Hall of Fame Comparisons

Among the most popular articles on this site are those of the Hall of Fame Comparison series, which rate top AFL players against their NFL counterparts who have already been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  As a result, this page has been constructed in an effort to further illustrate the dominance of certain AFL players, and their unexplainable exclusion from the Hall of Fame.























Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

15 Responses to Hall of Fame Comparisons

  1. […] solely to these comparisons.  You can now scroll down the left side of the home page and find the HALL OF FAME COMPARISONS link.  This will take you directly to the page where all HoF comparisons can be found.  I will […]

  2. charles yerby says:

    Sad that Johnny Robinson and Charley Hennigan aren’t in ”’

  3. Howard says:

    I’d say most of the group listed should be in a Hall of Very Good. I think Robinson, Otis Taylor and Abner Haynes are definite HOF. The others are all very good players, but, I’m not sure the world is worse off without them in the HOF.

    Perhaps, they should set up an AFL wing to rectify this issue. There are way too many people listed to have a shot at getting in with the Seniors group. I’m not disparaging any of them. They were all excellent, but, no way will more than one or two will get in. There should be an AFL wing, just like Negro League in MLB.

    • Todd Tobias says:

      I agree with you on the AFL wing, Howard. I’d love to see that. However, I can’t agree that Haynes, Robinson and Taylor are the only HoF-worthy players on that list. For example, take a look at Jim Tyrer or Walt Sweeney. Incredible players whose post-football issues likely have a lot to do with their not being inducted.

      I’d agree that some of those names are bubble-players for HoF worthiness, but they all belong in the discussion at a minimum.

      • Howard says:

        As I reread that list, I stand by my original assertion. I don’t think there will be a chorus of media people lobbying for the likes of Houston Antwine or Paul Lowe to be included in the Pro Football HOF.

        Sadly, the AFL is thought about by those who care little or know little as a precursor to the modern game of today. The AFL owners wanted to be included within a one league concept more than the NFL owners. So, the AFL lost it’s identity after the merger. The owners laugh all the way to the bank.

        • Todd Tobias says:

          I think we agree with each other, Howard. I don’t see those guys getting in either. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t deserve induction, just that they’ve likely fallen too far from the spotlight for that ever to happen.

    • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

      Cookie Gilchrist and Jim Tyrer are both in The Hall of Very Good, Class of 2013. The Hall of Very Good is a creation of The Professional Football Researchers Association, and I voted for both of those guys.

      I think they should both be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I didn’t know about Tyrer until I became a regular on this site two years ago–but when I was a kid in the late ’70’s, Gilchrist was one of the first AFL players I knew about. What a dynamic player ! ! !

      I made a comment on a You Tube video posted by Scott Gilchrist (Cookie’s son), saying Gilchrist should be in The Hall of Fame, and Scott responded and thanked me, saying he’s still hoping.

    • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

      Paul Lowe gets my vote for The Hall of Fame. I’ve seen clips of him on You Tube, and the man has moves that remind me of Chris “Lightning” Johnson and Michael Vick.

      The FIRST player who gets my vote is Otis Taylor. Don’t even get me started about him ! ! ! I’ve talked extensively about O-Taylor on this site and on Leatherheads of the Gridiron. In fact, last December (2014) I contributed to an article on Leatherheads of the Gridiron called “Each Team’s Best”–i.e., the best player in each team’s history. One of the teams I did was Kansas City, and the player I wrote about was Otis Taylor.

      I’m not as familiar with Johnny Robinson, but I’ve heard people on this site absolutely rave about him.

  4. Eddie Arminio says:

    As I have said before, their should be an AFL Hall of Fame, but realistically, that’s a real long shot.Agreeing with Howard, their should be a wing in Canton for these great players.The NFL will never admit it, but Commissioner Al Davis and the rest of the”Foolish Club”, brought the monopoly to its knees.

  5. afl says:

    [ cue theme from ‘Dragnet’ ] The stories you are about to read are true – player name’s have not been changed because those provide factual evidence of inequity and affirm why sports Hall of Fame voting is so inconsistent.

    None of the Hall of Fames have a moral clause except MLB, where rules for voting include taking into consideration of a player’s ‘integrity, sportsmanship & character.’ What is consideration? Just another way of saying opinions (as your mileage) may vary, depending on what drives you/your vote… no absolutes, just shades subjective greys.

    Some former AFL players are enshrined in the NFL’s Hall of Fame, others are not, despite measure ≥ some already enshrined. Were it a matter anti-AFL bias alone, no formers would be enshrined, so bias alone doesn’t jibe with fact some ‘are’ in while others ‘are not’.

    What exactly is the Hall of Fame measure? What a player did vs opposing players in their era, or what they did comparison previously enshrined players? Some magic threshold that must be met? Take 500 hrs MLB: once upon a time it was nigh on guarantee enshrinement in that sports HOF. Since, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire & Rafael Palmeiro (each above/near 600) are not enshrined, ditto the 762 hrs courtesy of (PEDs use?) record holder, Barry Bonds. Personality may also be the kiss of death, some cases: Ryne Sandberg is ‘in’ & Jeff Kent is ‘out’, despite the latter having hit more hrs and ended with a higher batting average; wonderful system, don’t you agree?

    Back to football, the rub same is – guys with lesser production/stats (Larry Wilson & Lynn Swann) compared to others (Johnny Robinson & Otis Taylor) get in while their superiors do not. This Chiefs fan since day one believes there was no one better than Jim Tyrer: 9 time All Star/6-time 1st teamer he is out, while Billy Shaw (8 time All Star/5-time 1st teamer) is in. An off-field post retirement consideration the former, a career that never included a single game played in the NFL case the latter.

    NFL, Gale Sayers had an injury shortened career but is enshrined – deservedly so my opine, as all the aforementioned AFL players voted in or kept out. Not arguing Sayers merit, just the methodology – subjective personal bias does not validate, it only serves to skew. Joe Namath’s final stats are shy merit enshrinement, compared other peers his; the aside what he meant to the AFL result his signing/triumph Superbowl III trumps all else, apparently.

    Voter bias result theory (as in deficiency of one league (the AFL), PED use (Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro), off-field post retirement result (Tyrer) or personality issues (Kent), suggests any sport’s Hall of Fame is not so much a reflection of the players enshrined or denied enshrinement, as it is the voters and their own subjective compass, moral or other; helluva way to validate or invalidate a Hall of Fame caliber player. Might be interesting if Sgt. Joe Friday would have employed “just the facts”, he being arbiter of his own vote.
    What an ambiguous mess, variously.

    • Todd Tobias says:

      Ah, AFL, I’ve missed your input. Good to see your well-thought responses gracing the site again.

      • afl says:

        Passion & the memories engendered by province tends to make one long-winded (which is better than slow death, what the arena modern football has become, look what they’ve done to my game, ma; reason it’s always 1967 at my house.)


        • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

          HAHAHAHAHA, quoting Dragnet and making a reference to Melanie ! ! ! I love hearing about the ’60’s and reminiscing about the ’70’s ! ! !

          Yes, AFL (a.k.a. 1967), it’s GREAT to have you back ! ! ! !

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