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?
Doubtful. Irvin was amongst the elite WR's in the early 90s, but it's difficult for any WR's to receive such honors.
2. Was he the best player on his team?
Doubtful. Emmitt Smith is regarded as the best skill position for that Cowboy dynasty. Larry Allen was also probably their most dominating player.
3. Was he the best player in football at his position? Was he the best player in the conference at his position?
Doubtful. Jerry Rice was still playing from 1990-1995. And very well.
4. Did he have an impact on a number of great seasons?
Yes. Irvin was one of the best receivers in the league for a team that won 3 Super Bowls.
5. Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?
Yes. Irvin remained a solid top receiver until his career ending injury in 1999.
6. Is he the very best football player in history who is not in the Hall of Fame?
7. Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?
Mostly. Longevity is a weakness for Irvin, who started out slow in his first 3 years, and then had to retire at 32. So, he only had about 7 years of pure starting WR duty. But, in those 7 years, he was top 10 in receiving for six of those years. Top 5, four times.
8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?
Yes. 3 Super Bowl rings. A big part in all of those teams. His previously mentioned statistics. He's easily in.
9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?
No. If anything, his stats could have been better without Emmitt Smith who had a heavy workload during the Cowboys' dynasty run, and vultured many TD's away.
10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame?
Many would say yes. But, I don't believe Irvin is.
11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?
None. Although, he did lead the league in receiving in 1993, and had a huge 1995 (The year Rice had a ridiculous season, unfortunately). But, not enough for serious consideration.
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 Pro Bowls for Irvin. He deserved that many. There's some players with less than 5 who are in, so it's enough.
13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win their conference?
I think so.
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?
15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?
Lolz. Here would be Irvin's achilles' heel. Irvin has been arrested at least 3 times for drug possession. He's been noted as a sexual abuser, but not proven. He's made racist statements. He's a stupid loudmouth clown on ESPN every week.
Would he get my vote?
No. Because I hate Michael Irvin. If voters can not vote for certain for silly reasons, then I can too. And I can use the lack of character as a reason. I don't want to picture his induction ceremony. As for just basing it on Irvin's playing career, he's easily in. 3 Super Bowls, an elite receiver for most of the 90s, his talent and accomplishments cannot be denied. The only thing Irvin lacks is the longevity and the gaudy stats that types like Art Monk and Andre Reed have, and I don't put much weight into that.