Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Ron Jaworski raised an interesting point on last night's Monday Night Football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.

Shortly after tailback Fred Taylor tied the Jaguars' franchise touchdown record with Jimmy Smith (a truly unheralded wide receiver), a question from Tony Kornheiser was raised about his credentials as he moves up in the NFL career rushing yards tally. Jaworski believes that Taylor's total body of work should place him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For the few fortunate souls who were still watching the game, that may have been a head-scratching moment for sure.

Kornheiser immediately asked if the fact that Taylor did not play in major NFL markets such as Dallas or New York (which, in reality, just became a big deal nationally in the last two seasons) actually hurts him.

It was a fair conversation on both sides as not only did they have to try to keep the dwindling audience from turning off their TV sets, but they've seen enough football to know who has really got the goods. Yet, it begs the question: is a player who has the numbers, the longevity and the franchise legacy, punished or praised more because of where (s)he plays?

Most people who may have heard this discourse were probably in disagreement with Jaworski because Taylor wasn't a speed demon (though his was underrated) or because he struggled with injuries early on in his career. They'll point to his lone Pro Bowl appearance, despite the fact that Pro Bowl voting is like that for Prom Queen (I don't know this one and I don't like that one, but this is the only person I recognize on the whole list). Yet, considering that Jacksonville is a relatively unknown city beyond the Jaguars and college football history, the players, even one of his ilk, aren't exactly brand names.

This story plays out in every sport as there are players who defined lesser-known franchises without as much as a sniff of post-career credit. So, which athletes in this category do you feel should receive Hall consideration and why, regardless of sport?

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