seems to go hand and hand when describing a player's legacy. The writers probably feel that they have rewarded the Bills too much for being a franchise that couldn't win the big game.
1) The explosion of the passing game: Yes, this one shouldn't come as a shock to you. NFL writers have already come out in droves to talk about how the stats don't matter anymore for a wideout. We all know that the passing offesnes have blown up since the early 90's. To me, the HOF writers feel that they should set a precedent of setting the bar on what types of wideouts should get in, and unfortunately for Reed, he's paying the price. We all know that 20 years from now, Reed will be lucky to be in the top 30 in catches. Bottom line: The voters don't want a ton of wideouts in the HOF.