As a companion piece to what I shared about the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot for 2016, here is a list of questions I came up with a few years back about what to consider when judging players.
The questions are based off those posed by Bill James, who debated the merits of certain baseball players argued as worthy of the HOF. He came up with a series of questions to consider. I took his questions and modified them to fit football.
Here are the 15 questions I believe everyone should consider when debating a player’s HOF candidacy.
1. Was he regarded as the best player in football at any point of his career?
2. Was he the best player on his team? Was he the best player on his team’s offense or his team’s defense?
3. Was he the best player at his position? How did he define the position?
4. Did he have an impact on a number of playoff runs, not just Super Bowls, but conference championships and division titles?
5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to regularly play after passing his prime?
6. Is he the best player in the history of football who is not in the Hall of Fame?
7. Is he the best player at his position in the history of football who is not in the Hall of Fame?
8. Is there any evidence to suggest the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by statistics?
9. Is there any evidence to suggest that his presence on his teams made the players around him better or elevated their play?
10. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win the MVP award?
11. If this player were the best player on his team, how likely would his team win a conference championship? How likely would his team win a divisional title?
12. What impact did the player have on the history of the game? Did he change the game in any way?
13. Did he uphold standards of character and sportsmanship?
14. How does he compare overall to all players who are in the Hall of Fame?
15. How does he compare overall to players at his position who are in the Hall of Fame?