1995 Hall of Fame Poll

1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby Oszuscik » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:54 pm

Something interesting I just came across. In the 1995 Sports Illustrated NFL Preview issue, SI had asked 33 of the 34 current (as of 1995) Pro Football Hall of Fame voters to vote yes or no on which active players they would vote into the hall. Obviously a more legit poll than having your typical sportswriters give their opinion. The results were pretty interesting:

Yes-No-Maybe Votes

Shoo-ins
33-0-0 Dan Marino
33-0-0 Jerry Rice
32-1-0 Ronnie Lott
32-1-0 John Elway
32-1-0 Reggie White
31-1-1 Barry Sanders
31-2-0 Bruce Smith


On the Bubble
27-4-2 Emmitt Smith
25-5-3 Marcus Allen
24-8-1 Rod Woodson
18-8-7 Jackie Slater
20-9-4 Darrell Green
21-11-1 Steve Young
21-12-0 Thurman Thomas
19-11-3 Bruce Matthews


Long Shots
15-12-6 Jim Kelly
17-15-1 Morten Andersen
13-17-3 Troy Aikman
10-19-4 Warren Moon

10-21-2 Clay Matthews
9-20-4 Charles Haley
9-20-4 Herschel Walker
9-22-2 Michael Irvin
8-23-2 Kevin Greene

7-23-3 Nick Lowery

Longer Shots
7-24-2 Leslie O'Neal
6-24-3 Junior Seau
5-20-8 Derrick Thomas
5-23-5 Andre Reed

5-25-3 Andre Rison
5-26-2 Chris Spielman
5-27-1 Jim Lachey
4-26-3 Randall McDaniel
4-27-2 Carl Banks

Back of the Pack
3-30-0 Dermontti Dawson
3-30-0 Pat Swilling
3-30-0 Rickey Jackson
2-31-0 Deion Sanders
2-31-0 Gary Anderson
1-32-0 Greg Lloyd
1-32-0 Steve Tasker
1-32-0 Ray Childress

I've bolded the guys who were subsequently inducted into the hall. Interesting seeing the opinion of voters at the time, especially with a few of the players who were near the end of their careers already and were given low marks in this vote, but would later wind up in the hall anyways.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby JuggernautJ » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:44 pm

Oszuscik wrote:32-1-0 Ronnie Lott


I remember seeing here years ago that Lott was not a unanimous decision because there was one voter who didn't think Safety was a legitimate position and no such player should be in the Hall. I guess that guy was the one dissenter here, too.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby conace21 » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:40 pm

JuggernautJ wrote:
Oszuscik wrote:32-1-0 Ronnie Lott


I remember seeing here years ago that Lott was not a unanimous decision because there was one voter who didn't think Safety was a legitimate position and no such player should be in the Hall. I guess that guy was the one dissenter here, too.


I posted on here a few years ago. Lott's playing career was over; he had signed with the Chiefs in the 1995 off-season, but never played a game for them. I couldn't get over that someone didn't think Ronnie Lott was a HOF player.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby Reaser » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:14 am

conace21 wrote:I posted on here a few years ago. Lott's playing career was over; he had signed with the Chiefs in the 1995 off-season, but never played a game for them. I couldn't get over that someone didn't think Ronnie Lott was a HOF player.


Quite ridiculous.

Deion Sanders is funny to me, also. Plus, he was coming off his '94 season. Not surprising since every season, especially the Atlanta years the national media wrote negative articles about him and every Falcons (and even some Braves) game one or both or all 3 if on a Monday, announcers would have their obligatory negative comment about him. Media had a real problem with him -- even before the McCarver 'incident', so that wasn't why. Meanwhile, he was dominating.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby ChrisBabcock » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:46 am

17-15-1 Morten Andersen

Here's another surprising one. He had more yes than no votes in 1995? Granted he was always pretty good but to consider him one of the all time great kickers only about 10 years into his career? That's a stretch.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby rhickok1109 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:22 pm

JuggernautJ wrote:
Oszuscik wrote:32-1-0 Ronnie Lott


I remember seeing here years ago that Lott was not a unanimous decision because there was one voter who didn't think Safety was a legitimate position and no such player should be in the Hall. I guess that guy was the one dissenter here, too.

Wow, I wonder who that ignoramus was. "Safety" has been a position at least since the 1930s and the 7-diamond defense.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby Bryan » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:43 pm

I think its interesting just how many guys ended up making the HOF...all the "bubble" guys, most of the long shots, and some of the longer shots. I think this supports the idea that there has been a shift to "Big Hall" in terms of voting.

The respect given Herschel Walker is odd. He was one of the few long shots not to make it. Walker's career was pretty much over in 1995, so you had a good idea of what Walker accomplished. Not really seeing any HOF qualities there.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:28 pm

Doesnt surprise me at all about "Primetime"...

The voters knew he chose baseball over helping his Atlanta Falcons, teammates succeeding. Everyone knew he didnt supply run force or wanted to cover over the middle. Sanders was a true specialist at man-to-man coverage who QBs respected but so were Albert Lewis, Eric Allen, Lester Hayes and Louis Wright, who still havent made the HOF.

Being a true talented mercenary, who helped SF and Dallas win championships and his ability to score TDs in many ways, got the critics to finally turn around their opinions. A great but polarizing player, like Terrell Owens.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby JuggernautJ » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:12 pm

rhickok1109 wrote:
JuggernautJ wrote:
Oszuscik wrote:32-1-0 Ronnie Lott


I remember seeing here years ago that Lott was not a unanimous decision because there was one voter who didn't think Safety was a legitimate position and no such player should be in the Hall. I guess that guy was the one dissenter here, too.

Wow, I wonder who that ignoramus was. "Safety" has been a position at least since the 1930s and the 7-diamond defense.


I believe the opinion was in regard to specifically one-way safeties... players who played only safety.

But still... agreed.
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Re: 1995 Hall of Fame Poll

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:52 pm

Had Rison stayed with Atlanta and never joined Cleveland or Jax, he would be in the HOF ... he got the ring with GB but only had two good seasons afterward. Of course his crazy girlfriend from TLC didnt help matters ...
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