By Clark Judge
Talk of Fame Network
A talk-radio host the other day asked me about Don Coryell's chances of making the Hall of Fame, and I told him the truth-- which is that they're not all that promising. That provoked him to ask why head coaches didn't have their own category or weren't included with contributors.
It's a good question. I wish I had an answer.
The truth is that when head coaches are up against players for Hall-of-Fame consideration, the player almost always has the advantage, and the envelope, please: Over the past 11 years there have been two head coaches named to the Hall -- Bill Parcells and John Madden. Over the same period, there have been 62 players.
Coaches won't get their own category -- nor should they -- but grouping them with contributors (i.e., everyone but head coaches and players) makes sense. It not only would give them more of a fighting chance; it would make that category more equitable with the seniors.
As it is now, there's a huge backlog of senior candidates -- with 73 all-decade players waiting for the call, 60 of whom have never been discussed by the Hall's board of selectors. There is not a bottleneck of 60 contributors.
Yet for three of the next five years, we'll have two contributors and one senior nominated, which doesn't seem right -- unless, of course, you include former coaches like Coryell, Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson and Tom Flores with the contributors. That would enlarge the pool of candidates, making it stronger, deeper and more competitive -- and isn't that the idea of the Hall? To induct the most deserving candidates?
My point: If there's already a glut of players waiting to get in, and head coaches have trouble competing with them, why not thin the queue by shifting a portion of the field to another category? The Hall did that with contributors. It should do it with head coaches, too.