The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2018 was enshrined just over two weeks ago in Canton, Ohio. The process of deciding next year’s class is already underway, but don’t expect Bengals legend Ken Anderson to be on his toes about it.
“I didn’t even know that day was coming up,” Anderson told Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. in regards to the Hall of Fame senior committee meeting tomorrow to vote for their senior nomination. “I don’t get too excited about it. I did a podcast with a couple of the voters. Who knows what they think? I don’t know if it’s different with the senior committee, I don’t know the thought process of what they go through.”
The thought process Anderson referred to is the senior committee going through all the former players who have waited 20 or more years for a chance at football immortality, and eventually selecting 15 of them as finalists. But they only get to vote for one.
Football is the ultimate team game, but quarterbacks are the players that are associated with winning the most. And the commonality for quarterbacks that have been enshrined is success in the game’s biggest stage.
The Bengals were by and large a successful franchise with Anderson under center. But the one Super Bowl that slipped through the 1981 squad’s fingers is likely the reason why Anderson doesn’t get the credit he deserves to this day. Luckily for Anderson, he has support from Rick Gosselin of Talk of Fame Network, who’s a member the senior committee, and claims Anderson is the “best quarterback not in” the hall yet.
“It always puzzled me why his name hasn’t come up yet,” Gosselin confessed about Anderson. “There’s so many more candidates, every year you go in there and I feel worse for the 14 guys we don’t pick than the one we do.”
Voting for players of older generations obviously has an emotional dynamic where empathy creeps into the process. The more a player is denied, the less of a chance he’s eventually elected as he creeps up in age.
The 69-year old Anderson isn’t quite the next Jerry Kramer, who was finally enshrined this year at the age of 82 after waiting over four decades for his bust to be made, but his case grows stronger with guys like Kramer out of the competition. But at the end of the day, Anderson will keep on keeping on.
“You never know,” Anderson said. “I’ll be working out. I’ll be at the gym working out Friday morning, then I got a big day after that working in the yard.”
The yard won’t stand a chance.