What are your HOF Criteria?

What do you guys have as your HOF criteria for a player?

I kinda start with at least an 8 year career

Number of times they were in the top 5 at their position-I think of 80% of seasons played

Hmm...I need to think this through.

What are yours?

lets see

First, I might point out the obvious. It is hall of Fame, not hall of Champions.

Long time starter, excellent career stats, well known, well respected by peers and opponents

The following is part of a list I found. Having been around to play so many games sure meets one standard to Fame.

9 Brett FavreQB ^ 1991–2010 302
11 Tom Brady QB 2000–present 301
16 Drew Brees QB 2001–present 287
29 Peyton Manning QB 1998–2015 266
43 Earl Morrall QB 1956–1976 255
53 Fran Tarkenton
QB 1961–1978 246
58 Philip Rivers QB 2004–2020 244
66 Dan Marino* QB 1983–1999 242
86 Eli Manning QB 2004–2019 236
96 John Elway* QB 1983–1998 234
104 Vinny Testaverde QB 1987–2007 233
104 Ben Roethlisberger QB 2004–present 233

FYB...what do the numbers on the left mean? Is that where they rank career wise-like Bradys11 means he's played the 11 most games in NFL history?

PS. I presume we are not drawing distinction betweenn CFL and NFL,

I took this from a list of all positions. I was able to sort by position to get it. The number to the left is where they sit overall.

I don't like "stat caps" as often times career leaders are dominated by specific eras due to rule changes. People today score more touchdowns than previous eras, people today throw more passes than previous eras (heck in some eras forward passing is illegal). So saying something like X TDs is not a great thing until compared against similar players of his era.

As well "long term" sounds good on paper until you consider players careers can be cut down for various reasons (eg in old days needing to work a "real" job, players who had careers cut short due to injury / death / world wars etc)

As an example from another sport, take Ralph Kiner. Buried on a loser team in Pittsburgh he was (imo) the greatest hitter of all time. Stats are second only to Babe Ruth. Certainly better than more modern players who get way more press (eg Hank Aaron). But an injury ended his career.

And again, although a great player can elevate a loser team, should a great player really be hamstrung for playing on a team that has no chance to win the Grey Cup?

Basically in a nutshell; a player needs to be significantly better than similar players in his era.
Championships and longevity are nice but both can make a "good" player look "great"

That disqualifies a lot of guys in the Cdn Hall, including Warren Moon, Terry Greer and Merv Fernandez, to name three who come immediately to mind. Longevity should be of far less importance than ability and performance, IMO.

I think longevity is an important factor in the sense that it shows ability and performance lasting over several seasons, as opposed to a one or two season flash in the pan. For me, a HOFer has to have several years at or near the top ratings for his position, or be a consistent performer over the course of his career.

1 Like

A guy like Chad Owens is an interesting case.

His 2012 season was pehaps the best I've ever seen personally and he was MVP that year. His team won the GC.
He gained over 3800 all purpose yards which is still stands as the most ever in either league. He had consecutive seasons of 3,000 yards. That's quite phenomenal. He was very impactful. He moved to Canada full time.

He only played 6 years. But he was truly great for at least 3 of those. Enough for the HOF? Probably not. That short of a career certainly weighs against him.

But I do believe that a HOFer has to impact the league in some positive way through his playing career.

Perhaps different positions need to be judged differently. Certainly a RB is going to have a shorter career than most positions.

Football careers are average 3 years .

A baseball career 5.6 years , NHL 5 years etc .

You add that factor you may find a proportionate level for the HOF criteria for the CFL when you add in the factor of the NFL purging some quality players .

Depending on the significance of high stats , awards , best at position etc... my feeling is three years would be the minimum for a CFL career to be in the HOF if those three years were significantly outstanding at that position .

Because the skills are easily transferable to a more wealthy /lucrative league south my feeling is that players impact should not be ignored but celebrated if the three year mark was met .

I don't think there is anybody in either HOF with a career that short. By their talent alone HOFers will last longer than that.
It would be neat to know the average length of career for players inducted. I bet it's in excess of 10.

The Canadian Football HOF has variables to consider .

Cameron Wake for example played only two years here but was outstanding at his position for those two years .

My thoughts are certain players should not be penalized .

Unlike other leagues they don't have the issues with purging players .

But for me there should be years in league minimum to be considered whether injury or being lured south in todays CFL .

Cameron for me needed one more year in the CFL to qualify but I can see where others see differently and see those two years as being significant enough to warrant his inclusion while others see his career here not long enough .

Here is a QB who was not among the greatest skill and stat wise, yet made an impact that some think makes him HOF worthy. Earl Morrall. Twenty one season in league. Started 9 games of the 1972 Dolphins perfect season. Played in 255 games which puts him pretty high on that list. Some have called him one of the greatest backups ever.

I could see a case be made for either way,

Sure, some degree of longevity is required. But I gave three examples of players who are in the Hall who did not play the eight years the OP proposed as a minimum. They were so great that they went to the NFL after six seasons. Should they be prevented from going to the Cdn HoF because they were ultimately too good to stay in the CFL for their entire career?

Exemptions have to be made. I’m thinking Camron Wake. I’d put him in although he only played 2 years.

1 Like


All of you make a lot of good valid points.

Longevity and a great statistical career goes a log way. No doubt.

I'd like to say Cameron Wake, but 2 years is too little. Don't get me wrong, that dude was a 1 Man Wrecking Crew. He was always in the backfield. I believe he was over 20 sacks a year for the 2 years he played. He's probably at 45 sacks in 2 seasons. That's a video game stat. He hit a little over 100 sacks in the NFL.

If were going with the average life span in pro sports, I have to say "No". It's the Hall of Fame for a reason. Only a special few with be forever in shrined for what they did for lets say 6 or 7 plus years.

For a recent type of player that has been in the League for about 6 - 7 seasons now; I'd have to say that eventually Willie Jefferson will be there. He's a game changer. Sticking with defense, Charlton Hughes will be a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer.

Officially 39 sacks in his two CFL seasons (16 and then 23).

23 was more than the next two guys combined.