Friday, February 4, 2011

NFL HOF 2011

The NFL Hall of Fame class of 2011 will be announced tomorrow. A great debate doesn't surround these selections like the Baseball HOF, but with the hall of fame debate about Ben Roethlisburger if he wins another Super Bowl, Mike Tomlin if he wins a second one, Hines Ward, etc, it's worth a look at the 15 finalists for this year's class.

The elections are a balancing act between big names and career acheivements, glamour positions vs. the trenches. It would be worthile to try to find an unbiased way to look at players' HOF credentials. The site provides a way to do just this. Their weighted career approximate value metric seems like the perfect way to compare players across different positions and different eras. You can read how exactly it's calculated, but basically, they assign a value to each season for every player. The weighted career value means the player's most valuable season is worth the most, then the next highest season is worth a little less, and so on. Basically, it means that longevity is rewarded, but it devalues total career statistics. Having GREAT seasons is rewarded, and that's what HOF should be seeking.

Here are the 17 finalists and their rank all-time in this weighted career approximate value.

The players in red are the six that would be voted in this year. Chris Hanburger is a senior nominee so he'd be elected in addition to the five maximum modern-era elections. Unfortunately, Ed Sabol, founder of NFL films, is nominated with all the players, so his chances probably aren't good. The other four listed with NA are players not in the top 260 all-time in this metric.

Jerome Bettis, especially, appears to be nominated on his name and the recent (overblown?) story about winning the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit. If he doesn't make it this year, it will be interesting to see how his career holds up as the memories fade.

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