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91. NFL HOF Profiles: Thurman Thomas.

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91.

 

We take a break from stuff that PISSES ME OFF, to another HOF list. Except these are for football... not baseball ones like alkeiper and other inferior posters do.

 

For each player, I'll be using the Keltner list. Because I've always wanted to.

 

We'll start with Thurman Thomas.

 

thomas-32.gif

 

I should note beforehand that I'm a huge fangirl for him and thus biased.

 

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in football? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in football?

Not by many. Although, I feel he was in consideration for this in 1991 and 1992.

 

2. Was he the best player on his team?

Yes. He was the best player on the best offense in the league for multiple years. If we include defensive players, Bruce Smith had occasional injury problems and was arguably slowing down after his huge year in 1990. Cornelius Bennett was Defensive MVP in 1991, so he's in consideration, also.

 

3. Was he the best player in football at his position? Was he the best player in the conference at his position?

Arguably, and definitely yes. It's very difficult to beat out a Barry Sanders in his prime, though.

 

4. Did he have an impact on a number of great seasons?

Yes. He was the starting HB of every game but 1 in the Bills' four Super Bowl runs.

 

5. Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?

Yes, up to the point where injuries curtailed his career. Although, his quality of play did drop significantly after the Bills' Super Bowl runs.

 

6. Is he the very best football player in history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

Yes. Every comparable skilled possession player got in 1st ballot. If it wasn't for a stacked class last year, he would have been in. And should have been in, regardless.

 

7. Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?

Yes.

 

8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

Absolutely.

 

Led the NFL in yards from scrimmage from 1989-1992. Enough said.

 

9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

Arguably. His stats are boosted because he played on one of the best offenses in the league. And he got many looks as a receiving threat, much more than his equal counterparts Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders. And he was on a quick-paced, often no-huddle team that gave more chances. But, I don't put much credence into this for football.

 

10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame?

Yes.

 

11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

I'd say 5, from 1989-1993. He was the majority MVP once in 1991. I'd guess he was in the top 5 the other 4 years.

 

12. How many Pro Bowl-type seasons did he have? How many Pro-Bowl games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many Pro-Bowl games go into the Hall of Fame?

5. 5. It's on the lower end of HOF RB's, with only Dorsett (4) and Riggins (1) from post-merger being lower. But, it's enough.

 

13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win their division/conference?

Yes, and he did.

 

14. What impact did the player have on football history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he change the game in any way?

None. Although, he should make future Super Bowl players remember where their helmet is before the game. :(

 

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

He was arrested for marijuana possession after his career, and confessed to being an alcoholic before that. There's been other rumors, but Thurman is not noted for being a bad guy.

 

Would he get my vote?

Yes. He should have been in last year on his first try. He was statistically the best player at his position for FOUR straight years. And reached the Championship Game FOUR straight years. No other player can boast that, and it's unlikely that it will ever be equaled. 8th in career total yards. 12th in rushing. And that's with a relatively short career. A no-brainer for this overlooked player whose prime was shared with 2 other all-time greats.

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14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

 

Remember that time he rushed for 6 homeruns in a single inning? That was awesome.

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