Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Discuss candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the PFRA's Hall of Very Good

Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby JohnTurney » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:08 pm

Pompei wrote

"LT told me: “I played against a lot of excellent offensive tackles, and I put him in the top echelon. I put him up there with the best of the best. I look at a lot of the people who are in the Hall of Fame, and if Jim Covert can’t be in the Hall of Fame, then we got a problem there.”
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Andy Piascik » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:56 pm

Reaser wrote:I had low expectations, as always, and somehow they managed to do worse than I thought was possible.

I had Wistert as the best football player on the list. So that's probably most egregious, to me. Though, not about one player. The list had some clear choices, some coin-flip/borderline possibilities and some not-HOF'ers and for the most part they took from the latter two groups in lieu of the first group. Asinine, really.


Given the track record, it's right to have low expectations. But weren't you heartened when you saw the list of 20 last month? My expectations were low before that, then they went way up when I saw the large number of outstanding old timers, now they're low again. I said to Ken Crippen that including guys like Covert, Craig, Hill, Sprinkle and Carmichael instead of guys like Shofner, Howton and Howley gave Dilweg, Wistert, Emerson, etc. a better chance because Shofner, Howton and Howley would be stiffer competition and there was no way they could elect Covert, Craig, Hill, Sprinkle or Carmichael over Dilweg, Wistert and Emerson. Guess I was wrong.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby JohnTurney » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:12 pm

Sprinkle, to me, lowers the bar so much it's frustrating.

First, his 1940s All_Decade is dubious at best, though for that era
a mythical 1945-55 would be a fit.

But the thing is, these people say they've watched film or he got in
according to Pompei based on film studty

TJ and I saw basically the same thing. A small guy, neither fast nor quick
who was a good arc rusher, but didn't seem to vary his rush but
was targeted in the run game. Teams would run off tackle on him

Maybe part of it Clark Shaughnessy's schemes being weird.

But I can buy Hall of Very good, some DEs not good vs run and could
rush okay despite not great natural talent (size, speed, quickness)
but when you have documented film and he's not dominant
you have to wonder what kind of study was really done.

Or TJ and I are idiots. Maybe we are.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Bdbop » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:47 pm

One thing to consider is that the next time a panel meets to nominate one, or two (depending on the year) Senior Selections, it will be back to the old smaller Committee, and not this group of 25, to recommend nominees to the entire group of voting members. So, there is no guarantee that any of those who did not get the nod this time will ever be heard from again.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Reaser » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:53 pm

Andy Piascik wrote:Given the track record, it's right to have low expectations. But weren't you heartened when you saw the list of 20 last month?


Not really.

I mean, I suppose just by the odds -believe when we talked about it I had a top-8, then listed the next 6 players, and then 6 players I definitely never thought of as HOF- it probably should have given some hope that at least 9 if not all 10 players would come from the first-14, but I didn't think of it that way. Just assumed I wouldn't think they did a good job but watching it this morning I kept thinking, "this is worse than I thought it'd be."
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Reaser » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:00 pm

JohnTurney wrote:Sprinkle, to me, lowers the bar so much it's frustrating.

but when you have documented film and he's not dominant
you have to wonder what kind of study was really done.

Or TJ and I are idiots. Maybe we are.


Is interesting to wonder, what exactly did they see?

I had him on my list of "definitely not HOF" based on the film I've seen.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Andy Piascik » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:08 pm

JohnTurney wrote:Sprinkle, to me, lowers the bar so much it's frustrating.

First, his 1940s All_Decade is dubious at best, though for that era
a mythical 1945-55 would be a fit.

But the thing is, these people say they've watched film or he got in
according to Pompei based on film studty

TJ and I saw basically the same thing. A small guy, neither fast nor quick
who was a good arc rusher, but didn't seem to vary his rush but
was targeted in the run game. Teams would run off tackle on him

Maybe part of it Clark Shaughnessy's schemes being weird.

But I can buy Hall of Very good, some DEs not good vs run and could
rush okay despite not great natural talent (size, speed, quickness)
but when you have documented film and he's not dominant
you have to wonder what kind of study was really done.

Or TJ and I are idiots. Maybe we are.


You guys definitely aren't idiots, it's just a terrible choice. What makes it worse is that people actually picked him over so many much more worthy candidates. Had it been a Yes or No vote just on Sprinkle with no one else under consideration, I could maybe see (although would still completely disagree with) a majority voting Yes.

I think there are a few issues. For one, who are the top DEs of the 1940s? As I said elsewhere, in the years of the single platoon before the all-pro teams were split into distinct offensive and defensive units, the vast majority of votes went to guys based on their offense. So you have all-pro teams where the two ends are Don Hutson and Jim Benton or Mac Speedie and Ken Kavanaugh who may have been okay or even good on defense but who were picked because of their offense. A primarily defensive guy like Larry Craig would occasionally get some recognition and later Brink with the Rams but not often. If we were going to pick an all-1940s defensive team, the only way to know who the best DEs were is to look at a lot of film and I doubt most of these folks have done that.

There was also a pretty big change with DE play as passing became more prolific in the late 1940s. I've heard and seen a little of the same thing on film: Sprinkle was soft against the run. But because he played until 1955 or whatever after big changes where there were now DEs who got reputations and even all-pro honors because they were good pass rushers (and I assume Sprinkle was at least good, although obviously not as good as Brink or Ford or Marchetti or Brito or Robustelli), people came to believe he was better than he really was going back over his whole career.

So I would ask you, John, or anybody else, who were the best DEs before 1950 and the emergence of Ford, Matchetti, Brink, etc? The fact that it may not be an easy question to answer is what probably helped Sprinkle get elected because he has a reputation and nobody else from the 1940s who I know of does.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby JohnTurney » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:23 pm

Reaser wrote:
Is interesting to wonder, what exactly did they see?

I had him on my list of "definitely not HOF" based on the film I've seen.


Makes me wonder if they are just looking at highlights of him ripping of a helmet or two

I dunno---but when TJ tells me he has notes on Rams just killing Sprinkle with off-tackle runs
year after year (TJ big Bears) fan, I trust him. I've seen a lot, but less than TJ and Nick
he looks okay. But so does Jack Zilly and Bill McPeak. Poole, etc...seem similar

More like John Zook than a Humphrey or a Dryer than a Youngblood or a JIm Marshall rathr
than Eller...

Marshall tons better on film from 1964-70 than anything I see out of Sprinkle.

If they are going "light honors" are okay, then I will reverse my view of Marshall because
tehre are several years Marshall's film is excellent, ALWAYS fune to watch because of high effort

Just that after 1970 or so, had warning track power on getting to QBs
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby JohnTurney » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:35 pm

Andy Piascik wrote:So I would ask you, John, or anybody else, who were the best DEs before 1950 and the emergence of Ford, Matchetti, Brink, etc? The fact that it may not be an easy question to answer is what probably helped Sprinkle get elected because he has a reputation and nobody else from the 1940s who I know of does.


I think that's right, but you mention some, Brink, Jack Zilly was good, Ray Poole was every bit as noticable as Sprinke. Prob Barney Bool, too.

You've seen film, those DE are out wide, often blocked by a guard---so it's repetitious. So, unless you see a DE really flash, he's just a guy.

None of has seen to legendary 8-sack game of Willey, but I have film of Willey--FAR more noticeable than Sprinkle. You see him flash more
than most. Is he HOF? I don't think so, but IMO, and I am no expert Willey > Sprinkle.

Heck George Young flashes some for Cle. ... Nick and TJ would agree---Clay Matthews the original looks as good if not better than Sprinkle.

I am not saying Sprinkle is BAD---just not HOFer. Ed Henke will get in the way.

Now I have a bias, this is the position I played. I was not good, just a regular average DE, and when I tried to play college, got run off the field
because I was not good enough to make the team (and my uncle was the AD) basically I sucked-- too small, too weak, too slow.
But I knew how to play the position and what I did in the 1970s early 80s was very similar to what was being done in NFL in 1950s
. And my could would have NEVER let me play the way Sprinkle did. I'd have been benched. But, clearly Halas like what he had his weak end
doing...but the way he did it is was not hard. And they will run at you and through you if all you do is arc rush and contain.

So, in the 1940s? Honestly, would take some research and film study, Chris and TJ would know more. But starting in 1948 which is when my
interest begins---I think Willey and the others I mentioned are all on par with Sprinkle. It would depend if you caught a good game where
the opponent was throwing and how they stopped plays at them, pursuit angles if they let themselves get cut too much...all that.
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Re: Sorry, but they screwed the pooch

Postby Ken Crippen » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:15 am

JohnTurney wrote:Sprinkle, to me, lowers the bar so much it's frustrating.

First, his 1940s All_Decade is dubious at best, though for that era
a mythical 1945-55 would be a fit.

But the thing is, these people say they've watched film or he got in
according to Pompei based on film studty

TJ and I saw basically the same thing. A small guy, neither fast nor quick
who was a good arc rusher, but didn't seem to vary his rush but
was targeted in the run game. Teams would run off tackle on him

Maybe part of it Clark Shaughnessy's schemes being weird.

But I can buy Hall of Very good, some DEs not good vs run and could
rush okay despite not great natural talent (size, speed, quickness)
but when you have documented film and he's not dominant
you have to wonder what kind of study was really done.

Or TJ and I are idiots. Maybe we are.


Neither of you are idiots. I see the same thing when I watch film of Sprinkle. HOVG, but not HOF. I do not know what these selectors are seeing when they are watching the film. We can all disagree, but this is a pretty wide disparity.
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