As a fan of the Boston Red Sox I can relate to the plight of former Buffalo Bills WR Andre Reed waiting for his call into Canton. It’s very reminiscent of Jim Rice‘s journey to Cooperstown. It seemed that for years almost everyone agreed that Rice was Hall Of Fame worthy, but every year he would fall just short in the voting. By the 15th year he was a hot topic every time the voting came up. He finally did get voted in on the 15th and final year that he was on the ballot.
Reed was announced as a finalist for the 2014 Hall Of Fame this past week, and it will be the 8th time that he is a finalist for a spot in Canton. He broke through to the final 10 two years ago and made it again last year, but both times he failed to make the final cut. Cris Carter jumped over him in the voting last season, and many are expecting Marvin Harrison, who is in his first year on the ballot, to siphon votes from him this time around.
The thing that I don’t get is when is a Hall Of Famer just a Hall Of Famer? Why does it matter who else is eligible? If he deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame then he should be voted in. The consensus is that Reed will eventually get in, but now isn’t the time. I can’t, for the life of me, understand this process. If people think that he is worthy then he should be voted in.
Reed’s resume in certainly bust-worthy. He caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and scored 87 touchdowns over his 16-year career. He made the Pro Bowl seven times and finished in the top 10 in the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards four times over his career. He started 21 playoff games and four Super Bowls. He played an integral role in the greatest comeback in league history in the playoffs against the Houston Oilers in 1992 when he caught the last three scores of the game.
Reed’s case is one of the better arguments for changes to the voting process. Despite having similar career statistics to Carter and Michael Irvin they’ve both gone in ahead of him. Of course Carter and Irvin are both members of the media now and Reed is not. I have always thought that in all sports the voting should be done by the living members already enshrined in their sports’ respective halls rather than by sports writers. If that was the case then guys like Reed may not have to wait for their places in history due to petty politics.