Explaining The John Lynch Miss

February 6th, 2017


Everything was going John Lynch’s way … until the moment of truth.

The vibes in the room were all positive after I made my pitch for Lynch as a Hall of Fame candidate Saturday in a Houston conference room. Several other selectors spoke up in Lynch’s behalf, talking up his credentials for the Class of 2017.

One voter said he surveyed several current Hall of Famers to rank this year’s list of nominees and Lynch finished near the top, well ahead of Brian Dawkins.

For the second consecutive year, Lynch survived the first cutdown, from 15 to 10. But so did Dawkins, in his first year of eligibility, and that was an ominous sign because it was highly unlikely two modern-day safeties were getting in.

And when the votes were counted, both failed to receive enough support.

When Hall officials announce the final five, they don’t give out vote totals. Lynch could have finished sixth, or he could have finished 10th, but my sense is he was very close.

It appears Lynch and Dawkins canceled each other out, which happens often for comparable players at the same position. Remember the logjam at wide receiver awhile back when Andre Reed, Tim Brown and Cris Carter were frozen out for several years.

Once Carter broke through in 2013, Reed and Brown got their busts in the following two years.

It happens.

During the discussion phase, one voter noted that Dawkins made the All-Decade team of the 2000s, while Lynch did not. That’s an important distinction because the All-Decade teams are selected by the same Hall of Fame Selection Board.

I explained that some Hall-worthy players are “tweeners” whose careers simply don’t fit neatly into one decade. Lynch became a starter in 1996 and ended his career in 2007.

Dawkins played from 1996-2011.

In the 15 minutes it took for an accounting firm to tally the votes for the final five, I was confident this would be the year for Lynch, who has been a finalist since 2014. The final five are announced in alphabetical order, so when I heard the name Terrell Davis and then Jason Taylor, my heart sank.

I was stunned.

Sucking Up To Sacks

Where did Taylor come from, in his first year of eligibility?

In retrospect, Taylor sacked Lynch’s spot because he was the only pass rusher in the group while Lynch had direct competition at safety.

And the selectors love pass rushers.

Taylor joins Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, Chris Doleman, Richard Dent, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Fred Dean and Andre Tippett as sack masters voted in since 2008.

Sometimes, you just have to wait your turn. Reed was in the room seven times before he was elected in 2014 and Greene got in last year in his fifth year as a finalist.

Lynch will have waited the longest of anyone on the ballot next year if, as expected, he makes the list of finalists once again.

The Class of 2018 is packed with dynamic first-year eligibles like Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Ronde Barber and Brian Urlacher, but there is room for Lynch.

Yes, Dawkins will be back, but my sense is Lynch is ahead of the former Eagles standout. Barber has imposing Hall of Fame credentials and I’m eager to make his case as well.

Owens Buried

Many fans and players can’t understand why voters aren’t backing the candidacy of Terrell Owens, who clearly has Hall of Fame numbers. Let me assure you that his lukewarm support has nothing to do with his on-field antics or frosty relationship with the media.

For the past two years, Owens has been buried in the room, portrayed as a divisive figure who cares only about himself. These views aren’t fake news — they are comments shared by former coaches and former teammates who couldn’t wait to get rid of a supremely talented player.

No one ever said Warren Sapp was a bad teammate. No one ever said Sapp cared only about himself.

That’s a big difference, and Owens is paying a steep price. Owens will get his day in Canton, but the case against him is real — and it’s persuasive.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Lynch and Barber are inducted together in 2018? That’s my goal, and I’m going to give it my best shot in Minneapolis.

21 Responses to “Explaining The John Lynch Miss”

  1. Dave Says:

    Maybe hes just not hall of fame worthy alot of grrat players dont make it.. TO not making it is ridiculous though

  2. LakeLandBuc Says:

    What about roger Craig?

  3. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Roger Craig was the ultimate teammate, caught the ball, ran the ball, pass block for QB, run block for RB. Won 3 Super Bowls, never missed the playoffs, despite playing for 3 different teams.

  4. jerseybuc Says:

    Jason Taylor as a first ballot HOFer is joke. If he got in due to his sack totals, check out his stats in the playoffs.

    9 playoff games. 6 tackles. NO SACKS.

    A HOFer plays bigger in the biggest games as Mr. Brady showed last night. One could argue that Simeon Rice has had a better career than Taylor, and he hasn’t come close to the HOF. His playoff numbers are vastly superior as well.

    Let’s hope John gets in next year, cause in 2018 here comes Ed Reed.

  5. Capt. Blighe Says:

    Jason Taylor getting in is joke, regardless of how you feel about lynch.

  6. Tampa Tony Says:

    Two defense’s that get more love from the media the 85 Bears and 2000 Ravens have only 3 HOFers for the Bears D and 1 so far from the Ravens. I find it hard to believe both Barber and Lynch both get in from a less respected d. I’d love to be wrong but can’t see both getting in

  7. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    The selectors “love” pass rushers?? Then WTF isn’t Simeon Rice already a HOF’er over showboat strahan? Nvrmnd, just answered my own question. Of course a popularity contest panel that smells their own BS southpark style would go for the social butterfly. What a joke that NONE of us are laughing at.

  8. J 2.0 Says:

    Jason Taylor getting in is not a joke. He is a Hall of Famer. Look at his sacks, forced fumbles, and fumbles recovered. On paper he is a Hall of Famer and if you watched him play you know he is as well.

    Ronde should be a 1st ballot guy. Just my opinion, but we shall see. We all knew Lynch would have a tough road.

    What I do think is a joke is that Simeon Rice is not even considered for the Hall. Can anyone tell me why he is never even under consideration?

  9. tmaxcon Says:

    hall of fame and the voters proved they are clueless by enshrining an unqualified undeserving Tony Dungy ahead of many more deserving candidates. Hall is a joke now and the voters are just a bunch idiots trying to remain relevant in a dying industry.

  10. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I’m sure you presented an admirable case for Mr. Lynch there Ira. We salute your efforts good sir.

    I will say this, Mortin Anderson getting a bust in Canton before John Lynch is pure garbage.

    I also have a sneaking suspicion that Johnny Lynch is being snubbed due to his reputation as a punishing hitter. In a day and age where that style of play is largely frowned upon.

    But I digress, we appreciate everything you do for this great website Mr. Kaufman, better luck next year.

  11. StPeteBucsfan Says:


    We disagree on why Lynch got snubbed…hard hitting is still respected even though it’s not as prevalent. I do not believe his “style” hurt him.

    Again…look at salaries and safeties are just not as valued by the league…presentl and apparently from the past. They are the lowest paid of any of the fulltim positions.

    As for T.O. Keep the loser out. He played for one person only…TO…he had HOF physical skills with a bush league head on his shoulders. There should be more to the HOF than just physical skills and personal numbers. How many teams had their chemistry harmed by TO’s toxic locker room presence? HOFers are simply not shipped all over the league to multiple teams while in their prime.

  12. Gencoimports Says:

    I’m sure you did your best Ira. Maybe next year you could find out who some of the dissenters are in advance, and have them kidnapped and programmed to vote for Lynch and Barber, Manchurian Candidate style.

    In all seriousness, there needs to be more senior candidates (retired for more than 25 years) put up for a vote – such as Jerry Kramer or Ken Anderson, just to name a couple. Before you know it, safety Steve Atwater will be eligible to be a senior candidate it’s an outrage that he is not in already. He probably has as good or better argument to get in than Lynch or Dawkins at this point, but he never gets any support.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Taylor was a worthy candidate – but no way you can tell me he was good enough to be 1st ballot guy.

    To me the Terrell Davis induction over Lynch is even more egregious. Davis had 2 great years but that’s not enough. He ranks 212th in total yards from scrimmage and is 55th in total career rushing yards. Hell – IMO Warrick Dunn was a better RB contender for HOF consideration than Davis and Dunn will never get in.

    Davis went to 3 pro bowls. Lynch went to 9.

    Taylor needed to “wait his turn” (Dawkins too) and Davis has no business in the HOF. Neither should have been voted in over Lynch.

    Total BS is what I call on this HOF final vote!

  14. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m guessing Lynch won’t make the HOF anytime soon. How long can a bypassed player remain eligible? For life and beyond? How many players are out there who were nominated and left out?

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    screw TO….never liked his cry baby a$$…..i’ll always remember him for one thing and one thing only……”THATS MY QUARTERBACK”….BOO F’ING WHO….GO BUCS!!!!

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    nawl real talk TO was a great wr with a bunch of screws lose in is head….I remember him playing with a broken leg in the super bowl and calling out mcnabb…lol….he’ll get in one day….GO BUCS!!!!

  17. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Just gotta keep on pushing for Lynch. I still think it has something to so with the gutless wonders in the football dialog these days acting like since John Lynch hit hard, was a total bruiser, that’s conduct unbecoming. Using today’s rules for a guy who played under old rules.

  18. Gencoimports Says:


    Check out http://www.notinhalloffame.com/football

    (not updated yet through this week’s vote)

    I don’t agree with theor order of the players, and there are some players listed here that I don’t think are HOF worthy, but it’s overall a good representation of many HOF worthy players long forgotten.

  19. Chris Says:

    Lol, keep TO out cause he’s not a great teammate. Glad , Ira, that you guys can have that kind of power. Oh…..but you and rest of the New York journalists can vote your hero LT in, despite his Crack problems and child molester ….underage prostitute…..arrests. Glad you guys are the moral compass. I really wonder if you read these columns……you can’t even answer why you’ve never, ever have gone to bat for Simeon Rice. He really, really must have p…she’d you journalists off back in the day. You guys really love the media friendly players. And that’s what this joke of a HOF voting is really about.

  20. JonBuc Says:

    Solid effort, Ira. You’d make a heck of a salesman. I’d buy a Caddy from you. 🙂
    Jason taylor is the biggest surprise to me…and Davis was great but not for long.

  21. Tampa Tony Says:

    Yep, once again our guy Lynch gets screwed! When I heard Jason Taylor’s name I was appalled. Seriously! Yes, eventually he should definitely be considered. But, before Lynch, or even Dawkins?!!! Unbelievable! Ira, I know you put your heart into this like always, and I feel bad for you. He’ll get there, and it’ll be you to do it. Appreciate your efforts as always! Go Bucs!