Newly retired running back LaDainian Tomlinson recently made an interesting statement regarding his inevitable entry in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tomlinson, who never won a Super Bowl, told NBC SportsTalk that he would rather be a member of the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl.
To me, baseball is the only sport of the four majors where this is a plausible argument. Postseason success in baseball can swing on so many random occurrences and bounces, that is almost unfair to repeatedly club a baseball player for not winning a World Series.
The narrative for the NBA and NHL is far different. While the Hall of Fame is a bonus, the title is thing in each sport as we were reminded all too often during LeBron James’s chase for a title.
Did you ever hear any analyst say over the last nine years “LeBron, may not get a title but at least he’ll be in the Hall of Fame”?
The National Football League falls somewhere in between those extremes. As we witnessed last February, one subpar unit (and bad hands) can ultimately cost a team everything.
Reaching the Hall of Fame is only part of the story, not the whole tale.
How about Jackie Smith? He was a great individual player, who made the Hall of Fame but did not win the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, his drop in Super Bowl XIII remains one of the signature plays in the Super Sunday’s history.
Tomlinson makes a point though about football being a team sport and a player’s singular talents may not necessarily mean his team will ever win a Super Bowl.
Certainly, I think if you polled Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, they might have a different thought process.
While reaching the Hall of Fame is stamps a player as one of the greatest of ever, being a Super Bowl champion is the height of team achievement.
Which is better?
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