The Undeserving NFL Hall of Famer Debate… Lynn Swann Catches A Lucky Break

Read the opposing arguments from Babe Ruthless and Loyal Homer.

Without looking at names, who is this Hall of Famer?

Player One has 13,899 receiving yards and 130 receiving TDs. Player One has also been named to eight Pro Bowls.

Player Two has 13,198 receiving yards and 87 receiving TDs. Player Two was named to seven different Pro Bowls.

Then there is Player Three.

Player Three has 5,462 career receiving yards and 51 TDs. Player Three was also named to only three Pro Bowls.

This wouldn’t be a debate about the LEAST deserving Hall of Famer if the answer to the question above was either Player One or Player Two.

So who are these mystery receivers? Player One is Cris Carter, Player Two is Andre Reed, and Player Three is Lynn Swann.

Can someone please explain to me how Lynn Swann is in the NFL Hall of Fame?!

His statistics barely qualify as average. His role on the Steelers was secondary. In a recent poll it was even determined that 60 percent of the people in the state of Pennsylvania, where “his” Steelers play, don’t like him. So I will ask the question again, can someone PLEASE explain to me how Lynn Swann is in the Hall of Fame?!

Statistically, he is an embarrassment to the rest of the legends in the hall. In his so-called Hall of Fame career, he has only 5,462 career receiving yards, and 51 receiving TDs. In terms of career standing those totals place him at 184th and 91st all time, respectively.

Putting that into perspective, there are 25 active players in the NFL today who ALREADY have more receiving yards, and 14 active players with more receiving TDs.

In his eight years in the NFL Lynn Swann was named to only three Pro Bowls. If he wasn’t even perceived as the best in his position compared to his contemporaries around the league, how could he be one of the greatest to ever play the game?

Here is another interesting little nugget of information for you. Lynn Swann wasn’t even the top wide receiver on his own Pittsburgh Steelers teams for half of his career! So forget about comparing him to his contemporaries around the league, how could Lynn Swann be one of the greatest to ever play the game when he wasn’t even the greatest on his own roster?

Of course, the great response in defense of “Swanny’s” Hall of Fame credentials is that “he played big in big games.”

I don’t buy that for a second.

There have been a lot of players who played big in big games, but do not receive any consideration for Hall of Fame candidacy.

For example, where is Dwight Clark? His name has never even been brought up for the Hall of Fame, yet he is responsible for a catch that was so monumental that it has forever been dubbed as THE Catch. *As a side note, in his career, Dwight Clark had 6,750 receiving yards (a full 1288 MORE than Lynn Swann) and 48 receiving TDs (only three LESS than Swann).

And what about Santonio Holmes? Would ANYONE consider Holmes a Hall of Fame worthy receiver at this point in his career? I didn’t think so. Yet, he performed HUGELY in big games for the Steelers. Plus, when you compare the first four years of Holmes’ career to the first four of Swann’s, they are almost identical in terms of statistics.

Sure, Swann had one more Super Bowl ring, but in fairness, Holmes wasn’t playing on a team coached by Hall of Famer Chuck Noll, and surrounded by a host of other Hall of Famers like Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, and Joe Greene.

In fact, even Hall of Fame voters questioned Swann’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame, as he was denied entry not once, or even twice, but a full 13 times before he was finally granted entry into the Hall.

The REAL reason that Lynn Swann has a bust in Canton is because he rode the coattails of better men. He was a role player on a team that won four championships, and he had a couple of key plays that helped to accomplish that impressive feat.

Those individual plays may have been legendary, but Lynn Swann’s career was far from it.

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2 Responses to The Undeserving NFL Hall of Famer Debate… Lynn Swann Catches A Lucky Break

  1. Old School says:

    Great point, almost made me rethink Namath, almost! I really think the real jokes are the hall of fame voters themselves! I’m still trying to get over Chris Berman getting in this year. But, it’s not just football, I believe you’ll find undeserving people in the other hall of fames. Even the rock and roll hall of fame[and don’t get me started on that one!! The Hall of Fame is suppose to be for special people, not for your buddy or home town favorite! It’s not a popularity contest, or maybe it is!

  2. Swan’s ability to make superb grabs and phenomenal catches were other worldly, Does Harris make that catch without practicing with Swan, Franco doesn’t become immaculate as he became in the eyes of many. Lynn added something to the position, IMO the passing the game was blessed with another dimension, When the game is stepped up and develops as it must, the contributer who is responsible for revolutionizing the Game should be recognized in the appropriate capacity given. Freak of Natures deserve A bust in the HOF if not an honorable mention in Canton and Any Hall of Fame has as a matter of credibility has to have Venerable Mentions IMHO.

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