Buccaneers: Hall of Fame voters get it wrong – again
By James Yarcho
For the fifth year in a row, former Buccaneers safety John Lynch was a Hall of Fame finalist and for the fifth year in a row he didn’t get the call.
There is something incredibly flawed in the system. No, this isn’t being a homer. This is about the Hall of Fame voters saying one thing then doing another.Legendary Buccaneers safety John Lynch is deserving of enshrinement in Canton. No, he doesn’t have the eye popping stats, but he has the pedigree of a player who was vital in the system in which he played – revolutionizing the position in the process – who has waited far longer than he ever should have.
It’s been said time and time again. In his first year as a finalist in 2014, Lynch joined Derrick Brooks, Jerome Bettis, Morten Andersen, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Tony Dungy, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Will Shields, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams, Kevin Greene, and Tim Brown. Now all those players, as of last year, have been inducted into the Hall. Lynch is still waiting.
We hear about the Hall voters’ bias against the safety position. Only nine modern era safeties are in the Hall, narrowly beating out tight end (eight), kicker (four) and punter (one) as the fewest of any position. So he waits and waits and waits.
Enter Brian Dawkins.
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Yes, Dawkins has the more impressive stats, that’s not a debate. The debate comes into how effective the players were. How important of a role they played in their teams’ successes. For the Buccaneers and their decade’s worth of defensive dominance, Lynch was the most vital – and that’s coming from Tony Dungy, not me.
Now Dawkins has leap frogged a safety that’s been waiting since 2014 and now it appears Lynch will be waiting until after 2020. If there is a pecking order, Dawkins should have fallen behind Lynch. It wasn’t his turn yet. It’s far past Lynch’s. If Lynch has to keep hearing “Your day will come, your day will come,” why didn’t Dawkins? At the end of the day, one led his team to a championship. The other did not.
Ed Reed is eligible next season and is a slam dunk for first ballot. After that? Troy Polamalu, another slam dunk first ballot. Can the voters actually find it in their hearts and minds to get two safeties in in one class? Doubtful in my opinion. However, another Buccaneers legend and Hall of Famer disagrees with me;
I don’t blame Ira Kauffman. Truly, I don’t. However, there is now a growing consensus that Ira’s voice and reason isn’t getting the job done and maybe someone else – some new blood – can be the one to get Lynch over the hump. At this point, I don’t think it matters who presents the case for Lynch. No one is going to step into that room and say something Ira hasn’t over the last half decade.
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The mood on Twitter was that Lynch’s time will come. After getting snubbed this year, I don’t know if it will.