Friday, February 9, 2007

NFL HOF BS

Steve Czaban just crushing three prominent NFL writers and Hall of Fame voters. Good stuff...

The larger problem with the HOF committee, is the personalities of some of the people on the list. To put it bluntly: they are insecure, petty, agenda driven writers. Let me point a few of them out, and back up my assertion with personal experience via my radio show.

1. Len Pasquarelli – ESPN.com
This guy is one joyless, arrogant, prick. I remember one time I was filling in for Jim Rome, and called to ask him if he would come on the show. I had interviewed Pasquarelli before on my local show, and we had done some pretty cordial stuff. So I figured, why not? Well, when I tell him it’s Rome’s show, even though I will be doing it, he lauches into an insanely over the top rage about how much he hates Rome and would never do the show, blah, blah blah. Wow. I just said: “Okay… “ and hung up the phone. Last I ever talked to him.

Then, a few months later, Pasquarelli gets into a on-air fight with WTEM’s Doc Walker over whether the Redskins hire of Marty Schottenheimer was a good move. Len was crushing the hire, because – this is now well known among Redskins fans – that Len HATES everything Dan Snyder does. Now, look, I’m WITH him on a lot of these points, but even I did not say Marty was a bad hire. So Doc starts digging in with Len on the air, and when the interview is over, Len tells our producer – and I quote – don’t EVER call me again to be on that show, and tell Doc Walker to go fuck himself.” Furthermore, do you remember when Len was PIMPING Jeff George for an NFL job after he washed out with the Skins? It was ABSURD. Every few weeks, Len would write about how “he’s still available!” It was a joke. I later found out, that there are family ties to George. Nice. Good journalism.

There was also a little prickly incident with my former colleague Sandy Penner at WFNZ in Charlotte, where Sandy (a big Eagles fan) introduces Len by referencing the lame-ass WR tandem of “Stinkston” and “Trash.” Len comes right on, and starts trying to castigate Sandy for calling Pinkston, STINKston. Incredulous, Sandy presses him on “well, do YOU think he’s good?” Pasquarelli then resorts to saying “Have YOU ever gone across the middle in the NFL?” Idiotic argument. On these things ALONE, he should disqualified from the HOF committee.

To top it off, Len on another station (gee, guess which one!) said this week about Monk not making it, that he didn’t think Monk was the kind of WR teams would throw double coverage at. Sure. Good thing “Coach” Pasquarelli broke down all that game film and took notes. Absurd.

2. Paul Zimmerman (Dr. Z) – Sports Illustrated
This guy is a legendary asshat. Not only have I had two of the most condescending interviews with him ever in my radio career, but he actually tried to get a colleague of mine at Fox Sports Radio FIRED for disagreeing with him on the air. I’m not kidding. Dr. Z called our boss, screamed him blue in the face, and started name dropping all kinds of people – at FOX TELEVISION! Our boss just laughed, and politely ended the conversation. Little did “Dr. Z” know, that Fox TV has absolutely nothing to do with FSR. Laughable. Also, there’s a classic clip I have from ESPN at one of the early NFL Drafts. Dr. Z was on, and he RIPPED the Dolphins drafting of….. DAN MARINO! The actual quote: “I don’t know where he’s going to get coaching down there.” Great call. Nozzle.

3. Peter King – SI.com
To say that King has “an agenda” is like saying Michael Jackson is “image conscious.” King is the most easily swayed, glory-hounding football writer in the business. It’s always about who he “just got off the phone with.” Get over yourself, dude. King practically banged the drum for years about Harry Carson getting in, while at the same time holding out Monk. Then, suddenly, King admits he TALKED to Joe Gibbs about Monk and changed his mind. Nice convictions. Even still, I’m not even convinced King actually VOTED for Monk this time, because a) the ballot is secret and b) he probably just SAID that, so he would get less hate mail from Redskin fans. King once saying that Danny Wuerrful would “throw for 3,700 yards and 20 TDs” under Spurrier here in Washington should be THE single most disqualifying demonstration of football ignorance in HOF committee history.

Mind you, these are just a few guys I KNOW have agendas, and biases that are on the committee. Who knows how many else there are. The problem with this committee is that it’s too damn small a sample of opinions and the voting process involves direct bullying and or lobbying in a closed room.

While that may seem more “romantic” than a straight ballot you fill out at home like the BB HOF, it has produced wildly idiotic results. At least with a large sample of NFL voters (say 300+)

There is also what I call the “NFL Films” effect with the HOF. As brilliant as NFL Films is, the way their productions inject such romanticism about certain players and eras has a very biasing effect in my opinion. The NFL glory teams of the 70’s – while certainly GREAT teams – are over-represented. The Steelers, the Cowboys, the Raiders and such, have so many vintage NFL films features about them.

My Redskins of the 1980’s, not nearly so much.

One final anecdote to remember. When Mike Ditka became the first tight end to be inducted, he was SHOCKED to find out that John Mackey was NOT already in the Hall.

Why?

Because the guy who as supposed to SUPPORT Mackey’s induction – writer John Steadman of the Baltimore News American – actually lobbied AGAINST Mackey because Steadman was an “owner’s guy” and Mackey was head of the then NFLPA.

Nice.

Mackey is now in, and Steadman is dead. But this most absurd way to honor the NFL’s best and brightest remains. Shame on them all.