We'll call this week's Read and React the "Fine Print Edition," since a lot of fans filed erroneous complaints about last week's piece on possible future Hall of Fame entrants. If they would have paid attention to our loose criteria, they would have noticed we only were including players with at least five complete seasons on their resume. Yet that didn't stop an onslaught of moaning about why guys like Tom Brady and Jamal Lewis weren't included.
Misguided rants aside, we had enough feedback to fill a dump truck this week – from fans railing about other potential Hall of Fame candidates and screaming about departed Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis. There was even an email from a guy who thinks Michael Vick isn't getting his due.
As usual, any thoughts of mine are in italics. Keep the responses coming, and if you want to be considered for the next Read and React, include your first and last names as well as city and state with your responses.
To the mail…
CANTON BUSTS ("Hall roll call," Dec. 1, 2004)
The Patriots have been to three Super Bowls in nine years with a few of their players appearing in all three, yet there's no mention of any of them. Ted Johnson, Willie McGinest and Ty Law not to mention players who have helped the Patriots dominate the past three seasons: Tedy Bruschi, Law, Roman Phifer, Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, Troy Brown and Larry Izzo.
Thomas A. Farnkoff
I'll give you Law. Vinatieri deserves consideration, but kickers are iffy when it comes to the Hall. As for the rest, I think you're going a little overboard.
You didn't mention Troy Vincent or Simeon Rice and they're almost certainly going to the Hall. Ray Lewis is a first-ballot lock. Tony Gonzalez, Morten Andersen and Gary Anderson are locks, too. You also ignored other defensive players like Ted Washington, Zach Thomas, Bryant Young, Ty Law, Jason Taylor and Rodney Harrison. On offense, you didn't mention Jimmy Smith, who has a much better chance than Rod Smith, Keyshawn Johnson or Keenan McCardell.
Spring Grove, Ill.
Your comment that Aeneas Williams might be considered the best defensive back ever had he played the last 10 years for Dallas is laughable. That would have guaranteed he would never enter the Hall of Fame. In case you hadn't noticed, the so-called experts that elect new members have always been biased against anyone with a blue star on their helmet.
North Richland Hills, Texas
To deny Larry Centers his rightful place in the Hall of Fame would be the equivalent of denying you your right for free speech.
Larry Centers isn't in the league, so he didn't qualify (not that he's Hall of Fame material, anyway). But any time someone compares Larry Centers to a constitutional amendment, it's funny.
How can Jerome Bettis be a lock for the Hall of Fame? He never posted overwhelming numbers and his yards-per-carry aren't astonishing. When you compare numbers, Garrison Hearst is more deserving than Jerome Bettis.
How can you possibly say that Kurt Warner is a flash in the pan? Yes, he has faded. But he's a two-time NFL MVP. That's no flash. That's a SOLID player.
Jimmy – He was a flash in the pan for Hall of Fame consideration.
What about coaches? If Andy Reid is able to pull a Super Bowl into Philly, surely he's worth some consideration. Other active coaches springing to mind are Mike Holmgren based on his Green Bay years and Bill Belichick in New England.
BUTCH DAVIS ("Ego tripped," Dec. 1, 2004)
Being a Miami Hurricanes and booster, I was shocked when Butch Davis was hired by the Cleveland Browns. He was just as arrogant and cocky and a loser at Miami also. It caught up with him after he left.
Butch Davis got what he wanted: ultimate power. And now he got what he earned. You can't alienate the players, the staff and the fans and expect to have success.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Let's not forget Carmen Policy's part in this Cleveland Browns debacle as well. He had a great hand in this franchise never getting on its feet in the last six years.
On Butch "I'll never leave the University of Miami" Davis – many University of Miami players have told me Larry Coker is 10 times the coach Butch Davis is and a much nicer guy. I guess Davis still thinks it's about him.
Bel Air, Calif.
If I were a Cleveland Brown and my last name was Davis, I would just quit. All three Davises – Butch, Andre, and Andra ran into the wall last week.
Pell City, Ala.
Does anyone else think it's amusing that Ricky Williams is living in a town named Grass Valley? When I heard he was in Northern California, I thought Weed, Calif., might look attractive to him as well.
Random facts: The city of Weed, Calif., was founded by Abner Weed and is home to the College of the Siskiyous, not to mention a museum on the lumber industry that features a really cool ax-wielding statue.
Is it me, or are the Arizona Cardinals doomed to play forever in the Twilight Zone? They have always been dogged by a lousy front office, a coaching turnstile and an annual draft cry of "They took who?"
Saying the Eagles' offense is a poor man's Minnesota Vikings is idiotic. Donovan McNabb is a better quarterback than Daunte Culpepper, and Terrell Owens has proven to be more durable and a better receiver than Randy Moss.
Is Eli Manning the New York Giants' sacred cow? Sure, his last name is Manning, but how much of a chance do we have to give this guy? Let's face it, he's not there yet and he should go back to the role of holding a clipboard.
When is Michael Vick going to get his due credit? The man has twice as many wins as career losses and his team is second in the NFC. Why do people always bring up his completion percentage? Does it really matter THAT much when he is rushing for 70 yards a game?
If he's going to throw the ball, completion percentage matters. Oh, and I think considering his stature in the NFL, Michael Vick has gotten his due credit.