Deion Sanders doesn’t even meet his own Hall of Fame requirements


Former Atlanta Falcons corner and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders made a statement about the Hall of Fame last night that he may not even have earned election for.

Deion Sanders, the Atlanta Falcons fifth overall pick from the 1989 draft told Dan Patrick yesterday that the Hall of Fame was supposed to be selective and that they are letting too many people in. He questioned what a Hall of Fame player was and then set up criteria that even he would not have met.

"“What is a Hall of Famer now? Is it a guy who played a long time?” Sanders said. “It’s so skewed now. Once upon a time, a Hall of Famer was a player who changed the darn game, who made you want to reach in your pocket and pay your admission to see that guy play. That’s not a Hall of Famer anymore. Every Tom, Dick and Harry, you’re a Hall of Famer, you’re a Hall of Famer, you’re a Hall of Famer. They let everybody in this thing. It’s not exclusive anymore. And I don’t like it.”"

The problem with Sanders’s statement is twofold. One, after he left Atlanta he was no longer the main attraction. When he went to San Francisco, fans were reaching in their pocket to see Jerry Rice and Steve Young. They were not paying to see Deion play ball.

When Deion Sanders left a year later and went to Dallas, fans were paying to see the big three – Michael Irving, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman. After Deion left the Atlanta Falcons he failed to earn top billing over the Hall of Fame players he played with.

One could also argue that Deion didn’t change the game either. There were guys before and after him that had his mouth, his flash, and his style. Obviously in Atlanta, this won’t be a popular opinion, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Hell, he was great as a corner but couldn’t tackle to save a touchdown.

The second reason Deion is wrong is there are many guys who had Hall of Fame careers and are not in yet and you don’t have to look any further than our very own Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have two players that should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago and aren’t – Tommy Nobis and Jessie Tuggle.

Nobis was one of the best players in the late 60s and early 70s earning many accolades along the way. He is the only player from the 70s all-decade team not in the Hall of Fame. The NFL had an opportunity to right this wrong over the last couple of weeks when they elected their “special class” for the 100th anniversary of the NFL but failed to vote him in again.

Jessie Tuggle may be a bigger oversight than Nobis. Tuggle is the all-time leader in tackles in NFL history and no one will ever come close to breaking his record. How is the man that ran away with one of the most important elements in the game not in the Hall of Fame?

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Deion Sanders loves to hear himself talk and truly believes he is right all of the time. However, he is very wrong in regards to his inclusion of those in Canton. Yes, it should be selective but the Hall will never be complete until all deserving players have a place in Canton, not just the ones that Deion believes should be there.