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Michael Irvin awaits his fate

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By sometime today, I better see Michael Irvin crying at some podium. And I'm not talking about crying because he got snubbed again. I'm talking about tears of joy because he got voted into the Hall of Fame. You know Mike, he's an emotional guy, and if he gets voted in, ESPN could have one wacky morning on its hands.

I've written previously about this subject so my views are well-known. There's no other reason Irvin isn't in the HoF except for a group of writers punishing him for a life off-the-field that was as explosive as his play on-the-field. I'm not one to sit in judgment of Irvin's life, although it's obvious he could have done a lot better in some areas. Some of the stuff he did, and some of the stuff he says - until this day - make me cringe, make me wonder - "Why, Mike, why?" But the HoF is about one thing, your play between the lines; it's about how you performed for three hours every Sunday. It says so right in the by-laws of the HoF voting - you can look it up.

If you want to have a discussion about the modern-day athlete, their role in society and their obligations to be role models, or any of many other moral and ethical issues, that's fine - and it's a worthy discussion to have. And you can throw Michael Irvin right into the middle of it. But if you want to discuss Irvin deserving the HoF - where his play on the field is the only criteria - then there is no discussion.

And if Michael Irivn doesn't make the HoF again, I hope some of the writers will have the guts to admit that they are sitting in judgment of Michael Irvin, the man - not the player.

JJT talks about Irvin, his mother, and the Hall of Fame in this article.

Michael [Irvin] put up numbers - 750 catches, 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns - in a 12-year career that ended prematurely because of a neck injury suffered while running one of his trademark slant patterns in Philadelphia.

He broke nearly every significant receiving record in franchise history, impressive considering Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson and Tony Hill owned those records.

More important, Irvin served as the Cowboys' emotional leader. Don't underestimate the importance of that, because Troy Aikman didn't have the personality to pull it off and Emmitt led more by example than words.

Irvin connected with everyone on the roster.


Buck Harvey discusses the role Irvin's actions have had on his Hall of Fame snubs.
Maybe that's why he keeps alluding to himself and his accomplishments while on the air for ESPN. Irvin has repeated throughout the week that he has three rings; that, unlike Marvin Harrison of the Colts, he had the muscle and determination to free himself in big games; that he lived for the very moments that should put him in the Hall of Fame.

He's not wrong on any of this. But it's part of the loud personality that has alienated the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. This is a small crowd of sportswriters trying to be objective with a subjective set of criteria, and Irvin is a confusing subject.

I guess, but it's not that confusing and it's not that subjective.

Todd Archer isn't worried about finding a qualified candidate for head coach, but filling out the rest of the staff could be an issue.

Nick Eatman says a final goodbye to Bill Parcells and laments the fact that the Tuna didn't give the Dallas media one final press conference. Then he took a trick out of my book and made up his own Bill Parcells mock press conference.

Look-it, it's just time for me to hang it up. I didn't just indiscriminately come up with this decision. There's lot of moving parts you have to figure. I love coaching, but there's two sides of that pancake. Trust me, I'll be up to my ears in alligators. Hey, I'll still be watching what goes on, but I've got to keep my own house from burning down now. Seriously, I'm not trying to be funny . . . anything else, fellas?"